As Boxing Day draws to a close, I am pleased to be able to report that our first Australian Christmas lived up to all expectations – the shrimps were barbied, the beach was visited and the Yute was driven. Ok, not the last part, but our festive celebrations had a distinct Australian flavour at least.
We were a party of seven for the day – Tom and I, plus his parents Sue and Peter, their ‘adopted’ (not legally) daughter Emma, and finally Emma’s friend Lynne with son Jake. We were determined to take this opportunity to add an Australian flavour to Christmas, but our day still reflected some well know British festive traditions - we ate excessive amounts, went for an afternoon walk and opened presents. Instead of the Queen’s speech and the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special, we shared a game of rounders on the beach, and a quick paddle in the bay – with the copious amounts of floating jelly fish and a strong wind dampening my desire to take a Christmas Day dip.
Secret Santa visited the Lister-Hague household and each of us bought a present for under $10 to exchange with another guest. Tom and I thought this would give a focal point to the day, and little did we know that Peter would get hours of enjoyment guessing and then second guessing who was buying for who. Of course he had worked it out by the time we came to exchange presents, but hadn’t spotted that I had bought his gift whilst out shopping with him! Tom and I also exchanged more significant gifts, and with Tiger Woods leaving a gap on the world golf circuit, I bought him some golf lessons to brush up his skills (on the golf course only!).
Food wise, there was no turkey in sight and we served a meat and fish direct from the BBQ on our balcony, with a selection of salads and breads on the side. We were so excited about cooking “shrimp on the Barbie” that I queued for 30 minutes at the fish market to buy the little blighters! Pudding was a choice of strawberry and Turkish delight trifle or mini-chocolate puddings. See photo of trifle below – I didn’t take a photo of the chocolate puddings because none of us made it past the trifle! We all really enjoyed the meal, and so did our neighbours across the road, who we caught trying out their new binoculars in the direction of our flat! We all started waving and before long they were waving back and we all got on with our Christmas meals undisturbed!
As our Christmas Day drew to a close, the UK woke up to their Christmas morning. We Skyped Tom’s sisters, Claire and Anna, so that we could watch their children open their Christmas presents from us. It was so lovely to see the looks on their faces as they opened their gifts, and it really made us feel a little bit less than 10,000 miles away. Rosie (aged 6) was, as usual, particularly expressive!
Today the men + Emma have been to the Boxing Day Test, and Sue and I have been to a place where we feel more at home – the sales! I had a fantastic haul and got some great bargains – proof that shopping skills can traverse the world!