December 25, 2005
A Very Merry Christmas to You and Yours!
Source: Google image.
You find us still in Sydney, trying to get to grips with the concept of celebrating the ultimate winter festival in underwear (that is, when we are at home) and in great danger of suffering from heat stroke!
It’s been kinda weird doing Christmas over here: but – I hasten to add – far less depressing than last year; where it was a case of waiting for the clock to strike 10 o’clock so we could feasibly go to bed and end the dismal (and wholly un-jolly) charade.
The main difficulty has been accepting the concept of wandering round in bright sunshine, dazed by the heat, with jingly renditions of “Deck The Halls” etc., playing in the background. It just doesn’t compute. Especially as a lot of the cards over here also show wonderful displays of the traditional snow scenes on their covers. Yeah right! When Aussies picture snow, it usually includes an image of them being stood on some mountain top with two planks of wood strapped to their feet!!!
And then there is their rather worrying love for all things plastic. The trees I get – because real Christmas trees would just wither and die in all this heat, but what’s with all the inflatable Santas and what not? I have seen any number of seven-foot helium versions of reindeers and the jolly fat man strapped to the roofs of shops and pubs as a form of decoration.
It’s all well and good, but after a few days, the high temperatures leave these seasonal balloons wilting like a group of ballet dancers the morning after all their bottled water has been spiked with ample amounts of tequila.
We awoke early – didn’t have much choice what with the bright sunshine bounding cheerily in through the curtains as though they weren’t there – and headed over to Little Bay just so we could say we spent Christmas Day on the beach. There were very few people about and we spent the morning enjoying the lush display of clean, gold sand and sun-dappled water.
Tsarina and Zelda will be pleased to hear that I made the effort and actually taped up some baubles: but the decorating motivation evaporated after discovering that the lights we had bought cheaply and happily from ‘The Warehouse’, didn’t work. And yes, we replaced bulbs etc., but after they refused to do anything that could be vaguely classed as illumination after being tested in the 4th set of plug sockets, we gave up. No shame there: it’s more effort than I make at home.
We had Chris over for Christmas dinner and in honour of having guests, we prepared a veritable feast of roast beef, roast potatoes, parsnips and other veggies, with homemade pineapple upside down cake for dessert. Auburn even made some Yorkshire Puddings – yum.
Now, before anyone starts on at me about the traditions of turkey and its symbiotic associations with this particular season, I’d just like to say: We tried OK? But you would not believe the cost of turkey over here. I mean, considering it’s just some dry, tasteless meat that commandeers the oven for unseemly amounts of time and then haunts the family menu for the following week as all efforts are employed to demolish it, they were asking some extravagant prices for the stuff on sale (Where is Asda when you need it?). And as far as I was concerned, I was not willing to pay the equivalent of a 2-week bus pass for something that my palate only classes as “passable” when it’s smothered in hot pepper sauce.
We bought some cheap crackers (which are called “bon bons” over here, for some inexplicable reason) and were rewarded with jolly, green plastic(?!!?) hats; some nice prizes (the mini torch was a nice touch); and jokes so bad, that the production company only actually printed three individual ones and merely repeated them over and over again.
We ate ’til we were bloated, drank copious amounts of wine (in support of the local economy) and then had a long and hilarious game of Monopoly (See, we do remember the traditions: although no-one came to blows).
But the funny thing was that it didn’t feel properly Christmassy until we got round to doing the washing up.
We’d been discussing how the fine weather made it difficult for us to fully engage in the spirit of things and had even taken to singing some of our favourite carols to help us reach that sublime Yuletide revelry: but “Little Donkey” just doesn’t cut it when it 34 degrees – indoors, and with the fan on ‘high’.
So it was onto the internet to download The Pogues’ “Fairytale of New York”… and everything felt a lot better after that. It’s surprising just how much a line like “You scumbag, you maggot, you cheap lousy faggot: Happy Christmas your arse I pray God it’s our last!” can lift your spirit and help you feel mightily Christmassy!
Sing it with me now: And the boys from the NYPD choir were singing “Galway Bay” and the bells are ringing out for Christmas Day……..
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AUTHOR: I am might war. I have a love of music, the written word, travel, Anime, polar bears, people and “sticking and colouring”.