Saturday, December 28, 2013

Wednesday 25 December - An Aussie Christmas!

Current location: Ettalong Beach
11.11am, Opening pressies! It's Chriiiistmaaas!!!!! I'm excited!!!!!
We started our day a bit late, thanks to shenanigans last night, and are a yummy scrambled egg and ham breakfast. Then it was present time!!

Despite the fact we had done Secret Santa and therefore should only have a couple of presents each, the stash under the tree was huge! It might have something to do with the fact I insisted on stocking for everyone, but still! 

It took ages to unwrap everything, helped by Santa handing out the pressies, and we were so spoilt! I had beautiful presents from everyone, such thoughtful gifts. People know me so well!

After everything was opened, we drifted around various parts of the house to read our new books, eat some Christmas ham, have some mulled wine or champers, watch some Christmas telly... The usual stuff. We were waiting for the weather to get nicer but unfortunately it rained all day! So much for a sunny chrimbo down under!

After a little nap on the verandah, a few of us went down to the beach for a drizzly walk. It was still warm though, so Jess, Mitch and I managed a Christmas swim! It's funny because that has become a tradition at home (going sea swimming at Sennen on Christmas Day) and although it didn't feel the same this year, I'm still glad I got in the ocean. 

We got back home to find the boys playing backyard cricket (in the rain). The girls decided to raid their Christmas pressies, as Nick, Andy and Mitch all got water pistols and water bombs. Sneaking around the house giggling and filling them up, we planned a full ambush and the boys had no idea. Ten minutes later and they had an idea, but by then a full-out war was declared and the boys had their revenge by using the water bombs against us.

We had showers, got changed, ate more Christmas ham, drank more champers and wine, and the games started. We played Linkee, a new game we'd got from Dave and Val, and Jenga, and then the drinking games started. Cue drawing on faces, drinking on demand, pirouettes and all sorts of craziness. 

I skyped my family in the evening too, just as their Christmas Day was beginning. Pip represented with the Sennen swim, and it was lovely to think of them all together, even if I wasn't there to join them. Christmas here has been completely different, but completely awesome too, and I've loved every minute! Especially the Christmas ham. 

Tuesday 24 December - Christmas dinner, Christmas Eve

Current location: Ettalong Beach
11.11pm, Playing Jenga. Tonight had the feel of Christmas night, thanks to the board games and the fact we had our main Christmas dinner tonight. 
In the day, we prepped for dinner, did final bits for tomorrow and went to KMart, which was more fun than it sounds! It was also crazy busy but we kept ourselves entertained playing with all the toys. 
In the evening, I went to church (like the good catholic I am) accompanied by Andy (like the good boyfriend he is). It's a beautiful church in Woy Woy and the carols and hymns were beautiful. It was absolutely packed out, with standing ro only, and it was lovely to see all the kids excited and be in a room full of people singing and wishing each other a merry Christmas! Singing hymns always reminds me of my sister Claire so I sang up loud and proud for her! 
By the time we got home, Nick and Bree had arrived and we were ready to eat, drink and be merry! 
Dinner was absolutely amazing, with huge thanks to Val and Jess, who kept us so well fed. We even had the most amazing Christmas pud made by Jess from a recipe that has been handed down through the generations of her family. 
After we were truly stuffed, like the turkey, we retired to the lounge for more games including Jenga, which terrifies me! We also played celebrity heads, which was hilarious, and generally just spent the evening laughing, drinking and going to bed waaaay past our bedtime! 

Monday 23 December - Coastal Christmas starts here!

Current location: Newtown
11.11am, Getting a pedicure. This morning, Rianne and I went to Newtown to get a few last-minute gifts and a mani/pedi for Christmas. What a treat! Once we'd got home and the last pressies were wrapped (which we did while watching Jersey Shore, oh yeah!), we packed our stuff for the coast and off we went. With four giant bags full of pressies in the car, and the Christmas playlist on (including Driving Home for Christmas, of course!), I was feeling rather festive, although a little bit homesick too. 
But once we arrived and sat out with a takeaway curry on the verandah with Jess, Mitch, Jo, Dave and Val (and Dana the dog!), and got the board games going, we were well and truly ready for Christmas! 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Sunday 22 December - Christmas family dinner

Current location: Erskineville, Sydney
11.11pm, Chatting and listening to Christmas music. This morning we drove up from Wollongong after a beautiful wedding and arrived back in Sydney ready to get festive! We spent the day wrapping presents, watching Christmas films (Love Actually and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation), prepping for dinner and making mulled wine. The house smelt amazing!
At about 5pm, we went around to our neighbour Susan's house, for a little Christmas get-together for everyone on our street. It's such a lovely little community and was ace to get to know our neighbours a little better. In a very strange twist, Rochy and our neighbour Elaine discovered they were actually related! Elaine's Sri Lankan grandmother was the sister of Rochy's Sri Lankan great-grandmother! Talk about a small world!
After that revelation, we went back inside to finish getting ready and wait for out guests to arrive. There was 11 of us for dinner (all the Sydney family) so we decided to eat outside as there was more room and it was such a hot day! 
As we all sat down and tucked into mulled wine and a hot Christmas roast (chicken, nut roast, stuffing, roast potatoes, parsnips, carrot, swede, Brussels sprouts), I realised why Aussies don't tend to do traditional Christmas dinner... it was so hot! We had such a fun time though, with a Christmas quiz (Sha, Bree and I won!), mince pies, a lot of festive music, and then we cracked open the port. I'm definitely feeling festive now! 

Saturday 21 December - Hoppo and Ally's wedding!

Current location: Wollongong
11.11pm, Dancing! We were at the wedding of two good friends, Hoppo and Ally, dancing at the end of a wonderful day! This morning we drove up from Bawley Point, where we'd been camping, stopping off for a famous 'Hayden's Pie' then got to Wollongong in time to get my nails done and do a bit of shopping.
The wedding ceremony itself was in Hoppo's parents' garden, and was so beautiful. Ally looked insanely beautiful, as did all their guests (apparently they only have hot friends!), and the happy couple were just so...happy! 
We kicked on to the reception, which was overlooking the beach, and settled I'm for a night of amazing food, beautiful speeches (my favourite bit), ace people... And then hilarious dancing. Hoppo took over the DJing, complete with tie on head, Ally kicked off her shoes, and we a danced for hours. Wish I'd taken more photos (especially as Andy was proper spruced up with a bow tie and everything!) but I think the lack of snaps shows I was enjoying myself too much! 

Friday 20 December – Beach day!

Current location: Bawley Point
11.11am, On the beach. It was one of the most beautiful beaches, and there was no-one on it. Literally no-one! We had been up for exactly seven hours by this point, thanks to a naughty possum waking us up at 4.11am! Hearing rustling and bottles being knocked over in the middle of the night, I thought a killer was outside the tent but, luckily, it ended up just being a possum. After that, we couldn't get back to sleep so just decided to get up for the day. We went for a nice walk on the beach and watched the sun come up, it was beautiful! Then after a few hours on the beach it got too hot so we had a swim and went back for a lunch in the shade, then back to the beach again. So gorgeous!
In the evening, we went for dinner at an awesome chilled restaurant that sold only pasta (choice of five), and on our way there, we saw so many kangaroos! I'll never get bored of seeing them! I love our little holiday.

Thursday 19 December – Road triiiip!

Current location: Bawley Point
11.11pm, Asleep. Now we have both finished work for Christmas, we decided to have a few days away. Today we drove down to Bawley Point for a little camping trip. It's a beautiful place, and where we're staying is across the road from the beach. We went to get some food and beer, went for a quick beach walk and then once it got dark, realised that was that, and we couldn't see any more, so we went to bed at about 9pm!

Wednesday 18 December – Getting my shop on

Current location: Erskineville

11.11am, In bed, watching TV. We finished work for Christmas yesterday, and then had our Christmas party, so today I am having a super lazy one. I watched TV in bed for hours, and then went up to Newtown and did hours and hours of Christmas shopping. 

Tuesday 17 December – New Idea Christmas partayyyy

Current location: Newtown, Sydney
11.11pm, In the Newtown Hotel. Today, after months of planning, was the New Idea Christmas Party! It started with an Amazing Race, which saw the rest of the office running around Redfern and Erskineville completing missions until they got to the Bank hotel, where we ate, drank, opened pressies and had a fab evening! So much fun, and a great celebration of six months' work at a fab place.

Monday 16 December – Cake for breakfast!

Current location: Eveleigh
11.11am, Eating cake. It's a common theme at the start of the week, thanks to us starting up 'Munchie Mondays'. Today Jordan made Christmas Pudding-inspired Mars Bar Crispy Cakes, and they were amazing. No photos of it, I inhaled it too quickly!

(Picture taken from Sprouts and Squats)

Sunday 15 December – A lot of reading, a bit of running, and so much Christmas excitement!

Current location: Erskineville
11.11am, In bed, reading my book. I woke up late this morning after last night's shenanigans, got out of bed and decided that nothing was pressing enough to warrant me getting out of bed. So I made a cup of tea, and went back to read my book. Such a slow, lovely morning! I was supposed to go into the city to do some Christmas shopping in the afternoon, but I decided to do it online instead, so I hung out on my computer for a few hours, then dragged myself out of the house to go for an 8km run. The only way I could make myself do it was by ending the run at the Christmas Shop, which definitely spurred me on! It was so magical in there!
With two bags full of Christmas 'must-haves' (yes, nine Santa hats are definitely must-haves!), I was very much in the festive mood, so came home and made some cinnamon biscuits, then drove down to Sha and Tristan's house for family dinner. We had amazing homemade Indian food, then, to top off such an amazing weekend, we got back to the car to find a parking fine for parking in the wrong spot. Oops. Yes, not such a great end to the weekend but it's my first one ever so I can't really complain. I just might need to cut down on the spending this week!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Saturday 14 December – Birthdays, beaches and boogying

Current location: Paddington
11.11pm, Dancing in a garden. It was the garden of a friend of Sha's, and we were dancing because it was the end of the long day of champers, sunshine and so much fun. Today is Sha's birthday, so we went down to Red Leaf beach (which is gorgeous) and spent the day overeating, and swimming to a pontoon to lie in the sun (and being in awe of the watermelon shark that Bree and Tristan made!). As it started to get a bit cold, we went back to Sha's friend's house, ordered some pizzas, did a run to the bottle shop, and then sat out for about the next six hours. It was really warm and then mozzies were staying away, so there was no reason to leave! After a while, we busted out the Christmas songs and danced away to Mariah Carey with not a care in the world! Happy birthday Shasi you beautiful woman.