This year is just about over and it’s almost the New Year. We have packed away our Christmas decorations and our house is back to normal again.
This Christmas was a little different for us but very enjoyable. We began by attending the carols service at our church on Christmas Eve. It was a speculator service with over 500 people attending and it really set the mood for the coming day.
A few weeks ago, we had our grand daughters help us to put up our little Christmas tree and decorate it. It was a lot of fun finding different places for things to go and they did a great job. We didn’t seem to have as many presents under it as normal because some of our family were not around this year and their presents were delivered to them rather than being handed out from under the tree on Christmas Day.
Our other tree is a very special one for us. We gave up collecting souvenirs on our travels many years ago. Instead, we decided that we would buy one little ornament for our Christmas tree from every place that we have visited. Our ‘International Tree’ now sits in the corner of the Lounge Room with objects from the 65 countries that we have now visited as well as some of the different regions within them. It is nice at Christmas to be able to reflect on all the places that we have been. We have a surfing santa from Hawaii, a Santa in a gondola from Venice, a Polar bear from Svalbard and a Mountie from Canada along with dozens of other little mementoes. For some reason, my favourite is this little blonde doll from Estonia. I remember walking along the pier to a little gift shop when our cruise ship docked in Tallin before breakfast and then coming back to the ship with her in my pocket.
David and Yuki are expecting their fist baby in late January and it was too late for them to fly across from Perth to join us. We are looking forward to catching up with them in January after the baby is born. On Christmas Day, Cathy was with friends for lunch, leaving Jill and myself on our own for Christmas for the first time ever (that I can remember). We found a wonderful place to go for lunch – the Melbourne Zoo! It was a beautiful day and the Zoo was about the only place in town that was open. It was packed with families having picnics on all the patches of grass under the trees. Our lunch was in the Rainforest Function Room. We had great food and some nice wine. We chatted to a young family visiting from Sydney and watched Santa as he visited all the little kids (and not so little ones). This room had floor to ceiling windows that looked over a small rainforest enclosure and we were very pleasantly entertained by the Tamarin Monkeys that live there. (Now, before you all make smart jokes about these having some resemblance to me, just remember I would be getting my ambitions completely confused with my capabilities if I tried to grow a moustache like these little creatures).
We finished Christmas Day by having dinner at Cathy’s house with her and the girls. It was very nice celebrating with here in her new house. Now that she has all her new furniture in her house, it feels like a new beginning for her. Good luck and best wishes to her for her new job as a geriatric specialist next year.
We seem to have made a tradition of catching up with my brother and sister and their families on Boxing Day at my brother Colin’s place. We don’t see a lot of each other during the year, so it is good to meet up for Christmas. We had a good roll up numbering around twenty. The oldest was my Aunt Phyllis at 94 years and the youngest was my newest Great Nephew, Brodie, who was just four weeks old.
Now that the rush is over, we have been enjoying a few days of restful activity. No need to rush out and compete with everyone at the Post Christmas Sales – we can buy whatever we need online now. Instead, we have been enjoying some nice weather and catching with a few things around home.
Sunday saw us having lunch at one of the nice wineries (Rochford) in the Yarra Valley. We were commenting about how in our newly married days, there were only three wineries in this area and we could visit all of them in an afternoon. Now there are dozens – far too many to try and visit in a weekend. Today, we had a lovely picnic at Cathedral Mountain. A delicious lunch of crab and prawn rolls along with a salad of spinach, walnuts pomegranates, pear and blue cheese. Very nice, even if I say so myself, as the cook!
I’e even had time to edit and post a summary set of photos from the beautiful Dordogne region of France that we visited in October. You can see them here.
We are heading out to lunch on New Year’s Day with friends and then we will look forward to whatever the new year of 2015 brings us. Who knows what?