Itttttt’ssss Chhhrrrriiissssttttmmmmaaaasssssss. (Holder 1973).
The week started off in the normal way with a couple of days at work. It was a continuation of the previous week which was pretty full on. The task at hand is likely to be very stressful, very busy and very difficult - but I’ll give it a go, see what happens!!
On Tuesday (x-mas eve), I finished at 1pm and had to rush back home as we had invited Alan and Elisa over for a x-mas eve late lunch type thing. Kirstie had the day off so there was not actually much for me to do (bonus). We attempted a sort of x-mas buffet/spread loosely based around an afternoon tea type thing, but after a couple of baking disasters and a desire to have a couple of ciders it basically turned into a couple of drinks and a children’s party buffet - not quite the gourmet hospitality we have received from them in the past, but how can you compete with champagne, Mussels, imported smoked sausage and a homemade tiramisu? All we were lacking was party rings to give them that real kids party experience!! We hung out with them for a couple of hours before they had to head off to their family beach house (lucky for some!).
On Wednesday it was Christmas day. The basic bare bones of our plan was to have a BBQ breakfast on the beach and then a roast lamb dinner. I mean, who doesn’t revolve their Christmas day around food? We quickly skyped my mum and dad to open our presents with them. I rather hilariously ended up with a couple of gifts that were intended for Kata (nice one dad!!!). We had a good laugh at his expense, but to be far that is the sort of thing I would do. We packed up the coolbag, the BBQ, and headed for the beach. We found a slightly quieter spot (as the beach was starting to fill up), and had a sausage sarnie accompanied by a little bottle of bubbly. We were on the beach in our santa hats and took a few cheesy shots (see below). It just had to be done, and a bit of sunburn for the rest of the day is a small price to pay. (must-remember-to-wear-sunscreen). The rest of the day was spent skyping home to various people, and preparing our roast dinner. All in all it was red hot, sweaty, but still a nice christmas. I would be lying if I didn’t say I was looking forward to being home for christmas next year though!!
On Boxing day we were pretty lazy to be honest. We didn’t do a lot during the day. In the evening we headed into the city for what turned out to be the best Chinese meal we have had in Melbourne. The restaurant was fortunately not as dodgy as it’s name and location would suggest (it was down a back alley and it was called The Kum Den). After dinner, we walked/waddled to the theatre where we watched the King Kong musical. We had heard it had great reviews, and the tickets were discounted. I can say that it was worth every penny. It was really good, and very well put together. The Regent Theatre was also more grandiose than most London ones, and so it was quite a nice treat!
On Friday we decided to take a trip out to Williamstown. It is basically a beach suburb of Melbourne. It was a really nice sunny day so it was really nice to stroll around. There wasn’t a huge amount there. The beach and waterfront was really nice, the botanic gardens (which we took a short cut through) was very nice, and the general place was cool because it seems to be much less commercialised and touristy than St. Kilda.
On Saturday, we decided to go to Geelong. It is a town about 1hr from Melbourne by train. I had been told it is quite nice, and I have a friend who lives there (although he was away at the weekend), so thought that we should just head there. It was bigger and better than we thought. It was a bloody hot day (38°C), and so it was a bit too hot to spend the whole day outdoors. We walked around the waterfront, the pier, as far as the beach and then took shelter in some of the shops (phew!). I purchased a few bits, including a new pair of headphones. The guy took about $60 off the price for little or no reason - maybe he knew I was eventually going to dazzle him with my skilful and relentless bartering skills (weird!). We strolled back through the ‘Cultural quarter’ which was an art gallery, museum and a fair bit of building works and took the train home. Fortunately we wore sunscreen so we didn’t get too burnt! (win).
On Sunday (yesterday), we had another slack day and just hung out for the majority of it. In the early evening we headed to Fitzroy to meet up with a workmate and her boyfriend for a legendary burger from ‘Huxtaburger’ - it is pretty famous in Melbourne. With only 5 tables and 5 menu items, you could tell it was very ‘cool’. The burger did not disappoint. Delicious. After dinner we headed along the street to a newly opened ice cream shop (the people we were with know Fitzroy very well, so they were keen to try it). It was pretty good and pretty authentic - the mint choc chip tasted like mint that was fresh from the garden. A bit odd, but very nice! After dinner we headed to the Botanic Gardens for ‘Shakespeare under the stars’ - it was Midsummer Night’s dream. We were surprised at quite how good it was. It was really well done, the actors were fantastic, and it was genuinely funny. Like the open air cinema, it is a nice way to spend a summer’s evening sitting out on a picnic blanket watching a bit if theatre.
Christmas in Australia lacks the intensity of Christmas in the UK. At home it is in your face, EVERYTHING is christmas orientated. Christmas here has the same weight as perhaps Easter has back home. The cosiness of being indoors is replaced with the need to get out and about and do something. I am not sure what is better. The over commercialised Christmas of the UK, or the watered down version of Christmas here in Aus? Regardless of all this, I will be looking forward to having Christmas back home next year to see family and friends. That was definitely missing here.
My meerkat, Merve. Getting in on the Christmas action at the beach.
Sausage Sizzle at the Beach on Christmas day!!!
All worn out. I later got sunburn on my legs. I had a white patch from where I spilt Ketchup on my leg. Embarrassing.
Christmas dinner. Roast Lamb, Yorkshires, and a couple of glasses of fruity cider. In Wine Glasses - only because we’re well posh.
The Regent Theatre. Rather opulent interior. No collapsing balconies though. Good job really.
The Williamstown Tower
Me looking over the beach at the view below…
The Botanic Gardens at Williamstown (we seem to be going to Botanic gardens a lot - I have no interest in Botanics)
The lovely beach at Williamstown. Not too busy!
The Geelong Cultural Quarter.
The most useless and lazy lifeguards ever.
Cunningham Pier, Geelong. Not that exciting, but lots of fishermen!
The Shrine of Rememberance. On the way to the Shakespeare performance…
Midsummer Night’s dream… was very good!
The stage by day.
The stage by night.