Sunday, 2 December 2012

A Little Thanksgiving and a Little Christmas Down Under

It's the first weekend in December down under.  For us that means American Thanksgiving (a week late) and a nod to the Canadian equivalent, with our international friends, decorating our house for Christmas, and as an afterthought, C2s birthday.

It has cooled to a reasonable 25c from the brutal 38c a few days earlier, and our little core contingent of the American Watts family, the French Roman family, and the Canadian Hendricks family gathered on the banks of Albert Lake in Melbourne to eat turkey, cranberry sauce, potato salad, sausages on the barbie, cranberry cake, tarte amandine, nimbu pani (the Watts lived in India, nimbu pani is an Indian summer drink similar to Lemonade), and champagne.  In between all of the eating, we took turns crewing with Paul (Watts) on a sailboat made for 4 around the lake.

Paul did his best to explain to his 3 crew, half of whom were under 10, how to trim sails, steer rudders, and duck booms whilst tacking into the wind.  He might have had a little more experience, since he and Kelly spent four years sailing from South Carolina to the Caribbean through the Panama Canal to many a Pacific Island to New Zealand and on to the Pacific coast of the United States.  See Kelly's website  He was quite patient as I almost capsized the boat by locking the jib?

We returned home in the late afternoon, a little sunburnt, and a lot starstruck at the reality of their having done this for FOUR YEARS.

This morning, we were awoken by our 9-year old bouncing out of his bed and into ours raring to start decorating for Christmas.  Truth be told, as much as C2 and I both love the festive season, it's not easy mustering the Christmas spirit when it's sunny, hot, and beach weather.  Still, J's enthusiasm is always infectious and we pulled boxes and bags from storage and listened to carols on Pandora for a couple of hours while we brightened our house with all things Christmasy.  Then we set up our tent in preparation for C2 and J's fathers-and-kids camping expedition to the Surf Coast next weekend.

This is one of the paradoxes of living in Australia, decorating for a traditional Winter holiday while planning for a beach Surf Coast camping trip while planning for a trip shortly after to Canada's Winter.


Jen said...

your life is full of paradoxes, non? :)

lovely photos and a lovely time it would seem!

Elizabeth said...

The colors here are so rich and resonant -- really, your photography is outstanding!

Katie Hayoz said...

You always have such awesome pictures, Christine!

Sheila Cook said...

Wonderful Blog as always.It's been too long since I read and lived through your Blog. Think of us in -2C! x