Merry (Sydney) Christmas

So, I’m trying (aren’t I always?) to be better about blogging – so while I plan on still catching you up on Manchester visits and Thailand visits – and my trip back to the states (although I saw most of you there, you know what happened!) here is what Grant and I did for our Christmas together in Sydney.

We weren’t sure where to get a live tree (plus we got back from the States a bit too late to enjoy it for long enough) so we went to a Christmas pop-up warehouse type thing to look for a tree.  We were immediately greeted by Australian-flag bedecked bikinis and sunglasses. It was not a good sign.  Further worrisome was the parade of horrors that included:




I don’t know either.

BUT we found a tree and some cool ornaments and got it home and lovingly decorated (although that also included getting glitter EVERYWHERE – we went out to dinner with Grant’s uncles later that evening and they were kind enough not to comment on Grant’s appearance until we mentioned the tree/glitter incident (treecident?) – and then they politely said “oh, we thought it was a makeup choice” Indeed guys, indeed!)

photo 3

photo 4

Yes, those are ice cream cones and glitter-covered lamingtons!  We thought the lamingtons were especially clever as we keep mispronouncing the road we live on, and it may or may not be pronounced lamb-ington, not lee-mington as I say. (Who knows? It’s spelled Leamington, so you choose!)

Anyway, the other great find at the warehouse was this:


Not a great photo, sorry – but that, my friends, is a GIANT 8-PERSON CHRISTMAS CRACKER! IT IS FILLED WITH ENOUGH CROWNS AND TOYS AND JOKES FOR EIGHT WHOLE PEOPLE!!!!! Needless to say, I was thrilled to find out this thing existed. THRILLED.  (And if you don’t know, christmas crackers are a sort of British tradition that made its way into my home my whole life – you pull them open and they make a big CRACK noise and then there is a paper crown, a toy, and a joke inside – my mom even managed to find some non-christmas ones to have at Grant and I’s wedding. (I’m sure most of you know this already though, sorry!)) I had a hard time waiting until Christmas to open this, let me tell you.  So to bide my time, I baked some cookies:


and made lemon curd to fill them with.  Pro tip: do NOT try to make and then roll out a butter-based cookie during a heat wave in Australian summer.


I also made some peppermint marshmallows:



So, on to Christmas morning! I made Joy the Baker’s (who I love – her podcast with Tracey Shutterbean is awesome) dark chocolate-orange-pistachio cinnamon rolls and they were GREAT.  I highly suggest you go watch her video in which she makes them with the pioneer woman right now:

Go ahead, I’ll wait. You’ll thank me!

Yummy, right?

Ok, so while those cooked, Grant and I opened our stockings.



Grant knew I was grumpy about the lack of cold and snow in Sydney on Christmas, and so he got me some snow in a can! We were going to go outside to build a snowman with it, but it was raining. So instead my dinosaurs built one with the playdough that also came in the stocking:


Grant approved:


And then presents! I got, among other things, a professional-quality ukulele and tuner (yay!) which I am now trying hard to master.  I can play “Oh My Darling Clementine”, “When the Saints Go Marching In”, and this:

Grant got some yoga clothes and a little bits/korg analog synthesizer. He had a lot of fun with it and made a LOT of noise with it.



After that excitement we took a walk in the park.  We discovered a section of park used to train kids to ride bikes in the city (it simulates traffic situations and roads) and there were a lot of kids trying out their new bikes:

photo 1

There were also some families playing cricket:

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We also saw a snail:


Then  it was time to go home for dinner (which was duck – each year Grant and I have Christmas on our own I try and  cook an edible duck.)  I still haven’t perfected it. Here he goes:


and half way through:


and then, because I didn’t bother to see how much the duck actually weighed, here he is a bit overcooked at the end of it all:


And then, the moment I had been waiting for – time to pop the giant cracker! And pop it we did you guys! We each grabbed an end, pulled, and……………… nothing.


NOTHING! It was entirely empty! No toys, no crowns, no jokes! I couldn’t believe it! I still haven’t recovered! I kept that damn box around to write a strongly worded letter to the “colour christmas company” for about a week, but was lazy, and realized we got it from a sketchy pop up christmas warehouse…. and then just recycled it. WAH – WAH.  Merry Christmas!

~ by gakather on January 7, 2014.

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