This year my mum & dad visited from Adelaide. I think this is the first time I’ve spent Christmas with them since before my children were born, and my oldest is now almost 25, so it was a great get together.
Of course, I had to go all out with the decorations and bought more Christmas lights for both inside and outside. And we had a big traditional Christmas dinner with turkey, pork, ham, chicken, and even a duck (cooked separately, not as a turducken) and all the trimmings. I made my Christmas pudding boiled in a cloth, and I learned a new “tradition”. Apparently everybody is supposed to stir the Christmas pudding for good luck. As mum, dad & I were the only ones here when I was making it we all had a turn stirring. I guess it worked, because the pudding was perfect.
And under my supersized Christmas tree was a mountain of presents which mum brought up from all the family in Adelaide, and we added to ourselves.
Our family tradition is to have our big celebration Christmas Eve, then on Christmas morning we get up early (though I let everybody sleep in until 7am this year), open the presents, have breakfast with ham & eggs, tomato, toast, fresh fruit, yoghurt, freshly squeezed orange juice, and champagne. Then everybody goes back to bed, or to the beach.
Now that all the kids are grown it’s worked out very well. We’re all together Christmas Eve & Christmas morning, and then the kids are all free to visit their other parents and/or partners’ parents for lunch or dinner. As well as my parents this year there were all my kids and Docs kids with their partners, even my brother and sister-in-law came along. The only one missing was Doc’s 7 year old who was with his mother. And of course, we had our first grandchild.
So after all the excitement of Christmas, New Year for me is a time to relax. New Year’s Eve we sat outside with all my Christmas lights, platters of food, and champagne, and just enjoyed each other’s company. We came inside to watch the 9pm fireworks (Note to the ABC : your coverage was total crap. Thank god for History channel. I can tell you now I won’t be watching the new Spicks & Specks). Then we went to bed. Just like any other night really.
No New Year’s resolutions, no Auld Lang Syne, no drunken texting, and no hangover!
But of course, it’s not New Year unless we reflect somehow on where we’ve been and where we’re going.
So what were my highlights for 2013:
- In January Doc & I welcomed our first grandchild – Mason Leroux. He started off as a complete little shit who screamed constantly and wouldn’t sleep for more than 20 minutes at a time, but as soon as he was diagnosed and treated for reflux he changed overnight. He’s now a gorgeous, happy little boy and we’re looking forward to many more Christmases with him – and more grandchildren!!!
- I went outback for the first time without Doc. In February a girlfriend and I went out to Broken Hill and Menindee Lake, and back via Booligal and the Lachlan River. We made a detour to White Cliffs on the way where we saw a magnificent sunset over the wide open spaces of the outback. I learned that I can do it on my own – driving on outback roads, bush camping, and even dealing with car trouble. That trip led to …
- Market testing my business taking people outback. This included a major trip to Uluru via outback Queensland. It was a big undertaking over a couple of months and hopefully 2014 will be the year where I start making a profit helping people to enjoy the beauty of outback Australia.
- Further establishing myself as a photographer. During my travels I took some stunningly beautiful photos – how can you not with the scenery out there – and am very happy that they now grace the walls of new fans.
And, of course, building this website. So Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my readers. Thank you for reading, and for your feedback, and I hope 2014 is magical.
I’m planning on doing some more travelling, and this time I might do a trip completely on my own. Stay tuned.