Michele: It still doesn't feel like Christmas here even though there are decorations up, the kids exchanged x-mas cards with their friends, Santa-featured ads are on TV and we hear carols here and there. Something about sleigh bells jingling doesn't match with the hot humid rainforest background. I find it startling how many cards and decorations in Australia feature snowmen, snow scenes and Santa in a big parka. Not that I want to see Santa in a budgy smuggler -- shorts would work fine. Notes for Americans: Budgies = parakeets and a Budgy smuggler is Aussie for a speedo but a speedo in Aussie is a speedometer. On the road to Cairns yesterday we saw a sign that said "speedo check". Both Gavin and Will failed the speedo check.
Anyways, as you can imagine Christmas here involves pool parties and BBQ rather than roaring fires and ham. I thought that the combination of watermelon and five-corner fruit looked Christmasy. The five-corner fruit are from Uncle Larry's amazing garden. Delicious.
Another reason it doesn't yet feel like Christmas is that we spent the past week purging, cleaning, packing, saying good-bye and shutting down the house. The kids in Robin and Will's classes gave them wonderful goodbyes with cards and gifts. Friends and family found homes for a lot of our household items that we bought to supplement the furnished house. The lovely couch got sold to the second hand shop. It has been an exhausting week. The next few days in Cairns will be refreshingly relaxing.