Photo album from Australia

My camera sat at the bottom of my bag for most of the time when I was in Australia, particularly on Christmas day which was the when I saw all the kids. Stupid Aunty Sar. So even though it is incomplete, here is the photo album of my trip to Australia for Christmas, a photo-journal if you will (you won’t? I’m not surprised).

Day One:

Lucky for me Lara was only working a half day the day I arrived so after a quick drought-sensitive shower we went out for lunch. Lara is living in Kensington now, right near by this record store/café called White Rabbit. I liked it a lot.

Later that evening Lara and Paul put on one of their fancy dinners. Here they are preparing food while I watch.

Clare came over (she lives right around the corner), and she gave me these extremely cute biscuits for Christmas.

Here are Clare, Lara and Paul after we all had very full and satisfied bellies.

Amanda came over too. Her face is blurry in this photo because she is laughing (almost certainly at one of my very funny jokes), but her excellent new dress is in focus, so that’s alright.

Day Two:

Most of this day was spent shopping with MJ, Beck, Siobhan, Jess and the kids. It was a surprisingly tolerable day of shopping so close to Christmas, but I hope you will understand that I didn’t bother to capture the DFO shopping centre in all it’s glory.

Later that afternoon I met Marty for a coffee. The photo below is actually of us having tea at Borders, because after sitting in a café for a while we decided we should try to be efficient and do some Christmas shopping. We lasted five minutes before I insisted we needed to take a break. Yes, we are sitting at the Gloria Jeans in the back of Borders, and yes, it is as uninspiring as you might think the Gloria Jeans in the back of Borders would be. But they did have these great Christmas cups.

Later on Elisa and I saw Into the Wild which I wholeheartedly recommend. Don’t bother reading reviews or plot summaries, just take my word for it and see it. I think anyone would enjoy it.

Day Three:

First thing on Friday morning I headed over to my house in Fitzroy to visit Greg. First thing on Friday morning we headed into the city to eat Yum Cha. The Ay Tea House that used to be a tea shop with a couple of tables to sit at has relocated further up Little Collins and has turned into a Powerhouse of Yum Cha. We walked in wearing our regular scruffy clothes and was greeted by a maitre’d (what are you thinking Ay Tea House? Maitre’d are weird and 80s) asking if we had a reservation. Umm, it’s yum cha dopes, you don’t make reservations. But apparently here you do and the place was packed but we were lucky enough to score a table anyway. Here is out feast of the fanciest dim sum Melbourne has to offer (OK, I’m sure it’s fancier at Flower Drum, but I’m just talking about places I could actually afford to go to). Delicious!

Day Four:

Lara has the most comfortable bed in the world and her cat Taffy agrees with me. She was pissed off when I woke up early and disturbed her sleep, but it didn’t take long for her to find a new comfortable position.

I have cats in my new house too, but they just wander in off the street.

I had the good fortune of being in Melbourne at the same time as my Indonesian friend Rini and her family. We met when Rini worked on a project with me and Nicole  at RMIT. Nicole had the family over for lunch and I got to be the surprise guest. Lunch was incredibly delicious. I ate about a third of the food cumulatively consumed that afternoon. I was very happy.

Later that afternoon I took the train to Shepparton and went to Jess’s house. Here is her gingerbread house. Don’t ask me how she made something that actually looked like it came from a magazine.

Day Five:

MJ and I headed back to Rushworth in the morning and got on with preparing for Christmas. To show you MJ stirring the Christmas Pudding I could post this photo:

But I think this photo gives you a better sense of what was going on in the kitchen that day:

Before you comment on MJ leaving it until two days before Christmas to make the Pudding I will tell you that instead of doing it six months in advance like she usually does, she kindly waited until I was available to partake. Nice MJ.

Day Six:

Shopping for groceries on Christmas Eve=bad.

Shopping for groceries on Christmas Eve with a mother who shows no respect for the shopping list I thoughtfully created the day before=hell.

Day Seven:

CHRISTMAS!

Here is Beck at the table for our quiet afternoon lunch before the whole family arrived.

There were five (F-I-V-E) people at the table! I mean, does that even reach minimum attendance to qualify as Christmas? We even had elbow room! It definitely felt like cheating.

That’s all the photos I have from Christmas. I blame the food and the presents. How can I think of anything else when my two favourite things are in such plentiful supply?

Day Eight:

I have been dreaming about Gingerbread houses for years, and suddenly two people I know get Martha Stewart-y and build GB houses like they’re working for a tsunami reconstruction project (ooh, nice intersection of blog themes Sarah…)

Meaghan kindly waited until I arrived on Boxing Day for the great destruction of this work of art (it has windows and wood panelling!!). I could show you a series of cute photos of Miles getting stuck into the house, but I think this photo gives you a pretty good idea of how things went.

Obviously by cutting out the middle-man (his hands) Miles could get to the smarties that bit faster.

I left Meaghan’s place leaving the smallest possible window to buy new clothes to take back to Indonesia, and in the rush left my camera behind. I was surprised and pleased to see that Ryan took the opportunity to show off his writing skills and excellent taste in godparents.

OK, so he didn’t write the sign, but you can see that he’s actually holding it up at the side!

After picking up the camera I ate the most delicious lasagne at Jess’s place and fell into a carb-induced coma.

The next morning at 6am Benj and I headed back to Melbourne where I got on a plane and headed back to Indonesia.

THE END

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