Australia - Christmas in Brisbane

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December 28th 2011
Published: January 10th 2012
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Happy New Year everyone!

Hope you’re all good and had a great Christmas? We had a nice time in Brisbane; I was very very very homesick and missing home a lot! I still wanted to experience a sunny Christmas but wished everyone from home could be here. I was also a little concerned that we wouldn’t get a sunny Christmas, as the rain leading up to Christmas Day was so terrible (cloudy, windy and rainy!)…

BRISBANE, Australia

Thursday 22nd December 2011

I was up really late and it took a while to get going (I’m always sooooooooo dehydrated, takes a while to come around). Drew and I did some chores (juice for Mildred, Christmas presents and my new camera!) and then went back to watch some Buffy and Whale Wars whilst doing some cleaning (me) and cooking (Drew). We had a really nice dinner, eating it outside as it was a nice temperature (not too hot!) as it had been raining. I did the clearing up but banged my head really hard on the edge of the kitchen cupboard; it REALLY hurt and there was a BIG bump and I felt a bit dizzy for a while; I put some butter on it like my Granny Green used to do and that made me feel better J

Friday 23rd December 2011

I was at work all day…then I went home…so not much to report!

Saturday 24th December 2011 – Christmas Eve

I was at work for 9am and it was a very quiet although amusing day as there were a lot of drunk people about! We got into the Christmas spirit wearing our sparkly Santa hats. I felt so so so homesick today, got a bit teary at lunchtime (but on the way home I had a nice chat with Gemma and that perked me up!) We closed at 6pm and managed to get out for 6.30pm and it was a while to wait for the bus home so I went for a drink with Mark (nice Welsh guy I work with) and Katie (nice Irish girl who works at a travel agents a few doors down) in Tinbilly’s…one of the hostels that always seems a bit rowdy. Then I hot footed it home on the bus and headed straight to the Thai restaurant 2 minutes up the road from our house for a Christmas Eve dinner with Drew, Hannah, Anthon, Phil and Amanda. It was nice to have a nice dinner and few drinks (it was BYO – bring your own – lots of restaurants are here) to wind down for Christmas. Drew, Han, Ants and I then headed back and had a few drinks… (I wrapped, Hannah and Drew Skyped Auntie Heather then we watched the Inbetweeners!)

Sunday 25th December 2011 – Christmas Day

Hannah got us up at 8am and it’s safe to say I was feeling a little worse for wear after the night before (Drew kept making Han and I Vodka and coke… a) I can’t drink Vodka and b) they were coming in pints). We all opened our presents (Hannah had thoughtfully put together a stocking for Drew and I, I got some lovely tops, thank you Han J) and then went over to Maria and Tony’s (Anthony’s parents) to open presents. We all opened our presents (Drew, Han and I were part of a secret Santa with Ant’s brothers and sisters) with Maria playing Santa. I’d bought for Stef and she was very pleased with her gifts, Gianluca bought for Drew (how he got hold of a Scotland shirt so quickly I do not know!), Drew bought for Anthony (some nice Italian shoes) and Anthony bought for me (a facial, massage and foot treatment voucher…so perfect for me!). We also all got a brilliant gift from Maria and Tony…tickets to see ‘Spirit of the Horse’ on the Gold Coast, a story of the outback in Australia! Joe and Josie (Anthony’s grandparents) then came over and gave us a nice soft toy Kangaroo (again so me!) and Australia souvenir hats to remind us of our stay in Australia, love them. We had some breakfast (peanut butter on crumpets is very nice!) then all headed out towards the Gold Coast to Anthony’s Uncle Pep’s house (I had a little sleep in the car on the way J ) where the family were getting together for Christmas dinner. The sun was shining which I was VERY happy about…if I was going to have Christmas away from home I wanted it to be sunny to make it worth it (I got my sunny Christmas!). Pep and his wife Teri live with their sons out in the country in a nice house with loads of land; the boys have dirt bikes and a huge ramp and Teri has horses, two of which had foals AND there is a swimming pool. The really long dinner table was out on the veranda and decorated all Christmassy (felt a little strange in the sunshine). We all (there were about 30 of us) sat down to a nice Christmas dinner of Roast Turkey, Pork and Beef with all the trimmings and various lasagnes, pastas and salads. It was nice! We then spent the afternoon riding the horses (they were so beautiful) and watching the boys on the dirt bikes. There was some nice pudding but I couldn’t manage much of that because I was so full up! We headed back to our house (I had another little sleep on the way back, was nice in the back of the car with the warm breeze) for a quick change then headed out to Anthony’s Uncle Robbie’s for a BBQ Christmas tea. Robbie’s house is amazing and again there was a big long table set up on the veranda…full of people. We had a nice chat with everyone and some BBQ Italian sausage and lovely salads made by Marta (Robbie’s wife). After Hannah and Anthony headed to the Gold Coast for a few days and Drew and I headed back to do some Skyping. It was so nice to watch Mum, Dad and Maff opening their presents on Skype and have a good chat to them as they were going about their Christmas morning, made me feel part of it. Then I Skyped the Hancock’s which was AWESOME (it was the first time I’d ever Skyped Gemma, thank you Lauren Fletcher for taking your laptop round!). I was soooo tired I had to go to bed early.

Monday 26th December 2011 – Boxing Day

I was back at work today for 9am, Drew started a bit later. It was really quiet but got busy at the end which meant I finished a bit late and mine and Caryl’s friend Kara (who we’d met in Australia on our previous travels) was in Brisbane for Christmas so had popped into the city to see me. We had some nice Nachos and a drink then headed home, short but sweet! I had a medical incident in the evening…I’d been bitten by lots of mosquitos the day before and one was just above and behind my left knee. It was really sore and during the day it’d been swelling up more and more and was now burning hot. I hadn’t been too concerned as I usually react to bites quite badly but this was worse than anything I’d had before and I wasn’t sure at what point I needed to worry (I’d already taken some anti-histamine and it’d not touched it). So I did some Googling and all the doctors forums were full of posts about people being concerned about bites that’d swelled to 2 inches in diameter (that was normal for me…this one was 8 inches in diameter) so I thought I’d better ring the Australian version of NHS Direct. They were great and suggested ice and said only needed to worry if I became really breathless so I tried to rest easy.

Tuesday 27th December 2011

By the morning the mosquito bite was down to about 4 inches, phew! I was at work again…the day started off lovely then we had loads of rain, they were some of the hugest drops I’d ever seen but it was strange that I could only see blue sky! I guess the rain cloud was behind a tall building. I got some nice pictures of the sky when I headed home. Drew had made some nice dinner which I ate whilst Skyping Georgina (made me feel like I was right there with her!) and then we headed out to the cinema in Bulimba to watch Mission Impossible (only $7.5 a ticket, about £4). The film was really good, can’t say Drew enjoyed the cinema experience though, there were so so so many random local adverts and everyone was very noisy (talking all the way through) AND we almost saw a fight between two guys!

Wednesday 28th December 2011

I worked 12 – 8.30, highlight for the day was wandering around the shops with Jo and getting some Sushi (standard lunch!). By the time I got home all I was good for was dinner and sleep!

So….that was Christmas in Australia! It was strange and I was VERY homesick, more so than I’ve ever been before. But thank you to Maria, Tony, Josie, Joe and family; it was the best Christmas it could have been whilst being away from home.

Next up…New Years Eve visit to Sydney!

Lots of love.



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