Friday, December 25, 2015

'Tis the 25th!

A few Christmas images on this Christmas Day. As I have said, this day has some historical importance but for me no religious importance. It is a family day. While I am at work, my family is enjoying Christmas Day dinner (lunch), this year hosted by ABI Brother. Increasingly decrepit Mother has organised tables by Tradie Brother, provided table cloths and told her ABI son to put his air con on early so that his house in cool for Christmas dinner. It will be a barely organised bunfight but no one will leave hungry. While in one way I am pleased to miss the chaos, in another I hate missing the family Christmas gathering. I cast my mind back to 1979 when I joined my employment and remember that words were said to me, 'you may have to work unsociable hours at times'. Over the years it has proved to be thus. I am compensated with penalty rates, but what price do you put on missing family Christmas gatherings. Maybe someone will save me a roast spud.

R iced the cake very well, marzipan then white icing. I hope it tastes as good as it looks, not that I eat icing.


Telstra has finally opened its renovated store. I have yet to look inside. As you can see, the verse is a tempter to get your inside. It says,
A week before Christmas
Excitement was looming
Santa was pumped
And keen to go zooming
He'd sourced all the presents 
And assembled the team
So he bolted for home
With a full head of steam.


A hand made card from Sister, Bone Doctor and Little Jo. I don't think any of their hands did the making. They are real buttons.


A card from one of R's sisters. It makes me feel young to be referred to as boyfriend.


Mother places great store on the words on or in a card, so we have to always be sure to get a card with the right words when we buy for her. She herself makes a great effort.


She is large fiery red haired and to quote her, 'dangerous at times' but what a gorgeous home made card she sent us. I wonder after a decent interval, I can pawn the pearls?


City Square.


Our tree at night.

In the daylight. Another of R's sisters sent the floor tree surround. She makes them and sells them for £40. There is quite a bit of work in it but I am not sure I like it that much. I should have taken a close up to show the finer work and the sparkly bits.


Degraves Street subway.


QV shopping centre square.


We should have a little Christmas music to conclude. How about an Aussie Christmas carol? I am not sure which to use. I rather like this staff performed acappella Carol of the Birds, filmed at the ABC's Ultimo centre in Sydney, but to really hear the words and read them as well, maybe the second one will please you more.







Seasons greetings to you all. (I deleted the Merry Christmas and anti Happy Holidays rant)

37 comments:

  1. Seasons Greetings Andrew.

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    1. Most kind CM. Hope you had a day off from the farm. No, there is never a day off, is there.

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  2. The cake is fantastic. The bird song is fantastic. Merry Christmas..

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    1. Thanks Gosia. I guess you have your big meal on Christmas Eve?

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  3. Sorry to hear you are working. Tis almost Christmas day here and I am off to bed as I need to be up early to get started on the food as all the family are coming here for lunch. Hope they save you some of the leftovers. Best wishes to you both.

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    1. There were some very nice leftovers Marie and far too much meat for one with vegetarian thoughts. With all respect, aren't you of an age to hand over Christmas dinner to the next generation?

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  4. Seasons Greetings to you.
    I am the only one awake here so my Christmas has been delayed.
    Love the Carol of the Birds and am most impressed with your cards - particularly the hand made beauties.

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    1. Thank you EC. We can't save every card we have ever received but we do save the special ones, and handmade of course.

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  5. Andrew, I would often work unsocial hours in my previous job. They gave us a choice... either work Boxing Day or New Years Day. I always chose the latter and acted a right misery all day. But then that's the price of working in retail. Someone's got to man the shops.
    Strange you mentioning air con and Christmas day. Not two phrases I would ever put together, even though it is unseasonably mild here.
    Its the folks up in Cumbria I pity who are facing yet more flooding tonight. They've even called out the Army.
    Have a good day anyway. D.

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    1. DeeJohn, I did see a little about the latest floods. Too cruel in the same place. When I was young I would have chosen to work Boxing Day. Now, I would chose NY day, after probably having had a good night's sleep.

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  6. I remember lining up to see the Myer Christmas window display when we were in Melbourne. On a whim I almost convinced the boy to do a reprise trip. I lost him when my justification was because I thought the West Indies team would need all the moral support they could get at the Boxind Day Test because I am afraid the crowds will stay away.

    Great selection of pics Andrew. I look forward to hearing the post-gathering wrap. Enjoy!

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    1. Carol, maybe next year there will be a more worthy team, although would it not be delightful to see an 'upset' this year. The queue for Myer's window this year reached almost back to Swanston Street and the queue for the gingerbread display at the town hall, about half that but that is very long.

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    2. I remember queues for John Martins window displays, but that store closed long ago, this year the only queues I've seen were in the Post Office and a really long line in Dymocks book store, but they kept it moving pretty quickly and I was in and out of there in less than twenty minutes, that includes book selection time.

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  7. Bloody Telstra and their bloody shop can nick right off and when they get there they can nick off some more.

    Top points for the R cake no doubt about it, the card from Fiery Dangerous Woman is beautiful; the one from sis-of-R I guess she picked to show you that card companies are totally With It; your rainbow tree is divine, the holder is a great idea and worth the €.

    Clever Carol to rebrand her desired Myer Windows trip as a cricket trip.
    DeeJohn: there are 20 posh poms sweltering at 37 degrees Celsius in my tiny town right now, come to visit daughter who married into The Western District Squattocracy. They will survive the heat I suppose, thinking it is just like India or Morocco but the Christmas overlay must be weird.

    Andrew: all the people who have to get to their families bless the workers who help. Wishing The Highrise a perfect Christmas Night.

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    1. Now Annie dear, don't be too cynical. R's sister who sent that card is just lovely and she would have chosen it just to please us. Unfortunately she is very fond of vodka but who am I to criticise.

      Ah, so another Pom making good with a suitable Australian marriage.

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  8. That song is just beautiful. I've never heard it before; I must look into Aussie Christmas songs for next year. I hope the missed lunch went successfully and they saved you at least a plateful of food, plus cake.
    The city decorations are nice, I like the tree surround from R's sister too, very pretty.

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    1. River, I am surprised you have not heard the song. Do some searching for a really good version. I will take a closer photo of the tree surround. I have just eaten pate and cheese on biscuits, smoked ham, cold roast lamb and a big bit of chicken. Saving the plum pudding for another day.

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  9. Of course Mother places great store on the words in a card! What's the matter with you? Don't you know Hallmark spends hours sweating over these touching little sentiments? And lovingly too!
    And oh my golly, the good ol' ABC, how predictable: bleeding hearts with investment portfolios (and what the f---- does orana mean)? Icing is the best part of a cake, a cake without icing is like a sheila without titties. Rupert knows that, and Rupert is never wrong.
    Well if I may say, your blog with all its train trips, various wanderings, etc, is one of the most interesting I've read, a sweeping and in-depth chronicle of this city. In my experience gays are an extremely curious lot and this just goes to confirm it. And so regards to you and all your gang, and to R, who appears as faithful and long-suffering. Wishing you well.

    -Robert.

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    1. Thank you Robert......I think. What does Orana mean? I did google it and while it is widely used, I am none the wiser.

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    2. Orana is an Aboriginal word from the Wiradjuri area and means welcome.
      It is also a traditional Tahitian greeting meaning hello.

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  10. I am sorry you had to work and miss the family dinner. The cake is beautiful and those cards, exquisite. I'd never heard the Carol of the Birds and I like it. Good tidings to you and a good year be the next.

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    1. Strayer, you are brilliant. I had forgotten Good Tidings. What a perfect expression for Christmas so as not to offend anyone.

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  11. R did a great job with the cake... very professional! Those hand made cards are lovely. I wish that I was more "crafty". Best wishes to the both of you.

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    1. Craig, note R made the cake under my guidance. We both have a cooking instinct but I seldom use mine and R is the artistic/crafty one.

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  12. Like the display of Degraves subway! Taint of no rant, I hope you had a Merry Christmas1 Mine still has to come after the night, but you are far ahead of us ...

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    1. Hello Jeanette. Yes, Christmas is done and dusted here and all went well, even if I was not there. By now you must be into it. Hope it is happening well for you.

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  13. Anonymous10:34 pm

    Re Telstra's Santa verse....Sorry to have to tell you but he has been arrested for illegally entering the country without a valid visa, and is being held in detention at Christmas island pending deportation to the North pole. An investigation of his background have revealed characteristics likely to cause social unrest. His eight reindeer have been impounded and will be deported for quarantine violations.

    And in a news flash from Bethlehem, three Wise Men have been arrested and charged with smuggling gold, frankincense and myrrh. Meanwhile, a baby born in a manger has been taken into protective custody as his mother has been unable to provide suitable accommodation. police say the whereabouts of the father, who has failed to make numerous child support payments, is unknown. Merry Christmas 2015. - Ian

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    1. with your permission, I'll copy this and send it to several people who would love to read it.

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    2. Thanks Ian. Very amusing. I am sure Ian won't mind, River.

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    3. Anonymous6:10 am

      Not at all. Glad you enjoyed it. - Ian

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  14. Gays are extremely curious about the world: people and places. That's what I meant.

    You probably know that's what I meant, but one has to make sure.

    -Robert.

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  15. Andrew, If I thought you were the pearl type I could have sent you a lovely pierced earring.
    RH is right the best bit of the cake is the icing but not if you bake 7 cakes in one year as I did. I couldn't do it now, not with the Health and Safety kitchen rules. I always swore that the amount of booze in my cakes would kill any germ and the most hygienic thing I did was sweep the dog fur off the icing.

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    1. Icing is too sweet for my bitter mouth, Jah Teh. Please, do send lots of jewellery for me to pawn.

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  16. Merry happy days gorgeous. Cards are a rare thing these days, not many people send them now.

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    1. Cheers Fen, and best wishes to you. Yes, we don't receive as many cards now. Ex Sis in Law and her three never send cards, but we still send them to them.

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  17. Merry Christmas to you! ;)

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