Monday, 26 December 2016

OUR CHRISTMAS IN AUSTRALIA 2016

SCENES FROM THIS SEASON

"Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead". Oscar Wilde


My blog documents seasonal sights including my garden and local towns as I go about my life, and also some supporting media that appeal to me. I live in a beautiful part of the world, South Gippsland. 

Me:














Daughter:

















CHRISTMAS DAY 2016 in a remote South Gippsland town in 
Victoria, Australia



We went out for our meal after going to church in the searing 

heat. 38 celcius ! (100 f)






Christians going to church on Christmas Day in Aus.



















 It wasn't as hot inside the church, but was still warm, and I fanned myself with a laminated pew sheet. We had donated flowers from our garden and from the florist, those and others  were arranged by church ladies:


 

 

We donated White Christmas Lilies from the terrific local florist:



At the rear of the arrangement are kangaroo paw flowers, native to Australia.
 




 


 


 


Red roses from our garden and onion flowers from our vegetable garden! Not arranged by me.

 


 



It is traditional to put the three wise men in the nativity crib later, on the feast of the epiphany. Here they are still looking for the predicted baby.




A Traditional country Lunch:
We had lunch at a motel /function room. The food was traditional Australian fare. It was a relief to get into the air conditioning, and not to have to cook over
a hot stove. Drinks were welcome, I had a lemon squash and lots of water. Daughter had lemonade and hubby had a lemon/lime bitters. He had a rum and cola too, as he doesn't like wine or beer. Neither of us drink alcohol often. Both of them drank lots of water too. Table setting:

 




The staff were very welcoming and attentive throughout. While we were waiting for the meal , daughter played a Minion game on the iPad and we watched three You tube video clips on the iPad: two from A Christmas Story, the Chinese restaurant one, and the leg lamp one. Then we watched a Mr Bean one, the link is provided later.

There was Christmas music playing.

First course was a choice of prawn cocktail or chicken and cranberry sauce. I had the prawn cocktail which was refreshingly cool and light on such a hot day. The decor is mid 20 th century,  so the dish was appropriate. Warm bread rolls and butter were brought to the table.

The main course buffet was traditional Australian. There was luscious lamb with mint sauce , chicken with gravy, pork with apple sauce, crispy roast potatoes, roast pumpkin, peas, cheesy broccoli with cauliflower, and carrots. One couldn't fault any of it. Hubby went back for seconds. Here is that plate, the pork on it was for daughter, as hubby doesn't eat pork, not for religious reasons, he simply doesn't like it.






Desserts on the buffet were the traditional Christmas pudding (made containing dried fruit) with brandy custard,



 cheesecake, and Pavlova. Pavlova is a dessert you will often find on special occasion menus in Australia, and was named after Anna Pavlova, the ballerina. It's made from sugar and egg whites. It's good to feed a large crowd, and is usually filled with cream and fruits.



At home hubby dragged out the water air cooler from the shed and they watched "A Christmas Carol" while I dozed. Then we watched DVDs of "Little House on The Prairie" from the library. Still hot inside, but outside it was cooling down.

None of us were really hungry at dinner, so he barbecued some eggs from our chooks and ducks,  for sandwiches. They had traditional mince fruit pies, made with dried fruit.

Our two cats, and two dogs had special tinned food including turkey in it.

BOXING DAY:

This is the name of the day after Christmas Day in Australia. Many people go shopping for bargains on that day. It can be bedlam. Some go to sporting events. We stayed home and relaxed. It was hot again, 30 deg c at 10.00 am, but a cool change came through earlier. It rained for a prolonged period.

For dinner we had a meal of leg ham, given to us as a Christmas bonus by Hubby's employers. It is always very good. Hubby doesn't eat it, but daughter and I do enjoy it.  There was also chicken, and salads. Christmas biscuits in the shape of Christmas tree s, given by a neighbour,  and spearmint leaf lollies finished off the meal.

We watched the Dr Who Christmas special, which manages to mix up Dr Who with a superman, unusual!





THE NEXT DAY :
Thank goodness it was not as hot.
The evening meal consisted of turkey breast fillets from the supermarket, barbecued by hubby in foil. There was leg ham too, and BBQ onions, in a sandwich. Afterwards there was traditional Christmas Cake containing dried fruit. This is sold by the Lions Club to benefit not for profit groups they support. There were also Walkers Scottish shortbread biscuits in the shape of Scottie dogs, also luscious cherries.




***Christmas links

Christmas in Australia:

http://www.whychristmas.com/cultures/australia.shtml

Mr bean Christmas:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Se5CBogDuYU

Christmas:
http://www.theholidayspot.com/christmas/worldxmas/australia.htm

John and Yoko, 10 mins but well worth it:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CbKsgaXQy2k


David Bowie and Bing Crosbie : The Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth 1977
2.45 mins:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ADbJLo4x-tk


Faith Hill - Where are you christmas
Christmas Music Videos 54,794 views
4.02 mins:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=P14jxKY3Gy8



Colbie Caillat - Christmas In The Sand
ColbieCaillatVEVO 1,243,763 views

3.52 mins:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YnvzsZCJjZ0

78 comments:

Running on empty said...

Please chat in a friendly fashion.

Badger said...

WOW,, Cath,, I really enjoyed your photo's and the church looks lovely, as you probably remember I am not particularly religious, but I do respect people who finds comfort in there own faith, that's not to say I don't go to church,, I have done and still do on occasions, it is just I find too many illogical statements in the bible, and of course the abuse to women and children from the Catholic church here in Ireland, there are so many investigations going on and I cannot believe that the truth will ever be known.
My day was quite, I cooked the dinner on Christmas day and consisted of Turkey Breast, roast potato's, sweed mixed with carrots and mashed to form a puree', Parsnip, stuffing,cauliflower and Brussel sprouts, followed by Christmas pud and LOTS of custard,,, when I go to a restaurant and have a pudding which includes custard I tell them the pudding has to be covered with custard so that I can't see the pud,, he he he I love custard. She spent the day on the computer, no presents, no good wishes, no thank you's, no card,, nothing, no emotion, no affection, despite me trying to cheer her up I gave her a big lovy card and some nice presents, cooked dinner as I said, it's time to change thing's as I am not happy I have tried everything to no avail, so now once the new year is over I will be applying for a divorce, I've had enough, I can't spend any more time feeling like this so something has to be done.

Running on empty said...

That's ok, Badger, I respect everyone's beliefs. It sounds like you made a wonderful Christmas in your house, you should be proud of yourself. I too love custard! I'm going to be dieting in the New Year, so I guess I won't be having much of it!

It is clear you are doing all you can. 2017 might not be much fun for you, but you are welcome here on my blog anytime, I hope it helps in some small way.

Kathy said...

Hi Cath,
Your blog is beautiful and a wonderful welcome to the New Year. This is short until I can get google to work.

Yarnaholic said...

It was nearly 13-14F and sunny here and most of our snow was gone. Lovely little church. Only thing blooming here was an indoor bouganvilla that decided to drop blooms the afternoon of the 25th. Nice little church. Glad all is well and the chookys are squatting and giving you eggs. Nice little blog too, keep it up.

Running on empty said...

Thankyou, Kathy and Yarnaholic, for your support! Please comment often I will be glad to see you here!

Unknown said...

Hello...

Unknown said...

Sorry, it took me 7 times to figure out how to reply here.
Still not sure what I am doing or how I got in??

Glad to see you have your blog up Cath. Merry Christmas *waving*

Running on empty said...

Well done, Margo, I needed hubby and the kid to help me get in! This is a good site tho, I've been enjoying reading some of the other blogs, there are some good writers here!
Merry Christmas, hope you get well soon, maybe have some chicken soup? ;)

Running on empty said...

Hi!

Kathy said...

It was a nice sunny day here in Mi. We took a ride out to one of the nearby Metro parks to see if we could spot the Bald eagles. Somehow I figured we would be the only ones out in this weather. I was so surprised to see runners and hikers. There was even one guy ice fishing on the lake. It didn't look safe to me but then again I have no desire to walk on an icy lake when I can see cracks in the ice. It was a nice adventure but no eagles today. From whatnInunderstand they live there and you can hike in to an observation area. Maybe next time. I took some pictures but I have no idea how to see how they turned out...lol. Next project is to figure out how to get them off the memeory card. My idea of a camera is the one on my phone. Easy peasy...

All the food you posted, Cath, made me hungry. It is hard to imagine such hot weather at Christmas since everyone here wishes for snow. One day of snow, fine...I am ready for spring...

I was looking on the map near you and there are a lot of plantations. Are those just names for tracts of land or do they grow something? It seems there used to be quite a few squabbles over the lands in the past. I had looked up the Jack Plantation. We have/had plantations here in the South so I wondered if they were similar.
Maybe you will post some pictures of your pets including the chooks?

Running on empty said...

Hi, Kathy, yes it's amazing that it's such different weather here to where you are! It's already v warm today at 9.30 am! It's shaping up to be thunderstorms and flash flooding across the state.
l think it's great you are taking nature photographs.
If you are using a tripod to avoid camera shake, a nature photo blown up on the wall can be the basis of a room redecoration, or you can sell them as cards, or images online, etc.
There are mostly pine plantations, there's a local timber industry, also one mill is growing hardwood too. It's always a shock when you go through an area and they have harvested the timber. It looks like a scar on the hill. You think, oh dear, at least it was not old growth timber. We have forests of that too. That's where the native animals and birds are.
Posting our pets and chooks is a good idea, I will get the kid onto those photos soon as she is on holidays (vacation from school.)

Kathy said...

I don't know if this will go thru so it is a test

Running on empty said...

I can see the comment.

Kathy said...

Okay it worked. I am not familiar with how google works so if this is a little crazy please bear with me.
I guess I can sign in and out as needed. I am not sure if I am seeing all the posts as the last one I see is yours (Cath) talking about the plantations. The follow button wants to use my full name which I prefer not to do, at least at this point. Google has a two step sign in for security. That was recommended. It has to send my phone a text every time I sign in. It's a nuisance but necessary.
Gloomy day here in Mi...I am thinking of going to casino but will have to ignore stares from hubby...he hates when I go...oh well...such is life.

Running on empty said...

I'm glad to see the follow button is working for someone.

Yes, that was my last comment until I said I could see your comment, so no worries there! I'm working on a new blog post too.

Life is a gamble, isn't it?

Kathy said...

Life is a crap shoot sometimes....you can be on top and lose it all in one shot...

Running on empty said...

I have never lost it all at once. I've sustained some very heavy losses, but thank God there were always some people around to help me regroup and start again.

One thing I have learned is you can't predict what will happen. When my first hubby was diagnosed with a fatal illness we were planning a transfer to live in Singapore for his job. It wasn't to be.

JudyGDesigns said...

This blog is lovely, Cath. Thank you for inviting me into it.

We had beautiful (for Dec on Cape Cod) weather in the morning, so we decided to take a walk along the ocean. By the time we arrived home, the temperature had dropped around 20 degrees and we were freezing.

I cooked a ham in the crock-pot, as I have done many times, and it was so awful. Like old shoe leather. I changed nothing in the recipe, so I can’t imagine why it happened. So, we had left overs from Christmas Eve.

We do the Italian 7 fishes…even though we are not Italian. But, here we are right next to the cold Atlantic, which provides us lucky souls with lobster, fresh clams, shrimp, and scallops. Layer with spinach, parsley, basil, thyme, a touch of fresh garlic, two cans of whole tomatoes with juice, two cups of white wine, cover and simmer for 45 minutes. It is fantastic.

Is it okay to share recipes here?

Unknown said...

OK Miss Catherine, it looks like I was able to follow you.

LOL Judy, ham leather,,, YUM

Running on empty said...

Welcome Judy, I'm glad you could drop by, please be a frequent visitor!

Running on empty said...

The cursor disappeared, had to start a new comment. A brisk walk is a great way to clear the mind in winter, isn't it?
I haven't cooked ham in the crockpot, but I used to cook lightly pickled pork in it according to Mum's recipe, mislaid in one of our frequent moves over the years. Mum is now deceased so I can't ask her, but I guess it would be available online.
Of course it's ok to share recipes here, just comment after my latest post, no worries. Baked Italian recipes like that are delicious, and cooking in the oven gives you a chance to chat with the diners.

Margo, you would be a follower in name only, I'm sure you will lead me a merry dance...

Unknown said...

Well, this is going to be one clumsy dance because I do not get notifications?? I checked the box??

I may have to be a wall flower;)

Unknown said...

cha cha cha

Running on empty said...

Try ticking the little box after the comment, that says "notify me"

Running on empty said...

I like your avatar, Margo.

Unknown said...

Why I thought you would;)

Unknown said...

I have tried that madam :/

Running on empty said...

Sorry to hear that's not working either. I can google search the problem.

Kathy said...

Sounds delicious Judy...

Kathy said...

I am following and I checked the Notify me...so we will see how it goes...no,luck at the casino but we had fun. It was crowded. A lot of people on Christmas Holiday out and about.

Running on empty said...

Hi, Kathy, I'm glad you're following!
Sorry you didn't win anything! Did you get a meal there? We too have a lot of strangers in town as we are not far from the coast, and lots of tourists stay in town. The bread has been running out as usual in the shops.

Unknown said...

So, tell us about this bread that the tourists have depleted the supply of?

Kathy said...

Yes, please do tell us why they bought all the bread...probably picnic sandwiches.
I went to the outlet mall today and met my daughter for lunch...lots of traffic...big accident on way..long story short...I stopped on way home for bread...guess? No bread....lol. I thought of you when I saw that. What is it with bread! Is it in short supply or something?
Is it still flooding there? What about those little koala bears?

Running on empty said...

It's not loading my replies...
Ok, I signed in. Yes, they must be making sandwiches and toast. It happens every school holidays (vacation time).

This is a first, I don't think anyone has thought of me when they thought of bread before, lol. Maybe because I'm not the breadwinner, boom boom.

I like a good outlet mall. Do they have sizes for real women there?

It's not raining today , or most of yesterday, so the koalas should be safe, around here at least.

Running on empty said...

I'm eating raffaello chocolates (white) as I don't have long before I start dieting! Haven't drunk any grog, but we had a good time anyway, going to a rural cricket ground where they have a really good fireworks display.

We had a lot of non diet foods and soft drinks, and were joined by several older ladies, so I was glad I brought extra cakes and got them cups of tea.

I videoed the fireworks but don't know how to load that on here yet. Today it wouldn't even load the photos for my next post :(

Unknown said...

Happy New Year Cath and fellow bloggers *waving*
Kathy, nice to see you here. Perhaps we can smoke the New Years Peace Pipe, lol, what do you say?
Yes, the dieting will commence for me too, beginning the stroke of midnight tonight. A 4 month detox, lol.
Bread- I love bread- and it is the hardest for me to give up for the diet, but, 4 months is such a short time,so I shall;)
Tonight I will indulge and tomorrow I will face cabbage soup...

Running on empty said...

Hmm, this competition could be tougher than I thought. Margo, it's after 1.00 am here, start with the cabbage, loll!

Kathy said...

Happy New Year All,


I always forget you are a day ahead in Au when it comes to the holidays.

Hi Margo, no problems here...

It sounds as if you ladies are starting the New Year's Day with diets. I am hoping to lose some pounds also, but I refuse to make it a NY resolution as I never keep them so I would be jinxed before I start. However, exercise and no donuts and sweets are in my future. Ugh! The first three day are always the worst for me so I cut myself a little slack those days. Are you ladies going to stick to certain calorie count or another type of diet? Maybe there is an easy diet? I always have to count calories and write down everything and add them up or I cheat...not fun...good luck to everyone.

There is a donut left from yesterday so I will start by throwing it away I am going to make my spinach smoothie for breakfast doctored up with flax seed, pineapple, ginger & protein powder.

Happy New Year and Best of luck for the New Year!

Unknown said...

Kathy-I too count calories and write down what I eat. No pain-no gain ;)... embrace the short time suffering.
No thanks to a spinach smoothie;(

No Cath, I will finish out my NY Eve with a nice meal tonight. Maybe a Bone-in Rib Eye with a Greek Salad. My version of the last supper, lol. Well, let's hope not...


Running on empty said...

We will eat lots of "lean cuisine" type meals, salads, fruits and meal replacement shakes, plus exercise, that usually works for us. I forget to eat when I'm working productively, too, if I'm functioning well with my writing. Taking my writing to the town library, which is away from the kitchen, and shops, helps me too.

I find it good not to bring biscuits and cakes into the house, so if the child wants them, I buy her individual portions from the bakery.

Kathy said...

Sounds like you guys have a plan....btw...spinach smoothies don't taste like spinach...lol...they are actually good..

Running on empty said...

Since spinach is good for my anaemia, I will have to try that.

Lol, some comedians on tv last night were describing an alcoholic reddish pink drink, maybe a daiquiri? They said it looked like a flamingo had been through a blender into a smoothie...we came home after the 9.30 fireworks last night and relaxed in front of the tv.

Kathy said...

The neat thing about a smoothie is you can sneak in some other nutrients and not even notice them. I never buy the ones in the store but I do add kefir to it sometimes. I don't know if I could drink kefir by itself though.

Running on empty said...

Looks like I have alot to learn. I will have to start with buying a smoothie machine.

Unknown said...

Looks like I have a lot to learn. I will start by Googling Kefir;))

Fizzfan said...

Just testing and checking in....Hi everyone, (if it works?!)

Fizzfan said...

We have lift off. So Christmas hi lights were a bit thin on the ground as Father In Law is very unwell so couldn't have our usual quiz so was all a bit subdued.
Had my customary mind melt and served up an extra plate of food for no one as forgot Hubbys mate had decided not to come at the last minute. Marvellous.
However, all was saved by the arrival of a mystery package for Hubby that turned out to be a self administering enema kit from the NHS for his forth coming bowel examination. Marvellous!!! TMI? Anyway we all laughed, and don't worry, it's only a routine optional add on once you get to a certain age type thing he'd signed up for.
Anyway, glad to see everyone's OK and altho I won't be dieting I do intend to factor more exercise into my life this year. Defo makes you feel better.

Running on empty said...

Lol

Running on empty said...

Hi Fizz, welcome to SFTS!!!!

Running on empty said...

Your talk about enemas is good, it's stopping me wanting food! That's good, as I fell off the wagon already today. :( My excuse is that hubby waved cakes in my face!
I bought the meal replacement powder today, for breakfasts.

Running on empty said...

On New Years Day this evening we attended the theatre to see a movie made in NZ called "Hunt for the Wilderpeople". I highly recommend it. It has Sam Neill, lively scenery, drama, pathos and lots of quirky humour. After that we shopped and rang our respective father's for New Year.

Running on empty said...

Stupid autocorrect, that was lovely scenery, and fathers, not father's.

Kathy said...

Hi all,
First day of diet is always a challenge...maybe cut yourself some slack for a couple days. It takes a while to eliminate the sugar. Those first few days are a bear. Sunday my husband always makes big breakfast...I call it a "heart attack on a plate". I just ate a tiny bit today..one egg and a little potatoes.
The kefir is a yogurt type drink. A lot of people love it. You can buy it in the dairy area. I just add some of the strawberry flavored one to smoothies instead of yogurt.
We watched the movie Snowden...I now have tape over the camera on my iPad...lol.
Today we will watch the rest of the Hungergame series....my choice would be comedy but I am in the minority here...men...
It's a nice sunny day here in Mi...but it's really cold.
Have a great day everyone...365 new days...hopefully.

Fizzfan said...

You've got me at it now ladies. Just made a HUGE pan of veg n chicken n pasta soup and I have to say it's flippin lovely. Will be taking it to work for lunch this week, if any is left after the men have finished sampling it :)

JudyGDesigns said...

Happy New Year, all.

We had a great evening. Our favorite restaurant takes reservations and we all like to sit at the bar. All twelve seats were ours. Mixed bag of people, but we are all like Kevin Bacon, 7 degrees of separation. The bartenders are terrific; we order off the menu; and we get separate checks. Works out for the best, as some have a drink (or two); some don’t drink at all; and some, like my husband have huge appetites and order desert to top it off.

Speaking of diets…that man can eat you out of house and home, yet weighs exactly the same as he did when he graduated from college. GRRRRRRRrrrr:
He is out for a run right now, while I sit here and chat with you. Losing weight couldn’t have anything to do with exercise could it? No….I think that is just a myth.

I do love that cabbage soup. Anything cabbage works for me.

Kathy said...

Yum....I need a cook..

Unknown said...

Good morning flower people;)

Cath- step away from the cakes!!!

Kathy- I read up on the kefir but sounded gaggy. I guess the way to go would be hiding it in a smoothie;)

I love cabbage, and brussel sprouts Judy! I think I will be having some Brussel Sprouts today along withe some squash and chicken. Funny when you are dieting ALL you think about is food, lol...

Running on empty said...

I do find that exercise makes the difference for me. But of course one needs both diet and exercise. Vertical, horizontal...

Running on empty said...

Me too, and cleaner, gardener...

Running on empty said...

I sometimes wonder about that camera, then I think, paranoid, will have to see that movie.
We've had a cold change, nothing like you though.

Running on empty said...

I can only run a little way. Last time was tickling my hubby in front of our house. I only made it a short distance.

Unknown said...

Thank you for the visual lol lol

Running on empty said...

I can give a recipe but I don't want my blog banned!

Running on empty said...

Hello, Ken!!!

Fizzfan said...

So Cath, why did you only make it a short distance when you were tickling your husband in front of your house? Were you arrested?

Running on empty said...

Hi, Fizzy! I get chest pain. I'm hoping dieting will help that a bit. I have always tickled him, as I like making him laugh, also the kids. To respect their ownership of their bodies I taught them to say "stop tickle finger" when they had enough.

Unknown said...

Hi everyone! Happy new year. Thanks Cath, Doing ok just took a little break from Houzz for awhile.
Ken

Running on empty said...

I'm so glad to see ya Ken! Hope you had a Merry Christmas, did you see your girl?

Running on empty said...

Yes! Do share recipes, whatever you like!

Running on empty said...

Ok, friends and interested people, please comment under the new post above, to save scrolling.

Kathy said...

I enjoyed the new addition to the blog but after it ends it says "no comments" and won't let me comment if I click on it. Maybe someone else will have luck. It's so nice to see flowers. It will be a long time before they come back here, although my cabbage flowers are still alive even after all this snow and freezing weather. I am totally surprised about that because I never had them before. Next year I will plant some in the fall so I will have some flowers from my window instead of a bunch of bare looking dirt.

Running on empty said...

They are not opening for me either! Geepers, and this was supposed to be the most user friendly site for a beginner blogger!
I will have to wake up my teen before noon...

Running on empty said...



Hi, everyone, my daughter fixed up the comments on the new blog post up above, so let's move the chat up there, thanks all!

Anonymous said...

I really loved reading your blog. I also found
your posts very interesting. In fact after reading, I had to go show it to my
friend and he ejoyed it as well!

Happy Veterans Day Meme 2018
veterans day meme

Running on empty said...

Thankyou for the feedback, I appreciate the American veterans who helped protect our country too. There is a close relationship between our two countries because of it. Both you and your friend are welcome on the blog, Thankyou for sharing.

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