Wednesday, 27 December 2006

Christmas Boom

As you all know I hate culler and excess material possessions, but I have one weakness: Christmas Tree Decorations.

Back in 2001 when I was very homesick in the UK I took a trip to New York City to raise my spirits. I don’t even remember where the shop was, but I can remember its exact layout. Huge green and white Christmas trees filled its interior and the walls were covered in decorations of every colour and design. I was reminded of Mum’s story of her friends who collected unique decorations on their travels, the joy being the unwrapping of these specialties every year and the subsequent memories they created.

So I stood there, in this magical store surrounded by style options: Traditional red, green and gold? Brightly coloured baubles in every colour of the rainbow? A modern twist in purples and aqua highlighted by silver? Trees in all white or all gold?

I decided for an Australian Christmas in the heat of summer that the traditional look was too heavy. The others too modern. But one tree, twice my size stood out. It was green with white and crystal decorations accented with blue, this tree looked like it had been caught in an ice storm and I knew it would be perfect for an Aussie Summer with its Christmas day barbeques and midday swims.

So I bought two white sand blasted reindeer, one bauble intricately decorated with blue and silver glitter and for good luck and memories a shiny red apple with NY 2001 painted in gold.

Over the years I have collected special decorations on my travels and from my dear friends, I would guess I have about 30 pieces now. But they’re all in storage at Bunnyconnellen, so Barry bought me some for the tree this year.

As you can see from the photos I found some pretty crazy designs. The ‘African’ baubles I came across in a Officeworks warehouse when we were shopping for stationary and the handmade Blue Star with Pompoms we found in the Somerset West Outdoor Christmas Markets.


Is it a zebra or is it a leopard?

Our baby Christmas Boom

Now that's what I call a STAR!

Just as a post note. I had one of the best Christmases ever! I believe the trick is to have a Christmas eve dinner and a Christmas lunch - I know, so greedy. :)

Thank you for the phone calls, it was very special to hear about all your days plans and the family news. Sammie, it was just fabulous to sit back and hear all your stories; horse riding, sailing, hiking and mud baths.

Mum, PJ, Tobs, Bar and Sarah - enjoy Straddie. I'll be thinking of you from the hot African bush.

Photos from Christmas day and Suncity will be posted in the New Year after the 8th of Jan.

All my love xoxo

Thursday, 7 December 2006

Camping out in deep Africa...

Driving through the creek in the Bakkie.... scary stuff!

Okay, so the creek has a road next to it...

The main campsite.

The kids (ie. Us, Tara & Charles and Justin & Sandra) had to take another site.

All smiles; B, Aunty Line and Tara.

We stopped for a snack at a Servo and look who overtook us!

Getting the group ready for the pre-walk photo. You can see the main camp site and braai area in the background.

Ps. I was given an early Christmas present from AA and Uncle Paul: my own camping chair - sweet.

Wednesday, 6 December 2006

Camping in Algeria

Ready to Hike to the Waterfall (pictures of waterfall will be uploaded later)

We packed the trusty bakkie (4x4) on Thursday evening. Dusting off our equipment, charging the lantern, filling the cooler box (esky) and discovering a half eaten cheesecake in our picnic hamper from a Valentine’s picnic 2 years ago – thank goodness for preservatives: it didn’t have a speck of mold on it.

On Friday left work at the reasonable house of 12.30pm heading north for 2 hours passing through the country town of Malmesburg. We watched the landscape dry out as we crossed the Swartland (black land) taking its name from the burnt out maize and mille (corn) fields following harvest. Ascending the mountains 600 meters and entering the Citrusdale region, famous for its citrus and rooibos tea groves, is our favourite part of the trip. We then drive parallel to a creek bed with white sandy sides, who’s source is the waterfall we hike to at the camp site. Then turn right and pass lagoons filled with waterbloomtjies (flowers) where ostrich gather to drink and where I’m sure I spotted hippos wallowing under the water.

Our Camp (unpacking - thus the messy tent cover)

Laughs with Aunty Line and Uncle Paul

Okay, must go into Cape Town now... will post more photos when I return.