It never rains in Australia..... right?

Trip Start Apr 14, 2010
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43
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Trip End Apr 16, 2011


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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Wednesday, December 22, 2010

So after 9 months of fairly constant moving around and 1 or 2 nights per location we finally arrived in Brisbane looking forward to spending a week around Christmas and having a well deserved break from our hectic schedule chilling out with our friends & family. After a night in Brisbane itself with friends Tom & Corinne we headed down to the hinterland behind the Gold Coast to our friend's Phil & Fi Abery to fulfil a long-standing engagement to spend Christmas 2010 chez Les Aberys.

Since their rash promise to put us up they had emigrated to Australia, got married, bought a piece of land to build a house on and even had a baby.  Not deterred we were holding them to the agreement, even if it meant camping out on the foundations with the baby in the tent but being the hugely organised people that they are the house, complete with an entire floor for our use, was ready and waiting for us, as was their beautifully behaved and smiley 10 month old baby, Callum.  He really is a seriously cute baby (despite having prodigious pooing abilities) and Sarah spent the week trying to work out how many clothes she’d have to throw out to fit him in her rucksack.  The house is also utterly gorgeous, with views over the hills, lakes and down to the sea and the lights of Surfer’s Paradise and left us wondering why we live in a shoebox in London.  There was even a washing machine that wasn’t coin operated - paradise.

Happily, baby Callum’s namesake, Gordon’s brother Callum (now known as Big Callum), his wife Ree, and our gorgeous & precocious nearly 2 year-old niece Elsie were all out on the Gold Coast for Christmas as well and it was wonderful to get to spend quality time with them throughout the period. Unfortunately, the 10 year drought that had been affecting Queensland last time we were here had broken in spectacular style and much of Christmas week there was torrential rain and, up in the mountains, fog.  We were lucky to have left before the real floods started and watched with horror the images on the news over the next few weeks of the Queensland floods.

Our first 'hot’ Christmas Day therefore wasn’t exactly hot but pretty drizzly, but that didn’t stop us having a Aussie style Christmas feast with oysters, "bugs" (lobster-like things) and prawns with Fi’s family down on the coast. After lunch we went over to Ree’s family beach house in Palm Beach and to spend the afternoon with everyone chilling out.  Being British (and with the Ashes going remarkably well) it was also necessary to have a cricket game on the beach in the rain with the whole (male) family.

Overall, despite the rain it was wonderful to put our feet up for a week, chill out at Phil & Fi’s or in Ree’s family beach house in Palm Beach, spend time eating and drinking and playing Wii (including “just dance” which had been diplomatically nicked from Fi’s 4 year old niece) and eating and drinking and playing Pictionary and drinking and playing Australian 1990’s Trivial Pursuit and eating and drinking. Fabulous!  And to top it all off there was the Boxing Day test on TV in the background – which we aren’t allowed to discuss in front of the Aussies.

All too soon for our liking, it was time to bid adieu to everyone head off to the airport and over to Sydney for New Year’s Eve leaving Phil & Fi to some peace and quiet and a seriously depleted wine cupboard. Thanks again guys for being such wonderful hosts and taking us in for Christmas, we had an absolute blast and hopefully we can return the favour someday!
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Comments

Hilary, Alex and Iain on

Merry Christmas to you all from a freezing, though sunny UK.

Claire on

Merry Christmas!!! Missing you lots but can't wait to see you in April. In the meantime I'll get on with eating your share of the mince pies...
Lots of love,
Beardlet xxx

catriona on

love the pic!
merry christmas & happy new year xx

philfi plus baby c on

BEST GUESTS EVER!!!!!!!
for anyone who is yet to have the nomads in their house, be sure to stipulate that you receive gordon's double cooked spinach and fetta savoury pancakes as recompense for washing all their clothes. and you would be wise to partner sarah for pictionary - she is either psychic or an artistic prodigy!!!!

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