It's Christmas Eve on the hot side of the world

Trip Start Dec 18, 2011
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15
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Trip End Sep 15, 2013


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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Monday, December 24, 2012

It's our first Australian Christmas. The supermarkets play traditional Christmas carols, so it's common to be shopping and singing along to Bing Crosby's "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas." Sometimes that is just too sad to think about. Most people here have never touched snow.
The irony of the traditional carols isn't lost, however. There is a version the kids have learned called "We're Hoping for a Warm, Warm Christmas." There's also a uniquely Australian carol that people spontaneously begin singing:

Six White Boomers

Early on one Christmas Day, a Joey Kangaroo,
Was far from home and lost in a great big zoo.
Mummy, where's my mummy? They've taken her away.
We'll help you find your mummy, son. Hop up on the sleigh.
Up beside the bag of toys little Joey hopped,
But they hadn't gone far when Santa stopped.
Unharnessed all the reindeer and Joey wondered why,
Then he heard a far off booming in the sky.
Six white boomers, snow white boomers,
Racing Santa Claus through the blazing sun.
Six white boomers, snow white boomers,
On his Australian run.

Pretty soon old Santa began to feel the heat,
Took his fur-lined boots off to cool his feet,
Into one popped Joey, feeling quite okay,
While those old man kangaroos kept pulling on the sleigh.
Six white boomers, snow white boomers,
Racing Santa Claus through the blazing sun.
Six white boomers, snow white boomers,
On his Australian run.

Joey said to Santa, Santa, what about the toys?
Aren't you giving some to these girls and boys?
They've got all their presents, son, we were here last night,
This trip is an extra trip, Joey's special flight.
Six white boomers, snow white boomers,
Racing Santa Claus through the blazing sun.
Six white boomers, snow white boomers,
On his Australian run.

Soon the sleigh was flashing past, right over Marble Bar,
Slow down there, cried Santa, it can't be far,
Come up on my lap here, son, and have a look around.
There she is, that's Mummy, bounding up and down.
Six white boomers, snow white boomers,
Racing Santa Claus through the blazing sun.
Six white boomers, snow white boomers,
On his Australian run.

Well that's the bestest Christmas treat that Joey ever had,
Curled up in mother's pouch feeling snug and glad.
The last they saw was Santa heading northwards from the sun,
The only year the boomers worked a double run.
Six white boomers, snow white boomers,
Racing Santa Claus through the blazing sun.
Six white boomers, snow white boomers,
On his Australian run.


Outdoor Christmas decorations are frequently over the top. Neighborhoods become places where all the houses on the street are elaborately decorated. It's very pleasant to stand around outside, eating and drinking with friends, admiring their Christmas lights. The houses are still too hot for a party in the evenings, but once the sun goes down, it's great to be gathered outdoors. Except for the Christmas beetles. At a friend's house last weekend, I thought it had started to rain. It was the kamikaze Christmas beetles, throwing their hard shells onto the driveway under the streetlight. Thousands on their back, legs wiggling. The magpies love them. We like the magpies now that they're not trying to kill us. They eat lots of spiders and other insects from our grass, patio, and around the house.
Today the high temperature was 38C. That's right around 100F. The highs for the past ten days: 30, 38, 22, 29, 31, 37, 24, 30, 35, and today's 38. We're just past the solstice, so the hot months are coming. But, we're past the solstice, so the cooler months are that much closer. Chris used to think my animosity toward the heat was unique--he's since heard how many people who've lived here their entire lives hate the hot months. A New Zealand family we were talking with recently estimated that most people who live here hate the heat. It's the main topic in the shops.On the plus side: The beaches are very nice now. We spent the weekend at Port Macquarie, and while we still prefer Newcastle's beaches, it's nice to experience new areas. The water is cool, but with the hot air, it feels wonderful to be in the water. It's too easy to forget to reapply the sunscreen when we're in the water and don't feel the sunburn. By the time we get out, it's too late. Liam and I need hourly applications. Andy and Chris need more every two hours. It's an Aussie tradition to get fish and chips after spending the day at the beach--and there are so many places with good fish. Andy likes fish, but he also goes for prawn cutlets, calamari rings, or sea shanties. Liam doesn't really like fish, so he sticks with the prawns and calamari. A sea shanty is a crumbed fish cake with peas, carrots, and corn mixed in. It's not a hush puppy. Liam said Port Macquarie was named for Mac of Quarie. We suggested he mention that to his teacher next year at school! Every second geographical feature in Australia is named for Macquarie: a lake, a port, a river, a street in every town large and small, a harbour, a university, a dictionary (right, a dictionary isn't a geographical feature). More on him in a future blog.And, just before leaving you with best wishes for a Merry Christmas and the best year ever in 2013, here are a few of today's real Australian news headlines:
"Fire crews battle blazes across southern Australia" and "High temps, winds test Victorian firefighters." All headlines are from the ABC news (Australian Broadcasting).
"Man injured in pub chainsaw attack."
And my favorite:  "Santa Claus raids Sydney safe." How else could he finance all those gifts?
Merry Christmas to all our friends and family all around the world. We sure do miss you this year!
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Comments

Jenny on

Merry Christmas! What fun it must be to celebrate the same holiday in such different fashion. I understand missing a white Christmas though.
Happy new year too!

Karen on

Enjoyed your pictures Melinda! We were in Rangely and they had over a foot of snow and it was snowing......very merry!!
Paxton is walking!!!! and he will be one already next month.....fast year....Happy New Year...... A very good friend of Delaine's is going to Newcastle he has a girlfriend there!!! ha small world..... Karen :)

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