Sunday, 31 December 2017

Christmas and Summer Weather

For the first Christmas in a long time, I was organised early. Sadly, it may just have had something to do with the fact that this year, our table was only for two. 
On Christmas Eve morning my husband suggested we go out for coffee. He chose a cafe at a nursery, in a rural setting. We had driven passed many a time over the years of transporting our boys to soccer/football games. 

We will be returning!

The forecast for a cool Christmas day was not good.The weathermen actually got it right and at 9am we watched the mercury quickly rise to 32C. Even my little snowman couldn't make me feel cool, with the humidity also rising.

By midday, the temperature had reached 38C. The air con was working hard, as I cooked the traditional hot lunch of beef and yorkshire pudding for my English husband. He came to Australia in 1975.

Our very successful flambe of the christmas pudding. The recipe was given to me by one of Frank's Irish aunts, when we visited on our first Christmas together, 37 years ago.

Look what Santa left in the garden.

Just as well it is the holiday season, as this jigsaw has become an obsession to finish.

Day 1 effort.

This week has been the week of thunderstorms, the first hitting about 7 pm Christmas evening and dumping 2 inches / 50mm in just half an hour and rapidly cooling the air. The change didn't stay long.
These photos are of another storm 2 days later, when another inch or 25 mm were dumped in the same time period.

Walking each morning is hot sweaty work, even starting between 5.30 and 6 am. The street walking at this hour is quite pleasant, with little traffic and the latter part of my 8 kms, beside a creek with lovely views across the valley. The marked green trail is for cooler weather, climbing up and walking along a high ridge.

Boxing day.

This creek rarely flows, but is happily gurgling after the storm.

New Year's Eve walk.
Crocus's looking splendid beside the road. I'm sure the rain has had something to do with their abundance in this very rocky ground.

Lots of mushrooms to be seen.

Cheerful pink and yellow alamanda shrubs.

The view of the Albert River and Windaroo Golf Club.

Again, looking across the Albert River, to cattle grazing and the early morning low cloud on the distant Tamborine Mountain.

How Aussie is this view, with our flag and a red flowering eucalyptus?

Our plan for this afternoon was to drive to a lookout, with a view west over Brisbane, to view the final sunset of 2017. Alas, it's summer and the radar heralded another storm approaching. A quiet evening is now being spent at home.

So as 2018 dawns, I wish you a happy, healthy 2018, but more importantly a peaceful world to live in.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Happy Christmas

Well, it seems like the hot and sweaty weather has returned just in time for Christmas Down Under. The forecast at this point is for the hottest Christmas Day in 10 years and the possibility of an evening thunderstorm.
My husband is English and so we always have a hot roast dinner with yorkshire pudding. Yes, and in the middle of the day!

During the past week, I have been carol singing with my theatre choir at 3 different venues, singing of sleigh bells ringing, walking in a winter wonderland and frosty the snowman. The temperature just seems to get hotter as we sing.

Below is our group singing at the Salvation Army carol night. The time is 7pm. It doesn't quite fit the traditional image of carol singers on a Christmas card.


Last night we sang at a retirement village. On the drive home I detoured to visit this amazing Christmas light display. Snow was everywhere, but not the real kind!

Mid-week the hiking girls took ourselves to the city to have a Christmas drink, visit the enchanted Botanical Gardens, watch the Myer parade and the laser show on our city hall. A wonderful evening with the thronging happy crowds creating a Christmasy atmosphere.





So whether you celebrate Christmas Day in the heat or cold, my wish is that your home will be filled with loved ones and your heart with peace and happiness.  

To my regular readers, who I now count as friends, I thank you for your comments and support and for the joy your blogs bring to me, throughout the year.


Happy Christmas to all and only the best of surprises throughout the New Year!

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Sunrise at Dead Mans Flat.

Darling Ben was sleeping in this morning, so I took myself out to watch the sun rise over the range behind us at about 8.45am. The temperature was a mild 2C, most unusual for here at this time of year. The wonderful early snow in November has long melted and the locals are very disappointed. I am over the moon with being with Ben and thrilled with the scenery that surrounds where Stuart and Kim live.

The setting moon.

Looking east through the silver birches.

Southwest, this peak was catching first light.

My point and shoot didn't quite focus on the moon taking a ride down the birch branch.

Clouds catching the sun.

Spot the Canadian flag.

Patience was required but I kept snapping to take memories home. 

I startled these tiny birds resting in the snowless grass but it was to my advantage.     

Forty-five minutes later, the sun appeared. So glad it wasn't a cold morning.

 I loved the scrunching sound of the crisp snow, still lying in the creek bed of the route I took to the Bow River. 

From day 1 of walking here, with Stuart and their Sheeba dog, Gunner, I have been spellbound by the beauty around me. This morning, in the first light, it was magical beyond belief.

Reflection and floating ice.

What a perfect camping spot!

Breakfast and Ben were calling, so I turned around and retraced my steps, delighting again in the sun's rays and the scrunching snow.

So Granny is now in Calgary Airport, waiting for her 5.35pm flight to San Fran and then home. She is sad and happy, as this little man has wrapped his arms around her heart forever.

The joy of being with Ben, Stuart and Kim, was multiplied by the beauty that surrounds where they live, just half an hour from Banff. Feeling truly blessed and glad that Santa's gift came early.