Ooooh, it's been a hard few days...all this eating, drinking and having fun. But...someone's got to do it.
On Christmas Eve, Jane, Fred and the boys, Ken and I went to Fred's mum's place. Sylvia is Dutch and, of course, like most Europeans, has Christmas on 24th. All the family were there, brothers, sisters, aunts, cousins, grandkids and one great grandkid, along with their various partners.
Sylvia's grandsons had done up the outside games room with Christmas decorations, lights and an enormous Christmas tree under which were enough presents for six families. (Actually, there were probably six families there). We had some nibbles, a drink and chatted. Just before dinner was called, it started to rain...and it rained and rained. The noise was deafening; outside it looked like a river running past. Just when we thought it couldn't get any heavier or noiser, it did. This went on for about 20 minutes, then stopped as suddenly as it started. There was no thunder or lightning, just rain. Now Sylvia lives about 10 km away from us...and it was as dry as a bone when we arrived home. Not a drop had fallen. Yet, when the kids had a look at the rain gauge, in that short space of time at Sylvia's 80 mm had fallen.
There was a lot of scurrying around moving the gifts as the water started to creep in and brooms were wielded pushing the water out the door. The food had to be moved and all in all, it was quite exciting. Sylvia started to panic but all was well in the end, nothing got ruined and we went on to have a great evening.
Now I have to tell you about Sylvia's punch. She asked me if I'd tried it. I said, no, so off she trotted to get me a glass. My God, when Sylvia placed the glass of punch in front of me, I nearly had a fit. It was almost black in colour. I imagined punch to be made of fruit juice with a bottle of white rum or vodka thrown in. This had five bottles of port. However, she'd cut it down a bit...last year, the punch had seven bottles of port. Well, I had a couple of sips...very small ones, I might add, and boy that stuff was going to knock me for six if I kept going. It was also very sweet and I'm more of a dry wine drinker. So, I just left the rest...a bit too much for me, it was.
Dinner was beautiful and there was plenty of it. Prawns, oysters, mussels, smoked salmon, pickled herrings, salads galore, plus roast lamb, chicken and beef. (Do you get the impression we like seafood in Australia?) After all that, the presents were passed out and opened, then the three youngest grandchildren led us in Christmas Carols. By that time, our dinner had settled and dessert was served.
I finally arrived home at 12.30 am and slept like a log. The next day was spent preparing for Christmas dinner. However, Roger and Wendy, our neighbours down the back came over in the morning for coffee and we swapped gifts and chatted before getting on with things. We had Christmas dinner around 6 pm as Jane's brother, Roger, was working until about 4 pm and we didn't want to have dinner without him.
Jane had a bottle of Asti Riccadonna which we had with pureed mango as champagne cocktails. They were too easy to drink...ohhh, they were delicious. But Jane and I realised that this could have drastic consequences if we drank too many, so after a couple, we stopped. However, that didn't stop the guys...still, that was their problem, not ours.
On Boxing Day, not a lot was done...apart from reading a good book...and dinner that night was left-overs from Christmas Day, and they were just as nice.
So that was our Christmas. I hope yours was just as enjoyable and that you all had a wonderful time with your families. Sorry there are no photos, I kept forgetting the camera...or I was too tired or something...