A New Zealand Christmas
Trip Start Aug 20, 2009
105Trip End Ongoing
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On the Friday before Christmas Jeff had his works do at Treetops, a fabulous high ropes course just out of Auckland. He had a fun time and we plan to go back as a family to do the lower courses. He was very proud of the fact that he did all nine courses and had a good laugh as well. They then had a BBQ and then a few drinks out in Auckland. A very different Christmas do - but great fun all the same!
Next came the closest that we were going to get to a pantomime, a theatre show about how Rudolph got his red nose! We went with Ed, Anna and the girls and the kids had yet another wonderful evening. At first Jeff and I were not convinced, we were used to the S-O-T pantomimes with the fab costumes and sets, oh and of course Jonathan Wilkes! However, once we got over that expectation the whole affair was very entertaining and it was great to sit and watch the kids having such an exciting time. Lucy was made up after the show when she actually got to meet the characters :-)
Wednesday evening was spent at Maureen and Alan's house catching up with them as well as Larissa, Brent and the girls. The children played in the swimming pool and had great fun and then we all sat down to a fantastic BBQ - the food wasbrill particularly the sausages!
Christmas Eve came very quickly and the children were sooooooooooooooo excited. We had planned to watch a Christmas film together and have popcorn and goodies from the UK shop, including Lucy's beloved prawn cocktail crisps!! Tinkerbell must have heard our plans as she delivered Santa Buddies DVD to the kids swing, much to the children's delight. They knew it was from her because of the fairy dust that surrounded it! They cuddled up on the settee, stuffing goodies, so very excited. Before going to bed they Skyped Nana, Grandad, Grandma and Papa so that they could share some of the excitement with us as well as Emily & Charlotte and the Pine View Posse! After putting out cakes and beer for Santa and water and carrots for the reindeers it ended up being nearly eleven o'clock before Lucy got to sleep! Christmas Eve to me didn't seem quite as magical as it has in years past, probably because of the heat and knowing that many folk in the UK were going to experience a white Christmas! There didn't seem to be the same silence outside as we always experienced in the UK, probably because it is summer here and folk are entertaining outside!
Jeff and I finally got to bed at 1am to be awoken again at 3am to Lucy shouting, 'Mummy and Daddy, he's been!' We patiently told her that it was too early and that she needed to go back to bed. I laid in bed and could hear ripping paper!
Christmas lunch was glazed ham, roast veg and potatoes with lots of salads and prawns for me. It was over 30 on the deck so we sat at our new table which we had dressed for the occasion. We even had crackers! We had a good time, it just felt really strange sitting in such heat knowing full well that the UK had snow. Neither of us have ever experienced a southern hemisphere Christmas before
Boxing day ended up being a quiet affair as all the children wanted to do was play with their toys at home! It was lovely to spend family time in our new home. In the evening Glen and Arlene came over for a few drinks (our new neighbours.) It was lovely to see them and the kids were very excited to show them all their new toys. We certainly don't seem to have a shortage of things to talk about and we had a good laugh too!
The next two days were spent seeing new friends. We spent Sunday with Jacquie and Scott having a picnic and fishing at Cornwallis then fish and chips at Huia in the evening. We met Jacquie at the bank when we first arrived in New Zealand, she had already been here 14 weeks. We swopped numbers and vowed to meet up once we were settled in our new house and hopefully Sunday will be the first of many get togethers! We had a great day with them both - Jeff was even happier when he found out that Scott was from Sheffield!
Dan was happy playing with Lydia too, he was such a gentleman with her and they also had fun. We then headed back to our house for a BBQ, beers and Pims! It was a lovely afternoon spent chatting about the UK and New Zealand and everyones plans for the future. The children were absolutely no problem, they all got on so well and just played ALL afternoon - exploring under the house, dressing up and scooter and running races around the house! We look forward to getting together again soon :-)
We have also included some photos from the school magazine in this entry - Lucy made it into the magazine with her class, building a story telling seat :-)