"Happy Christmas & a freaky 2023 from us."
December 19thGood grief suddenly Christmas is arriving fast. I have about 85% done, but know I'll still be heading out a few days before grabbing that extra something. I just have to work out how we will get it all onto the plane as we do not want to wait for baggage at Sydney airport.
Trudi arrives at 1.00, perfectly on time as always. A lot of fun to see her , and we love our presents. She also brings her very special cup cakes. Marky would sell me out for them in a heart beat. HA! No never, well maybe?
December 20thHappy as I hear from Deano, maybe I am not the monster on the hill. But Taylor might be right :- "I should not be left to my own devices, They come with prices and vices, I end up in crisis (tale as old as time)..." (Anti Hero).
The Charity is a long day, a passionate day, a day of people extremes. I am a safe island for many, I am calm in a sea of crazy. I did good today. Someone pat me on the head.
I come home to receive this awesome Bowie present from Marky. A great live recording of Bowie at Friars, Aylesbury. September 25th 1971. Yes 3 months before Hunky Dory was released. The songs are still so fresh. I LOVE this, thank you Mark.
We watch the second season of "We're Here" those 3 feisty drag queens changing America town by town. A fun show.
December 21stSunny Sunny day on Mount Dandenong. I'm out of the house early and 7 laps around Kalorama oval. Exercise done.
Coffee at the bakery and I run into Marjo and no election fall out, so sounds like our team did well.
I am shocked I have to leave a $600 car deposit at Sydney airport. Annoying but somehow I will make this work. Grrrrrr.
A weird afternoon, it feels lopsided, maybe it's a lead up to Christmas thing. So many people appear to be stressed, I'm not one of them,well not yet.
December 22ndRain and more Rain, I know we will all be moaning how hot it is when Summer kicks in.
I hear from Troy who is now in Lviv, which is West Ukraine, I believe. He sounds good all things considered, makes me laugh. I didn't realise till this moment how little I had laughed in the past 24 hours. He could be home for a quick Christmas visit.
December 23rdA few items left to get on the Christmas list, so we head to Eastlands, yes the day before Christmas Eve. Are we nuts? We find a park and to be honest it wasn't as insane as I expected. We manage to get the final few presents bought, both of us shocked how little music JB Hi Fi has these days but we did buy Giles & Fens CD requests so that was good. It's such a strange shopping complex we always leave feeling sleepy.
Head home and pack our bags, Mark has to take some of my presents in his bag. I've tried to keep them small but failed. Oh well, all packed and I put my bag in the car so that is out of the way.
We had an early night, well early for us but not much sleep.
December 24thUp at 3.00 AM. We both look worn. Out of the house somewhere before 4.00. Eerily no cars at all on the road just us. I park in the long term and go through security. They open some of my presents, remove the a tiny pair of nail scissors. So sill I can now go to the frequent flyer zone and get a steel knife to have breakfast with and basically take it on the plane, but not the worlds smallest set of scissors. I am chilled they are only doing their jobs.
Frequent Flyer is relaxing, coffee good and we have breakfast. Mark grabs extra marmalade jars. Flight departs close to on time and we arrive in Sydney.
Hire car, it isn't too bad but they shuttle us to the new location. But they DO have a coffee van so small free coffee in the car and off we go.
We arrive at Bundanoon early and Kerri & Peter have lunch for us which is so appreciated. I spend an hour and that is nice before I have to drive down the pass to Wollongong by myself. I do call into the Big Potato at Robertson and pose for a photo. The temperature has picked up, it's starting to get very hot. It looks more like a Big Dog Shit not a Big Spud.
I arrive Wollongong and i can smell the ocean in the air. I decide I must go for a swim before heading home. I call into the mall and buy a towel and drive to North beach.
The park nearby is full of people having Christmas picnics and BBQ's. Everyone is happy, really nice to see this. I'm at the beach and no boardies so strip to my black Bonds undies and go for a swim. I care little and this recharges me. I dry off on the beach and just relax on the towel. 45 minutes later I'm driving to Mums. Sis texts me to pick up the baked chickens so thats fine. She has done so much already.
I arrive home and Mum is happy to see me but not in the best of health and she gives me a 'To Do" list as soon as I walk in the door, which is ok. First job, present wrapping. It's so muggy and sticky hot, not a very enjoyable climate.
I head off and pick up my cousin David and home to hang with some of the other in laws. Maddison and Sis arrive and it's great to see them. A nice night, I spend it making sure everyone has been fed.
I drive David home and take some time to enjoy the Christmas lights that are decorating the houses of Horsley county.
I arrive home and a Christmas message from Dean and some mates which was nice. I say goodnight to Mum who has decided the couch under the air con is much nicer to sleep. I read a book for 30 minutes and attempt some sleep in this tropical heat.
December 25thHappy Christmas world. I am up and out of bed early, make myself some breakfast and a cup of tea for Mum. A quick shower and straight into it. Fill up the big pan for the Christmas pudding, start on the fruit salad and tick dozens of things off my list. The main thing is the christmas pudding and Mum does her best so I help her as much as possible. We get it done and into the boiling water.
Christmas lunch is late today but it felt ok, between visitors, the endless opening of presents and phone calls our day drifted. Yes I was spoilt, some incredible presents, my sister and Mum amazing.
I sit outside with MIM and paint some of her giant wooden "M I M" letters. We wear our freaky one piece jumpsuits, that have no faces, hers is some deformed Santa. Maddison encourages me to sit on a bench with her and wave at the traffic, which we do. We laugh so much we fall off the bench. Fun! Fun! Fun!
I drop my Uncle off after lunch, head to the Cremo with David to put flowers on the relatives graves and take him home. I consider going for another swim but realise it will be packed. The Covid numbers in NSW are out of control so ditch the idea. Plus I want to hang out with Mum, Sis and MIM. We hang out all afternoon and that is the best present for me. Leftovers for dinner but we are so full anyway. A late siesta which turns into a long nap. A restless night , and I am missing Marky.
December 26thWollongong to Melbourne.
I wake up to find Wollongong covered in fog and Macquarie pass sounding dodgy. Last place you want to drive, so many cars have gone over the edge. So I depart early , Mum waving at the door. A nice visit.
Half way up the pass the fog clears and it is lovely and sunny. I get just outside Robertson and spot the sign for Illawarra Fly. Only 9km inland. Look it's probably closed but what the hell. Take a chance on the loaded dice, I turn left much to my Navman's horror. No cars on the road but i do spot a Potoroo eating on the side of tarmac.
I pull into the car park which is empty, oh sucks looks closed. I go for a walk but people in the kiosk and now the reception. I am a few minutes early , the first visitor for the day. I grab a coffee and wait for the ranger to go before me and head off. The Tree Top walk is just awesome, so high up and it gets higher, the elevated steel walkway is majestic and the spiral tower rises another 45m skywards. I am alone and it is great. Eventually i see my ranger new friend and we hang out for awhile. Yes he is kind of cute, Christmas pheromones. Put them away. Ha! Sex on an elevated walkway in the trees...a first. NOOOOO! Behave Mr Green.
I head back and go on the zip-line, well three flights and that is equally fabulous. There are a bunch of Japanese tourists who speak almost zero english and ask me about Aussie "greetings" I tell them they must say "G'Day Wackers" to EVERYONE. As they zoom down the zip wire I hear "G'DAY WACKERS" echoing through the trees.l Yes I am evil but it was funny. My Ranger mate shakes his head and smiles. I say goodbye to the awesome staff and thank them, this was great. Back on track to Bundanoon.
I arrive exactly on time, Mark gets me a plate of really nice leftovers and we say goodbye to Kerri and Peter. 1.5 hours to the airport. Finding the AVIS new drop off area was a nightmare and the info number they gave me didn't work. Eventually we do and a tiny bit stressed. The mini van drops us off and we grab boarding passes, clear security and into the Frequent Flyer. We sit, we chill we are ready to fly.
The plane is full and this lovely 21 year old from Kenya is next to us. His name is Dor (Peter) Jok and he plays soccer for The Central Coast Mariners. They play Melbourne City at AAMI Park tomorrow. We talk for most of the flight, such an inspiring young man. Mark calls him my "new friend". He gives us this huge wave at the airport. he is going to be a soccer star.
The Red Beast is waiting and we head home, and it is HOT. Melbourne is roasting. We call into the supermarket buy some food and some Red Rooster. So nice to be home, we cool the house down and into our beds by 11.00 PM. Christmas is almost over.......
December 27thThe hottest day of the year. The new air conditioning at Kalorama is a blessing. I avoid the office, I avoid almost everything today. I do hear some of the Mariners game, they lost by one goal.
I buy Indian for dinner, just what we all need on the hottest day of the year? It was nice.
December 28thThe bakery is open again so that is good. The girls give me some turkish bread so that is appreciated as we still have some homemade dip in the fridge. Kay arrives so we sit and have a bit of a laugh.
I see South Korea has now lifted it's ban on Sex Dolls. See you all needed to know that important fact. Just in case.. you are in Korea and suddenly have the urge to buy one.
December 29thUp way too early and Lachie and his coffee van are not back.
Half of the charity have Covid or simply didn't turn up, so just six of us to run the store. A lot of lifting from me too but a lot of good things done. After lunch the store was packed, it all seemed never ending. At one stage I had to leave my "book nook" as it was packed with people. Today was a good day, a nice vibe too. A guy who comes in heard me talking to Jenni about coffee and went for a drive and bought me one. So sweet of him. I think he has a bit of a crush on me. Not sure what to do.. i was sure he had a girlfriend. Still the coffee rocked.
I pick up a parcel from my post office and my friend Stevie sent me a "Millennium Falcon" 3D illusion LED night light. It is so cool, changes colour. I'm cat napping on my bed and decided my glass pyramid next to the bed needed to go on top so the LED lit it, it looks magnificent.
We watch a Stephen King doco. These documentary's always seem to be made in France. Why is that?
December 30thI sneak out for a coffee and a sandwich. D's awake early too, we all have boring yard work etc to do.
Happy Birthday to Greg Skyhook. I'm sitting in the bakery and radio station Triple M plays "Living in the 70's". Nothing like their regular format but maybe a secret nod to Gregory Skyhook.
Mark gives me a belated Christmas present, all episodes of WEDNESDAY on Bluray (it's not) so thrilled. Such a magnificent show. So happy it has been signed for another season. The awesome Tim Burtons finger prints are all over this and Elfmans music just sensational. A great cast, well written and everything we love about a tv series. Wish it was longer. The best present, thank you Marky.
December 31stI am awake early & go and collect some UMDC's for the DDR. Upper Market Disposable Commodities. We are so professional. LOL.
An offer to jump on a lear jet and escape the world for a few days, so so so very tempting. So don't panic if you do not hear from us for a tiny while. Have a great New Years and may 2023 be mighty. Lets hope Russia buggers off out of the Ukraine. Lets hope the world is more united and puts Putin back into his box, so many countries have been piss weak around this bully. The people of the Ukraine deserve better.
See you on the other side.