Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Ring in the New

A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone and I hope you all had the most wonderful Christmas break. We celebrated Christmas in two States this year - first an early celebration on 20 December with our Brisbane family before flying to Sydney for Christmas with the Southern Branch (plus friends).
What a joy it was to welcome our newest little granddaughter to her first Christmas. At just under two months of age, she sailed through it like a trouper. She loved her bear, but I think she was a tad disappointed that no one thought to buy her some hair product.

We put up the tree and decorations the day before and dismantled them the day after. Crazy, I know, but we were determined that the grandchildren would open their gifts under the tree and have all the familiar decorations displayed throughout the house, even if it was a few days early.

The three older children had a grand time ripping into their gifts before we sat down for a traditional Christmas Turkey lunch. The only compromise was a substitute rich chocolate steamed pudding in place of the usual Christmas pudding, as I suspect children under 6 much prefer the sugar rush of chocolate. I'm sure their parents appreciated that!

The following day we dismantled the tree and packed away most of the decorations (OK, there are still some lurking in dark corners waiting to be discovered) and packed in readiness for your flight to Sydney the next day.

Who would have thought that an airport could be such a pleasant experience? Maybe it was the Christmas spirit, but for once we weren't frisked as terrorist suspects, then we were delighted to run into the lovely Helen of Ruby Red Studios. And as we were waiting in the departure lounge, we were entertained by a Christmas tree playing sax and a wrapped Christmas gift on trumpet.

On arriving at Sydney we were greeted by my brother who had organised a rental car for our time in Sydney as a Christmas gift - we were suitably stunned. And the rental car company upgraded it to a brand new model, which made us very nervous in case we had a prang!

We stayed with our daughter and her family, which meant we would be on hand on Christmas morning to see the children's excitement - always an event not to be missed. On Christmas Eve we attended the Children's Christmas Mass which was an amazing and beautiful experience. So many children ... so much excitement.

The familiar sound of ripping started early the next morning and continued for some goodly time.

By lunch time my brother had arrived, as well as our other daughter and her fiance, and the day continued as it had started - happy and relaxed. Naturally, a girl has to have a couple of wardrobe changes during the course of a day.

Over the next couple of weeks we caught up with old friends which was wonderful. Our daughter and son-in-law gave us tickets to The Complete Works of Shakespeare Without the Boring Bits at the Opera House. Who could have thought that three actors could keep a full house rocking in the aisles? However, we were really relieved that we weren't sitting in the front row or were late comers - be warned if you intend to catch the show - they pick on you!

One day we all met up at the Art Gallery and took in the Monet Exhibition, which practically had us levitating. Later as we wandered through the main part of the Art Gallery, our little three and a half year-old granddaughter ran ahead, causing her mother a little stress. She stopped suddenly in front of an exhibit of classical busts of two women's heads on pedestals looking towards the floor, which was covered with the shattered remains of a third bust. Our granddaughter was horrified and turned to her mother, dramatically thrusting her hand to her chest and saying, "It wasn't me, Mumma!" She was given an on-the-spot lesson by her artist aunt on installation art. I don't think she got it.

On our second-last day in Sydney, we drove to the Powerhouse Museum with our daughter and two children. Naturally, pre-museum snacks were the order of the day.

As we neared the museum, we encountered an amazing sight. On Christmas Day, the children received bubble blowers in their stockings and thought they had mastered the art of bubble blowing.

However, after being gobsmacked by a true professional ...

... it's back to the drawing board!

Our last night in Sydney was spent with my best friend and her husband. We have known each other since we were six or seven and have been best friends since our school days. It was the perfect ending to a wonderful Sydney stay.

So now we are back in Brisbane in the middle of a very hot and steamy week. The first thing I did was check my PO Box and there waiting for me was the most gorgeous paper doll from the very talented Sharlene of Sharlzndollz which I had won in her blog competition. It was almost like receiving two gifts, as the limbs and dress are reversible. I have called her Hollygolightly and she will become part of our Christmas decorations for many years to come. Thank you so much Sharlene.

So here we are ready for a whole new year - and don't we love it!


Joanne said...

What a lovely holiday Robyn. So glad you had such a nice time with your family and friends. Happy New Year 2009!

Anonymous said...

So happy you had such a wonderful time celebrating the holidays with your family. That bubble is massive! I don't think I'd be game enough to stick my head in it. Congratulations on winning Sharlzndollz paper doll. It's gorgeous. Wishing you the best for a fabulous 2009 :D

Hey Harriet said...

What a wonderful holiday you had Robyn! The photos are delightful and I enjoyed reading about what fun things you did in Sydney. I'm very tempted to book a same day return flight to Sydney just to see the Monet exhibition. The Christmas decorated musos at the airport are too funny!

Wishing you the very best for 2009!

DoesItRequire2toTanGo? said...

Hi Robyn,
I'm looking forward to seeing your new designs when you hve recovered from your holiday!

I bought a little blue, white and brown dress from you before Christmas and have a photo of my granddaughter in it. I'll try emailing it you.

Happy New Year!

Ali said...

Happy New Year Robyn!
What a lovely Christmas time you had with your family! Your newest little girl is so sweet!
And Holly Golightly is fantastic, isn't she? - a real groover!!

Bec said...

Your Christmas sounds absolutely perfect Robyn - and you describe it so well!! Hope 2009 is every bit as wonderful for you. Looking forward to catching up again soon :)