I don't know if I imagined it or not, but I think Christmas just rushed past before I had time to take it all in. No, I didn't imagine it, because I have photos to prove it. The cousins had the most wonderful time getting re-acquainted, as they live over 1,000 kilometres apart and get-togethers are rare. Our joy was complete with our children, sons-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandchildren and my brother all together for the first time in many a year, and in some cases for the first time. The interstate members of the family flew and drove into town over several days prior to Christmas, with the local grandchildren meeting their latest cousin for the first time.
A couple of weeks before Christmas I received a surprise package in the mail. I was delighted on opening it to discover it was from the talented Bel of EmBelISH. She is branching into yummy edible cupcake decorations and asked me to test some out for Christmas.
Our ever-willing granddaughter from interstate was first on the scene and helped me ice the cakes, after which she popped the lovely decorations on top. The Etsy shop, Enticing Icing, is now open for business. Take a look - you'll love it.
The three older children snuck into the dining room to check out the Christmas gifts - they were so good not to open any, as it's really very difficult at that age to restrain from ripping into all that lovely paper.
Sanity finally prevailed at Chez Fudge and a unanimous decision was made to forego the usual hot Christmas turkey, opting instead for glazed ham, lashings of prawns, cold turkey and a variety of salads. With nine adults and seven children, an oven blasting away for hours was the last thing needed on a typically hot, humid Queensland day.
Our "little" premature baby has come a long way in the last seven months, as his aunt discovered. He's quite the little charmer with a happy smile for everyone.
Meanwhile, Party Girl was the most sensible, stripping down to the bare essentials. A little local knowledge is always an advantage.
A perfect Christmas.
It was time to pack for our trip to Sydney, driving down in the company of our daughter and son-in-law. The ensuing ten days flew past in a blur. The first couple of days were spent with my brother and we had the most wonderful time reminiscing childhood memories.
Living near the beach as he does, it was a natural to take in an early morning breakfast at Coogee Beach. Coffee has never tasted better - it must be the sea air.
Next on the itinerary was a trip to the other side of the harbour to stay with some dear friends in their charming cottage, where we were spoilt with warm hospitality and beautiful food. The next day the four of us set out for the Central Coast, where we were invited to spend New Year's Eve with mutual friends.
Now, I can't give away the location of this magical spot, otherwise our friends would have people beating a path to their door, particularly as our hostess is the most superb cook.
Since our last visit, the owners have installed an inclinator - so much more civilised than arriving at the top of the hill too breathless to utter a word for several minutes.
But who could complain when the view is to die for?
After a leisurely walk along the shoreline, it was time to help our hosts prepare for the evening.
Sand crabs caught that morning were presented as canapes, and then the men got down to the serious business of peeling the prawns.
Which drove the cat crazy.
As the evening progressed, the bay was brought to life with a fireworks display over the other side of the water. It sent the local dogs and birds into panic and alarm ...
... and frightened the life out of Min the Cat ... apparently.
I can't imagine a more perfect spot for breakfast. And what a breakfast to ring in the New Year.
First, there were fresh figs and plums,
followed by scrambled eggs, smoked salmon and tomatoes. Sorry ...
If it's any consolation, we are now home and reality has kicked in, as we spent the day dismantling the Christmas tree, taking down the Christmas cards, and doing some mundaine supermarket shopping.