I'm sitting here surrounded by presents in various states of unwrappedness, cards, candles (and at the moment, washing). Christmas is coming!! We've been flat out partying hard with various work functions. I womaned the BBQ for the lab party today, even though it was about 4 degrees outside! Winter hit us all of a sudden (and I'm sure it'll be gone just as fast). One day hits 28 and the next drops to 4! There was even ice on the car when we headed home tonight. Ok, so it was barely an ice membrane but still! Brrrr. However, while it is cold it is also stunningly sunny so in that respect it feels a little like Tassie.
Anyhow, I am writing this nonfocussed rant for the simple purpose of posting pics of our typically unorthodox Christmas tree, complete with dragons, chilies and a Croatian bread heart. This year we also have a real Christmas wreath which smells divine! We couldn't bear to put it on the outside of the door (ok, so the door turned out to be so thick that we physically couldn't fit the hook over it...) but it makes the house smell all foresty and sweet when you first walk in so our miscalculation turned into a bonus :D
We've had quite a few Christmas parties lately, mostly work related but we did have a couple of the girls over for an early vegetarian Christmas dinner because our vego friend was heading home for the holidays. Pretty tough to cook something suitable and tasty when one guest is vego and another doesn't eat mushrooms! But we came up with a pretty tasty layered vegi bake that was a cross between moussaka and lasagna, with plenty of eggplant, zucchini, fennel and heaps of other yummies. We've also had a few interesting "present exchanges" lately that have been a bit of an eye opener for us Aussies! The first was at an all girls party where we all brought gifts for the exchange then spent quite a lot of time working out the best way to randomly distribute them...from complex algorithms to a 'pin the tail on the donkey' style blindfolded snatch and grab (and probably crash and fall). Eventually we settled on drawing a number out of a hat (to determine your turn order) then setting up the presents in a circle and playing 'spin the bottle' to pick one! As untoppable as I thought that one was, the exchange at the lab BBQ yesterday was something else entirely! No idea what they call it but it seems to be some kind of American tradition for these exchanges, where you either select a present from under the tree (if you touch it you have to take it), then open it in front of the entire group. Then the next person who goes has the choice of either picking one from the tree or stealing yours! Chaos! We managed to score a beautiful (real) tree...about a meter tall, only to have it stolen and replace by a jar of blue cheese in oil >_< Luckily the person who stole it from us lost it again to the 10 year old with no tree at his house. Fun times :)
More updates soon. Our friend Kate arrives tomorrow! We're looking forward to having a house guess to share the 'holiday season' with.
4 months ago