Monday, 28 December 2015

Danger! The Great Aussie Christmas

I love an Aussie Christmas at the beach
It’s a relaxed, no fuss and bother affair.
Well normally…

Danger! It's Christmas!
We're unusual, 
we clear out of the city for the beach on Christmas Eve,
most of our friends stay in town for Christmas lunch with family,
but for us, with our broader family overseas, it's a lovely escape.

We go to the Mornington Peninsula, one hour out of Melbourne. 
By Boxing Day this place will be heaving.
Melbourne-by-the-sea they call it;
finding a car park will be tricky, 
and we'll bump into more friends here on the Blairgowrie dog beach, 
than we will on any walk in the park back home!

Our Rye beach house is in neighbourhood with mostly permanent homes.
It's become our Christmas Eve tradition, to take a quick stroll around the block.
We like to check out any local building developments 
and to admire the local decorations. 
Or maybe not. 

Perhaps in our dreams, 
no one really bothers at the beach!
Although we do spot a few... ok one, a sign that something is up…

Our neighbours Ho, Ho, Ho declare ’tis the season to be jolly’
In the next street, the Crazy Poodle and I are somewhat taken aback 
with the Christmas spirit on display. 
He sniffs suspiciously and then starts to lift a leg 
“No!” I say firmly, but I must admit I tend to agree with him! 

You see there is absolutely no need to try to keep up with the Joneses here at the beach!
We don't stay out long, it's too hot.
The air conditioner is working flat out, 
but makes little impression.

I was pleased I stopped off at the Peninsula Pantry 
to pick up my pre-ordered quiche, salads, mince pies, gingerbread Xmas tree, 
and some gluten free spinach and feta balls for the girls for dinner. 

I've been back in the country less than 48 hours, 
and done a day at work in all this!
It's too hot to even barbecue.
'You want the quiche hot, forget it!'

After an oppressive, sweaty and ominous night,
we awoke to bright sunlight streaming in through the black-out curtains. 
It was to be the hottest Christmas day for seventeen years.
 For once we were pleased for the 
'all dogs off the beach by 9am' rule
By 9.30am the pavement is too hot for little Santa paws.

Santa Paws is coming to town!
We spend the day in the garden. 
Wild and blustery winds, providing some relief for us from the heat.
Not elsewhere. 
It is the perfect storm for the Bushfire's already raging.

We did cook scrambled egg on the stove top but from then onwards 
we instigated a 'no cooking inside' regime.
 It was a vain attempt to preserve some modicum of comfort. 
A total fire ban existed outside
Weather conditions: extreme. 

Our chocolates melted!
The smoked salmon's only appearance at the table was a brief affair.
Served up along with the champagne for a brief ta-ra,
  the remainders immediately returned back in the fridge.

Across the state of Victoria the same conversations were taking place
'Shall we forgo the traditional Christmas veggies 
and just have a salad instead'?!

Our how to cook the Christmas lunch, was nothing 
compared with the woes of those in Lorne and Wye River across the Bay.
The bush fire came with no respect for tradition.

Gingerbread Christmas tree
One restaurant served up the entire turkey works
before the order; evacuate, evacuate, evacuate came.
Backpackers were at the beach and left with only their swimsuits
before not being able to get back to their campsites.

With friends abandoning Christmas lunches to flee 
or help the Firies at the Country Fire Authority (CFA), 
 news spread about the bush fires raging across the Bay.

We head to the Beach for a quick dip and cool down,
but only for a paddle. 
The strong winds make the waves intense and the rips stronger than usual.
Overhead we see the rescue helicopter, flying up and down the coast line.

Portsea Ocean Beach 

Boxing Day is cooler, a sprinkling of rain brings some relief
but we wake to news that over 120 houses have been lost
but mercifully, with no loss of life.

Our friend's son is a newbie CFA volunteers in his first year.
They are on the breakfast television and on the front page of the Herald Sun.
Local heroes, for defending the town, together with his Dad and the other CFA Wye River Firies as the fire raged.

He is now 22 years old, 
but it seems like only yesterday the kids 
were all starting school together...

How was your Christmas?

Linking with thanks to the hosts at the following:

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