T his year I managed after many misses to kick off the Christmas Season by going to see ‘Lights of Christmas’ projected on the face of St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney’s oldest and grandest church, and the largest sandstone structure in the Southern Hemisphere.
Now in the right mood, I decide this is the year to fling open the doors of the ‘crystal cabinet’, wash the dust from the Baccarat and Lalique and invite friends for a Christmas Lunch. In addition, I am preparing for a ‘tween Christmas/New Year visit of my eldest brother Tony, and Ruth.
The Lord Mayor of the City of Sydney spoke, as did the Premier of the State, who delivered a very ‘Christian’ speech. Good to hear a politician actually acknowledging the true meaning of Christmas so publicly – obviously a true believer!
Thank God for Julie Andrews and ‘Sound of Music’ in the evening as I managed to hand-wash everything in between snippets of the oft’ re-played movie, and seemingly hours of TV commercials! It took me two days however, to put everything back in its spot (for next year).
The church was decorated this year with a dozen Cypress Pines and beautiful flowers in yellow and white.
At the sound of the starter’s gun and big super Maxis breaking away as swift as the wind, George skilfully manoeuvred his little ferry boat through the swells and frothy wake from the flotilla of other boats, all of us chasing the leaders down the harbour to the Heads where they all head out to sea – before turning south for Hobart, 627 miles away.
Surprisingly, it was all over in less than ten minutes, but worth the effort. Now back to serious imbibing and chicken salad.
As in childhood days, we enjoyed Christmas leftovers of cold ham, turkey and lamb with salads (and of course Aussie summer essentials, beetroot and pineapple) for a post-Christmas lunch.
Also the throngs of Asian visitors of all ages and many Muslim families are a sign of the changing times with a resurgence of inbound tourists.
Tony enjoyed photographing around the Opera House before we took off through the Sydney Botanical Gardens and home via a stop for a cool ale at the Bourbon in Kings Cross.