Monday 29 December 2008

Christmas Down Under

We had a great Christmas in New Zealand. Christmas does not seem to be so huge over here it is more like any other public holiday. We went to do some last minute shopping on the 23rd and 24th December in two different nearby towns and found no last minute rush, no queues and were hardly any other people...apart from some fellow Scot's from Aberdeen...who overheard our exclaiming at the lack of Christmas feeling and agreed heartily that it was not the same over here!

On Christmas Eve the stockings were hung in the restaurant and the boys happily went off to bed, awaiting with great excitement the arrival of Santa overnight. The letter to Santa had been quite detailed "Dear Santa, We are not in a town, we are living in our campervan between Cromwell and Wanaka on the South Island of New Zealand" so there was no fear that he would not find us!

Christmas Eve took a rather bizarre twist when around twenty cows escaped from the nearby field and were running all over the main road. One was hit by a car... in a cow hit and run (the car ran not the cow) and as the farmer was away our friends Dean and Diana raced up to the road to round the cows up and back into their field. We elected to stay and look after the boys and watched from a distance as the cows were safely returned to their field. As all this happened in the dark I was a bit nervous for the rest of the evening when I heard moo-ing in case they had missed one!

In the morning I woke up just before seven to the sound of Peter jumping up and down on the bed, saying "oh yeah, oh yeah...presents, presents" to himself as he was eyeing the small pile of gifts beneath the tree in the motorhome. With Joseph and Luke stubbornly refusing to awaken Peter got increasing louder until they eventually opened their eyes.

We headed over to the restaurant and we were pleased to see big piles of presents all round. The top gifts were:

Peter - Ben Ten action figures/DVD/colouring book, a BeastQuest book and a Diablo
Joe - A train set (what was Santa thinking...we live in a motorhome!!) and a Ben Ten watch
Luke - A Mickey Mouse phone, a lawn mower and lots of Thomas the Tank Engine books.

Once the presents were opened, Dean and David headed into the kitchen and cooked up some very tasty bacon and egg rolls for breakfast. The rest of the morning was spent playing, reading and eating chocolate.

We had a lovely lunch of bread, cheese, prawns, crackers etc and then headed out for a walk to try to burn off some of the morning's chocolate. We burnt off slightly more than planned as we ended up running away from some very scary cows who were following us as we walked through their field. This might not have been too bad, except that they seemed to move really quickly and when we turned around they were just standing behind was like a scene from a Japanese horror film!

We enjoyed the rest of our walk and returned ready to face the roast dinner which Dean had prepared (spending Christmas with a chef in a restaurant has definite advantages!). After a delicious dinner we were all happy, full and exhausted. A great day all round.

Photos here.


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