Silent Night, Holy SHIT It’s Hot.

Merry belated Christmas!

It was the second Christmas for us this year: a while back the boys and I travelled via Jetstar DeLorean to Ballarat (henceforth B-Rat) for Christmas Day 2015 Take One. It was lovely and we had a great time but OMG it was so hot it wasn’t just the turkey’s arse that got roasted.

It seemed a typical B-Ratty summer; we arrived on a perfect 25C Wednesday, and by Saturday were rugging up for 16C days and 4C nights. I even had to buy Finn some trackie daks because I’d forgotten his. (This is Ballarat, you doofus – you should know by now!)

Just chillin'.
The boys at the most awesome Lake Wendouree Adventure Playground when it was still cool enough to play outside without spontaneously combusting.
Barricades in the background were for the Ballarat Iron Man 70.3 triathlon which was held two days later. ie when it was stinking hot again.
The barricades in the background were for the Ballarat Iron Man 70.3 triathlon which was held a few days later. Of course by then it was stinking hot again.
Roars on the lookout.
Roars on the lookout. Literally.

Mum’s cherry tree got a few more days of chill/sunshine but I finally got all the fruit – I think Dad put in some overtime this year!

Dad's Christmas present to us just keeps giving... and giving!
Dad’s yearly Christmas present to us just keeps on giving. Merry Christmas to you too Dad!

I harvested around 15 kilos, about a 700% increase on last year! The birds pinched another half a kilo. Merry Christmas you thieving ratbags.

The birds gave us a hand with the cherries too - I preferred the currawongs because at least they eat the whole fruit, unlike those blimmin' crimson rosellas who take a bite or two of several cherries then leave them.
I didn’t mind the currawongs because at least they scoffed the whole fruit, unlike the blimmin’ Crimson Rosellas who’d take a few bites then find a new one. It took this guy a few minutes but he forced it down (relieved he didn’t need the Heimlich) then he grabbed another one for the road.

Free cherries are especially awesome as they’re about $10/kg in the shops at the moment.

Suck it, Woolies!

Super fresh, organic and FREE. This is less than half of our total crop. (Suck it, Woolies!)

The temperature hovered around 30C for a few days after that, then on Saturday leapt to 40.6C with hot northerlies gusting to 76 kph.

peeked-outside-to-see-if-it-was-hot

We cranked up the aircon and enjoyed Mum’s amazing Christmas dinner in our cool little sanctuary oblivious to the fact that only 10km up the road firefighters battled out-of-control blazes at Scotsburn and seven homes were lost. The country community rallied and within hours there was about a tonne of water, food, clothing and toy donations at the Buninyong Town Hall. I can’t imagine how awful it would be to lose your home, especially at Christmas, but I hope the support of such awesome people makes it easier. (If you’d like to make a cash donation you can do so here.)

I worry about bushfires, particularly in Victoria – summer gets so hot and dry, like an oven. The paddocks around Buninyong are carpeted in gorgeous golden grasses but bone dry and would go up like a match. Bloody drought. When we visited as kids my memories of Ballarat are so different – cool dampness, rain down at Lake Wendouree, lichen, and mist in the trees. And lots of snails.

This is Australia; a patch of it anyway, near
This is Australia; a patch of it anyway, which isn’t far from Scotsburn. The cycling around here is gorgeous!

The next morning Justine, my pain in the arse of a sister, needed a lift to town to catch the early airport shuttle bus so we were off at 4.30am. Saw her off on her adventure – to ‘Murica and Canadia (!!) for her second Christmas – then headed down Lydiard Street with my camera. Nice and cool, and with only the occasional car so I could stand in the road for better angles. They also provided handy light trails.

At the corner of Sturt Street (B-Rat's main drag) and Lydiard Street, one of the few in this country with preserved historical buildings.
At the corner of Sturt Street (B-Rat’s main drag) and famous Lydiard Street, one of the best in this country with preserved historical buildings. Most of Lydiard St dates from Ballarat’s gold rush days back in the 1850s. Oh, and there’s also my first ever light trail!
Lydiard Street is quite famous - it was Melbourne's stunt double in the Heath Ledger movie about our most famous bushranger Ned Kelly, and is currently starring in a TV murder mystery called
Lydiard Street is used in films a fair bit – it was Melbourne’s stunt double in the Heath Ledger movie about our most famous bushranger Ned Kelly, and is currently starring in a TV show called The Doctor Blake Mysteries. This gorgeous building I think houses the local art gallery, as well as the taxi rank for all the young things heading home after a full night on the piss.
Looking south along Lydiard Street from Sturt Street.
Lydiard Street on the southern side of Sturt Street. Next time we visit I will totally do the ghost tour! I’ll mostly be going for the cool old buildings at night though (and to see other people scare themselves shitless) as I have even less of a sixth sense than Bruce Willis.
Sturt Street, Ballarat's main drag. Something old, something new...
Sturt Street, Ballarat’s main drag. Something old, something new…
The eastern end of Sturt Street just before dawn. It's already 29C.
The eastern end of Sturt Street just before dawn. It’s already 29C (84.2F).
I love these old time street lamps, and the big red festive bow ties!
The old time street lamps are my favourite. The bows are a special Christmas touch.
So many gorgeous statues on Sturt Street.
So many gorgeous statues on Sturt Street. War heroes, politicians, royalty, poets…

Christmas is over for another year! May you have a very happy new year full of good stuff and many adventures. Thank you SO much for reading, following, liking, commenting – you make my day!

See you in 2016!

Christmas is over for another year! Hope you have a very happy new year and hope to see you around...

– Michelle

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Robyna says:

    Gorgeous pics as always. We were sunny coast way – not too hot and many less cherries.

    Like

    1. Michelle says:

      Noice-I missed the beach SO HARD on those 40C+ days! I don’t know how people survive out back with all that sand and no surf.

      Like

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