Christmas Lights.

Hi!

Just popping in to say I hope you had a loverly Chrissy!

AND a loverly New Year’s, AND a loverly Straya Day if you are in Oz – I was going to post this before the end of the year, but didn’t. Hey, I’m only a month late!

It’s been pretty hectic around here – a few days after school finished I took the boys down to Ballarat for a couple of weeks to have an early Christmas with Mum, extra awesome as we managed to catch up with Mosey too -she’s been AWOL in W.A. for the past forever. Come back, Mosey!!

Cute fat cat at my auntie's house, Rory's about to peg his hat at my face, boatshed at Lake Wendouree, the boys channelling their inner Cher.
My auntie’s puddle of cat, Rory’s about to peg his hat at my face, boatshed at Lake Wendouree, the boys channelling their inner Cher/Major Kong.

With the schizophrenic weather patterns in B’rat we didn’t go longer than three days of either roasting hot or freezing cold, and as luck would have it our early Christmas Day was a very pleasant 28C, not like the 40C stinker (with bonus bushfire) of last year. Lovely!

We took the boys to Melbourne on the train too – after having lunch, checking out the Myer Christmas windows, doing a bit of shopping, riding on the trams and having some afternoon tea we were shocked to discover over six hours had passed!

In Melbourne: Victoria Arcade, high tea at Runya's Tea Room, ceiling reflection and the trippy escalator in Collins St Arcade.
Historic Royal Arcade, posh afternoon tea at Runya’s Room, ceiling reflection and escalator pics of the mindblowing interior design in St Collins Lane arcade. And the shops were a bit of alright too.

An inexplicably painless shopping trip! Added bonus was we got to see some epic street art while in line to see the Myer windows, in wonderful Union Lane just off Bourke Street Mall. Graffiti is not just permitted, but encouraged…

An incredible, open-air art gallery! You know how much I like them. If only I could do justice to it all...
An incredible, open-air art gallery! With only the faintest whiff of piss.
You can see Finn's flying mangastyle punch at the bottom right of frame.
HAI-YAH!! nb Finn’s flying manga-style punch at the bottom right of frame.
Urban pictures - good for scratching urban itches. (Only amusing if said with an Aussie accent -ie "pitches" rhymes with "itches" - and probably not even then.)
Urban pictures – good for scratching urban itches.
(Only amusing if said with an Aussie accent -ie “pitches” rhymes with “itches” – and probably not even then.)
Roars, our young resident artist, enjoying the al fresco frescoes.
Roars, our resident artist, enjoying the al fresco frescoes.
The boys, looking suitably delinquent, showing some art appreciation... Finn you neanderthal!
The boys, looking suitably delinquent, showing some alleyway art appreciation… Finn you Philistine!

… and from the windows out both sides of the train on the trip home. I felt like I was on safari! Could be a post in that…

And this was just the V-Line.
A few of my faves. And this was just the Ballarat line!

Then back home to the Gold Coast for our traditional Christmas Day down at Talley Creek Beach, though instead of the usual blazing heat we got stormed out! We got about an hour and a half of boogieboarding and skimboarding in before the lightning got too close and we had to evacuate.

We got about an hour and a half of skimboarding in before the lightning got a little too close and we evacuated.

Then for three weeks solid our house was pretty much a hotel; the day after Christmas we sheltered Boxing Day sales refugees, then all-growed-up niece Susie with BF in tow arrived from New Zealand, followed closely by Mosey via Ballarat and her mate Sarah visiting from South Korea. New Year’s Eve our numbers jumped by another four when J’s sister arrived with the hubby and other daughters, and over the next three weeks our place was busy with comings and goings. It was awesome! The boys especially enjoyed all the extra attention; one evening Roars had four people putting him to bed.

And with all the quality time being spent with trips to the beach, the Hinterland, playing cards, eating while talking, and drinking, a second year passed without the boys and I going to see the winning Christmas light displays around the Coast. We didn’t even get to see Santa this year, for the first time. Sorry Mum!

Maybe it’s just because the boys are getting older and they just aren’t interested. At least that’s what they tell me; I know bloody well they would love it! I’ve decided I’m going next year (to see the lights, not Santa) because light displays are one of my absolutely favourite things about Chrissy, and here on the Goldie some families really go all out! Next year I am totally doing the Christmas lights tour. Yes it’s a thing! $15 from the Gold Coast Arts Centre to the Mayor’s top 10 houses in the city.

These are my favourites - in Coomera and Upper Coomera, and the winners were in Molendinar. Next year I am totally doing the Christmas lights tour. Yes it's a thing!
These are my favourites – in Coomera and Upper Coomera. The winners were in Molendinar, and big congrats to them for winning despite the fact that a big storm we had a couple of weeks before judging obliterated their display and snapped their 12,000-light Christmas tree in half!

I tried for a few years but our block is just so bloody BIG. Which is lovely, of course, but powering lights when you’re talking about 50+ metres of extension cords just to reach the street is a bit of a problem. I’ve tried solar powered lights, but they all shit themselves within a few months. Can anyone recommend a good brand that will last?

We did have some lights at our place though, courtesy of some rather spectacular summer storms… I love Queensland.

lightning sky tree silhouette clouds gold coast
An Oncoming Storm. Fast moving, no rain, and very frequent sheet lightning which illuminated the clouds very nicely. I took this from our pool deck as there was no freakin’ way I was going up the top of the hill in the middle of this.
lightning sky tree silhouette clouds
Getting closer… nervously hoping we don’t lose any more trees to Acts of God
gold coast storm lightning sky tree clouds
Watch your six, Santa!
gold coast storm lightning sky clouds tree silhouette
WEE HOOOOO!!

When the lightning had passed and it still wasn’t raining I jumped in the car and took off up the hill for a better view.

Watch out, Santa!
My new favourite kind of Christmas lights!

gold coast lightning storm Christmas

I got two shots with the tree, then the lights went out. On the tree, anyways...
I got two shots then the tree lights went out. The lightning stayed a few minutes longer in the sky, but soon passed as well.

Another storm is coming as I write this – there’s a fair bit of lightning but I’m too chicken to go out to shoot it. I heard the thunder coming about half an hour ago and went out to watch and absorb the summerness: bare feet, driveway still radiating the heat of the day, crickets and cicadas chirping from the gully, the breeze stirring the trees illuminated by  lightning flashes. Hurriedly getting the washing in. And now it’s here and I can’t hear my music over the sound of rain hammering on our tin roof and a lovely fresh cool breeze is breathing through the house…

Happy summer!

– Michelle

 

 

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