Christmas Down Under

A few days ago I blogged about plans to ‘skip’ Christmas.

It’s our first Christmas away from home, and without the children. We’d agree not to buy presents for each other.

But fate intervened. I blame Skippy!


Fate started to play its tricks on us a few weeks ago in New Zealand. We made an unscheduled stopover in Havelock a tiny town who has less people living in it (c500) than live in my street back in Birmingham. It is famous for it’s green lipped mussels. There is one pub, one small supermarket and no ATM.

We were tired and the long and winding road to Nelson loomed, so we took the safe and sensible option to stay on a tiny campsite, where we met Barb and Peter.

I’m not sure who spoke first, but I met Barb in the computer room. She lost her dollars worth of Internet access time that day! We ended up having dinner with them in the only pub in town. And a few drinks in their van. We discovered we were on the same flight to Melbourne. So we knew we’d meet again. Then we met them a few days later at another campsite, darn fate, and once more drink was taken. Christmas was mentioned then I think.

Once we had settled in Melbourne they took us to Queen Vic market.


Then invited us to supper.


And we met their lovely family, who all insisted we come on Christmas day.


We weren’t the only POM’s or none Aussies round their table. Barb and Pete opened up their house to Dan from Manchester, his beautiful girlfriend, Molly, from Boston USA and various other friends of their kids, as well as their lovely family.



The food was magnificent! (And I still laugh about those two kettles).

Merry ChristmasDiving in to the feast

It was chaotic, in a good way


and I missed my kids and my mom, but thanks to Barb and Peter, and their lovely family, we had a lovely Christmas day. I hope one day, they can come to visit us in the UK. The bar has been set high. We don’t roast our turkey in a Webber, and I won’t have Australian prawns in a Bali hut. But we’ll always have Bailey’s.

PS Peter and Andrew, bring your tools, I want a Bali hut too!

This entry was posted in Australia, Melbourne, Travel and tagged , , , , , by Travelling Coral. Bookmark the permalink.

About Travelling Coral

I started blogging in 2011 to record some of the highlights of the round the world trip I made with my husband Phil. On the 5 month trip we visited California, New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Malaysia and Thailand. We met some fantastic people, saw amazing things and ate some lovely food. Yet while enjoying these new experiences I became acutely aware of the inequality in both first and third world countries. The gap between the rich and the poor on the streets of LA and KL was the same. On my return home, I realised that this inequality existed in the UK. I had to leave the country to see it for what it was. Food banks were opening in every town and city. I read the now famous blog, A Girl Called Jack and got more interested in how food poverty impacts the lives of so many people in my home country. And I got angry. And wanted to do something about it. Now, I work for Smethwick CAN, a charity bringing people together to tackle poverty, increase aspiration, provide opportunity and support the most vulnerable. One of the projects is a foodbank. Food poverty is shocking in any country, yet over a third of edible food still ends up in landfill. No one should go hungry, yet children are going to school without breakfast. Parents are skipping meals to feed their children. Foodbanks are a sticking plaster not a cure for food poverty. So, in addition to working for a charity that is supporting people in crisis, I volunteer for The Real Junk Food Project. They intercept food that would normally be thrown away, and cook it and serve it in a Pay as You Feel Cafe. I am still adjusting to life back at home in Birmingham, England, I have terminal Farsickness. To keep it at bay, I drag my husband and sometimes the son on shorter trips both in the UK and overseas. I now post random stuff that interests me. This includes travel, food and well being. The writing keeps me sane. Long term travelling is my goal.

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