’twas the night before Christmas in Melbourne

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It is quite strange to be spending Christmas in Australia. It’s hot and sunny, so spending the afternoon listening to live music with a cold beer seemed a good way to spend Christmas Eve.

Phil and I were at Abbotsford Convent to visit the Christmas Eve Slow Food Market.

I was also keen to see Lentil as Anything at Abbotsford, as Phil and I have been volunteering at the one in St Kilda. This one is qute different as the food is buffet style, and as one of the cooks is Sri Lankan, the food slightly different and equally delicious. All vegetarian and we enjoyed dhal, beetroot korma, rice and steamed dumplings.

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The setting is beautiful yet it is just off a busy and culturally diverse high street. Enjoying the sunshine with us were families and couples, old and young, people from the UK, France, Germany, India, Sri Lanka, and South East Asia. Conversations taking place over lunch in half a dozen different languages. There were Muslims and Sikhs, Christians and those with no religious beliefs gathering as a community in the grounds of a former convent. I wonder what the nuns would have made of that?

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This is the poetry tree in Lentil as Anything.

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And this is where you make a wish and pay as you feel, there are no prices on the menu. The idea is that those who can afford to pay more do, so that everyone can afford to eat, whatever their circumstances.

Happy Christmas everyone!

Skipping Christmas

Skipping Christmas

Image via Wikipedia

Some of you may have watched the film Christmas with the Kranks, which is what the suits in Hollywood decided to call the film based on the book, by John Grisham Skipping Christmas

Because Phil and I will be in Melbourne for Christmas we are to some extent also skipping Christmas. We are not buying each other presents. We plan to go to the beach with the dogs on Christmas day and have lunch at the cafe in St Kilda we have been volunteering for, Lentil as Anything but in the evening we will have a special dinner with produce from the Slow Food market at Abbotsford Convent with sparking Shiraz, which apparently is the Aussie wine of choice at Christmas. I will also serve it slightly chilled!

Both our kids will be spending Christmas with the parents of their significant others. This has been the toughest thing for me. It will be the day I will miss them most, but I know that they will be looked after and have a great time. Next year guys, it’s back to our house, ok?

However, I haven’t gone completely Bah Humbug. Melbourne is all dressed up, and this is what I saw today from Chloe’s tapas bar. Who is Chloe? Scroll down to see!

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Even the trams are festive.

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Each evening there are projections on the State Library featuring scenes from The Nutcracker

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Meet Chloe.

So, we are not really Skipping Christmas, just doing it differently, spending less money and still having fun!