A collection of short stories and journalistic commentaries depicting my simple life
and how I fit in with the modern day universe of our times


It gets light by half eight in the morning and dark again by three in the afternoon. It is usually raining if not snowing, there are winds burning their way across your cheekbones and when you walk into a room from the cold sub zero temperatures you immediately feel tired in front of the blazing fire that is fully stoked to keep you warm.

And as if that wasn’t bad enough on its own, having supermarket hyped Christmas displays all around you from early September onwards and radio stations from the beginning of December methodically pumping out party anthems and Christmas hits 24 hours a day, helps further build the ambience.

Television adverts also abound on a daily basis, outwardly suggesting to us a need for all those must have items we’ve managed to live without for the rest of the year while the station programmers try to reel us in with the shallow promise of another single six month old (at best) blockbuster movie to keep us all going merrily throughout the holiday period.

And normally, for the average Brit, that should be enough to convince you that Christmas is on its way…

Christmas in Sydney
But this year it all feels incredibly odd. For starters, the sun is rising at five in the morning. And it is rising while being roasting hot too. The only thing resembling snow right now would be the burnt peeling skin falling from my shoulders (are you listening Cath?) and cold is simply not an option. Hell it even stays light in the evenings.

I got off the plane at Brisbane airport on the 15th of November. I have been here a month already and yes, I have seen Christmas trees (pics to prove it too) in the shopping arcades, in Brisbane, Newcastle and Sydney but they didn’t really register. It seems the supermarkets here have somehow managed to keep it very low key too and but for the fact I recently had another birthday (selfish of me I know), which heralds the fact that Christmas is only 2 more weeks away, I would never guess it was Christmas at all.

I even attended the Logan mayor’s Christmas Carols service at the Logan sports centre with Jodie and her emergency services cadets, but still it registered a big fat zero on the Yo Ho Ho scale. It just doesn’t seem right, Hell it isn’t right. Yes decorations have been going up and yes some people have gone way over the top with them (a global phenomenon it seems – oh dear) but even so, it still just isn’t as in your face as we get it in Britain.



I mean, there’s no Christmas menu at MacDonalds for one thing, no masses of Bernard Matthews 'Bootiful' turkeys setting sail from the shores to escape their programmed Yule tide doom, and probably not a single roast tater to be seen anywhere either during all the strangely unseasonal of seasonal festivities. Cooked meats and salads, barbecued shrimp and only a modicum of alcohol appear to make up the celebratory menu that hails in the birth of the antipodean lord. It’s all so wrong, wrong, and wrong.

Bing Crosby and the boys would be lost here too, wandering aimlessly about the place in search of a white Christmas other than that projected by a heat haze over the horizons.

It's all balls anyway
Now don’t get me wrong here, Australia does have bad weather from time to time and now is the time of year they would be having it too. Believe it or not, we are looking at possibilities for tsunamis, severe rain storms, flooding (yes flooding), cyclones and at the same time as if the rest wasn’t bad enough, forest fires too.

And even though there is not much place for snow in this mix apart from way up in the highlands, you will probably be amazed to learn that the hail here comes in the size of golf balls.


Yes, it’s far from the dry and arid Australia we grew up with back home as promised by that damned Jenny Agutter, and her ‘walkabouts’. They simply weren't the true picture. If it wasn’t for her, we might have also known that Crocodile Dundee was not indicative of the real way of life for big city Australia either.

So I guess it sort of messes with your head somewhat living this topsy turvy way of life and it could take some getting used to. It just doesn’t seem right to be sweating during the Christmas period but life as you know is an adventure as they say and I remain fully committed to not having it any other way. “Bring it Santa”, I demand and who knows? I might even get some gifts this strange year too. I just hope you can still shop at a twenty to midnight, Christmas Eve at the local petrol stations here like you can back home.


And how does a sleigh work with no snow? I have to ask myself.

And So This Is ChristmasSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

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Its my own fault really, its all about what I see in the world, and how it all translates for me.

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