All 3 entries tagged Christmas
July 01, 2007
25-26th December – Half Moon Bay, Auckland
So, what better place to rejoin the adventures as Christmas Day?
There was still a meal to be made and plenty of things to be sorted, so the morning was a panic of hoovering and cleaning before the Coopers extended family came along (both Dennis’ and Beverley’s brothers plus family). All minus Jens’ friend Vaughn, both unfortunately and amusingly, as it turns out I’d meet almost his entire family before himself.
Thankfully, the turkey had properly defrosted overnight, so I just had to fiddle with its innards and clear it out for all the stuffing before cooking it. After packing it all properly, I realised I had nothing to close the ‘backend’ up, and nothing to tie the legs together. A quick bolt around the house revealed no suitable string of any use, so I resorted to two office paper clips as a kind of brace, which apparently work a treat (that’s Kiwi engineering ingenuity for you). I shuffled it into the oven, and joined the others in making the place a worthy spot for a feast.
And what a feast it was (as you can see above). A prawn salad starter prepared by Word on the table was that my turkey was the best of the two we had, but I won’t push for any accolades. Needless to say, it was all gorgeous, and Dennis brought out some millennium primed champagne to sweeten the occasion a little more. Even Jens’ and Jonas’ Stolen went down well, regardless of what his expression in this photo might be telling you. I think it’s probably because this is the ‘before’ shot, and when everyone actually liked it, a much more satisfied Jens appeared.
After that, drinks in the lounge accompanied the obligatory present opening ceremony. We weren’t expecting the crate of Beck’s, but it went down very nicely all the same. And as quickly as all the other days seem to have gone, together with a full belly, and everyone primed for sleep, the Kiwi Christmas was over. It was my first Christmas away from my own family and friends, but still one that felt like home, so I’d like to thank the Coopers especially for making it so memorable.
It’s probably a testament to the day’s enjoyment that it took us the whole of the next day to get over it, and finally get our arses in gear to begin the next leg of the trek, where I’d finally get down towards the South Island (after parting company with Jens, Jonas and the Coopers) ready for the new year…
March 20, 2007
23rd-26th December – Half Moon Bay, Auckland
So we returned to Auckland on the 23rd, rather tired but rather excited, we had Christmas in two days! We helped the Coopers tidy up and decorate the house (as you can see above) in preparation for the big meal. They had invited us to have a Christmas meal with them, with the idea that we could bring something along to the table. Dennis had heard of a German seasonal cake-bread called Stolen, and promptly assumed Jens and Jonas would be assumed to be up for the task. They were, reluctantly at first, but soon warming to the idea, recipes were sought after on the internet and from calls back home to elderly relatives. A Stolen is usually made at least a month before Christmas, but we had a day. Being of the non-German origin, I had the traditional task of cooking a turkey, something I’d never done before either, but you just bung it in the oven, right?
Baking and mixing the Stolen turned out to be scarily easy, almost to the point of thinking they’d done something wrong in the process. So we spent the rest of the day hoovering and generally worrying about things. When evening approached, we decided to take a dip in the outdoor jacuzzi and enjoy a few drinks towards our little excursion, and our preparation for the day to come. Even Dennis and Beverley came around to share Cointreau and Grand Marnier to see us through to Christmas Day.
So, here I was 2am on Christmas morning, in an outdoor jacuzzi, on the other side of the world, at the start of summer, drinking Cointreau with a pair of Germans and a Kiwi family… madness.
The day before we had a bit of fun with a jacuzzi photo shoot. Although next time I think I’m going to need some lovely looking girls to accompany me in the water, any volunteers?
December 25, 2006
...from a beach on the East Cape pictured, and actually from Half Moon Bay in Auckland right now, I hope you’re all having a jolly time.