Wish you were here!

Dwellingup Trees

I’m sitting with a laptop on my lap, in a rusty tractor, parked in an old metal shed, on top of a hill, in the middle of a paddock, on a farm, in the South West region of Western Australia.

Why? Well, I’m on a holiday trip with my family, and I am using this opportunity to literally road test a Telstra 4G high speed mobile broadband device, that can provide wireless connections for multiple devices at once. I have agreed to review it for Telstra, and this holiday, where we are in multiple remote-ish locations over the course of a week, is the perfect opportunity.

I hear the sweet, rich sounds of the bush. The birds singing, the crickets chirping, the trees and wind echoing through the valley… it’s simply beautiful and breathtaking.

And we are 30 kms from nearest town – which is why I am in the tractor shed… it is on top of the hill, so it gets the signal over that distance, and over the ZILLIONS of trees around here.

Wish you were here!


Set The Pudding On Fire

Our both-sides-of-the-family Christmas Eve dinner was a huge success! We didn’t focus on EXCESS and ABUNDANCE, which is very easy to do during this time of year. We also didn’t over eat and go overboard with food, which was another success for us.

Christmas Eve Dinner 2013

So instead of a large multicultural buffet of Christmas turkey, lamb chops, prawn cocktails and chicken curry (which is what my side of the family have every year), we decided to have a more restrained, modest, formal, sit down dinner with entree, traditional mains and dessert courses, which is what my husband’s side of the family have traditionally had.

Christmas Eve Dinner 2013

We created this fruit entree based on my husband’s very foggy memory of a dessert his own late mother made 20 years ago.

They looked quite cute! We didn’t have enough glass entree bowls so unfortunately they looked a bit like cocktails.

Christmas Eve Dinner 2013

My husband INSISTED that the melon balls of his memory were a *certain size*… and he was not happy with the *large size* of my melon balls. He popped over to his dad’s house and found his mother’s 30 year old double ended melon baller! Two sizes! What do you know, he was right after all. I thought he was going mad!

Christmas Eve Dinner 2013

For dessert, my 10 year old (and my 81 yr old father in law) made a Christmas fruit cake… and my 4 year old decorated it with plastic holly and Lego. It was insanely cute, but Santa looked a bit creepy in my opinion.

Christmas Eve Dinner 2013

For dessert part two, my 8 year old and my father in law made the Christmas pudding. It was made using real suet and took 8 hours to steam!

We ceremoniously lit up a large spoon full of brandy and poured it over the pudding, watching the blue flames dance over the top and fall down the sides. This tradition is something my husband’s family has done for the past 50 or so years. But my mum, dad, aunties and uncles had never seen it before, so it was really nice to share it with them.

Christmas Eve Dinner 2013

This is my father in law and I, laughing with delight as the children watched the burning pudding with wide eye wonder.

It was a really lovely evening, made of genuinely happy memories of Christmas, family, laughter and all that good stuff!

My Red Headed Elf

Christmas Day 2013

I know this sounds so cliched, but it really is soooo much more fun to give presents and to see the pure joy splashed across my children’s face.

My 4 year old Liam handed out all the presents from under the tree this morning… wearing a silly Santa hat of course. We had such a crazy happy morning!

Wishing you all a wonderful day with your loved ones!

Christmas Culture Surprise

Christmas Surprise

So what is this?

It is the mould/yeast thingy that I found growing on the top of my yoghurt about an hour ago. Very beautiful… and totally unwelcome! I found it while I was playing Tetris with all the stuff in my fridge.


I am… right now, rushing around preparing a formal, sit down Christmas Eve meal for 30 members of BOTH sides of my family, and to make it more interesting, it will be traditional to my husband’s side. So, here is our traditional Scottish / English menu.

Melon balls in pineapple juice appetizer – this is being made from the collective memory in my hubby’s family. It was a favorite of his late mother, but it hasn’t been made in like 20 years, and nobody has the actual recipe… so we are sort of making it up as we go!


Turkey, ham, roasted potatoes, broccoli, carrots, brussels sprouts, bread sauce, cranberry sauce.


Christmas steamed fruit pudding, made real old school by my 82 year old father in law. It will be set on fire with brandy, and then drizzled with yellow custard sauce.

And FINALLY…. assorted chocolate indulgences, from er, the shops.

I’ve never done all this before, and certainly not for 30 people… but I am sure it will all be okay.

I’ll show the pics later!

So, now off to the shops for new yoghurt… and a million other things!!!