You know it’s Christmas! 

They’re back! Yes the decorated sheep have made their annual appearance. Still working with the ‘more is more is more’ approach. Wishing you and your a very Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2017.

The Christmas Sheep!

At last, it’s never really Christmas here until we see the sheep at the shopping centre all decorated up!

The Christmas sheep strike again!
The Christmas sheep strike again!

Surprising as it may seem, this year the sheep decoration appears to be more subdued.

Santa on board.
Santa on board.
Nothing like a bit of festive headgear.
Nothing like a bit of festive headgear.
All dressed and ready to party.
All dressed and ready to party.

Merry Christmas and a Happy 2015 to you all!

Rainbirds and Christmas flowers

It’s been raining overnight here. When I let the cat outside this morning I saw something I’d only witnessed once before, birds washing themselves in the trees. They do this by flying into the thickest leaves and then ruffling their feathers and pushing themselves onto the leaves to get thoroughly wet.

Our semi-resident Grey Currawong is thoroughly 'wetted out'
Our semi-resident Grey Currawong is thoroughly ‘wetted out’

Our semi-resident Grey Currawong was in the thick of it, along with a Pied Currawong. They started out in the branches of our Omeo Mallee (Eucalyptus neglecta) and Kurrajong (Brachychiton populneum), but by the time I got my camera they’d moved into our neighbour’s Chinese Elm (Ulmus parvifolia). They were clearly having a ball!

The Grey Currawong having a post-bath preen
The Grey Currawong having a post-bath preen

In my ongoing annual Christmas quest for non-traditional Christmas flowers I bring you a really worthy candidate. This is my Pomegranate bush, which despite its small size still managed to give us several large fruits last year.

My pomegranate bush in flower
My pomegranate bush in flower

I don’t think you can beat that for Christmas colour!

Operatastic!

Before Christmas we were sitting around with family discussing gingerbread houses – TB has made a few over the years. We decided to see what was on the net and not surprisingly many searches led to this gingerbread re-creation of Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow. OK, so we weren’t going quite there.

Instead TB decided to make a reproduction of Australia’s most famous ‘house’, the Sydney Opera House, which celebrated its 40th anniversary this year. (Even though we have Parliament House here in Canberra, we thought it was a bit boring). It was easy enough to find a schematic drawing of the Opera House, but making the curved shapes required finding a bowl that could go into the oven to make the ‘shell’ sections.

Cooked 'shells' and schematic drawings.
Cooked ‘shells’ and schematic drawings.

TB simplified his construction focussing on making only the four main ‘shells’ and not the fiddly bits in between. Then came construction with the help of a lot of icing mix.

Gingerbread Opera House shells held together with icing.
Gingerbread Opera House shells held together with icing.

We got a bit carried away when it came to the icing, we found far too much glitter and shiny stuff in the cake decorating aisle of the supermarket.

Sticking the decorated bits of the Opera House together proved challenging.
Sticking the decorated bits of the Opera House together proved challenging.

At last – 2 kilos of gingerbread mix and 1 kilo of icing later and we were done!

Nothing if not exuberant!
Nothing if not exuberant!

We had a very positive response from the friends we had Christmas lunch with. We managed to get it to their house with only some one little break – unlike what was left over after lunch.