True to style, Ava awoke. It was 6am. She noticed that the stockings were ‘plum’ filled with presents and let the caravan park now that Santa had been. Audrey was shocked that Santa had left crumbs of ‘Santas biscuits’ and carrots for the reindeers. No amount of explanation could satisfy Audrey’s disgust that Santa had wasted some of Nanna’s special shortbread biscuits. Biscuits that had amazingly survived the extreme temperatures of our journey. Biscuits that had evaded my grasp. In true style, Caroline had calculated the required number of biscuits for our journey (including Santa’s requirements into the calculation) and was right. Enough said, I admit it!
The girls opened their stockings before breakfast. Magnetic kangaroo fridge magnets, tin drinking cups from the Flying Doctors among other assorted treasures. The girls were thrilled with their presents from Santa – a reward for good behaviour during the year!
We ate a lovely breakfast. Scrambled eggs and salmon on toast. Yum! We all devoured breakfast and decided to make the most of the good weather. We had forecasted rain till midday. The sun decided it wanted to come out so we adjusted our plans accordingly. Hit the beach, enjoy the last of the regions sunshine and waters before starting on the Christmas feast. Before our trek, we had round two of presents for the girls. Gifts from godparents, grandparents, Auntie Nicki, Auntie Sarah and of course Caroline and I. The girls were ecstatic with all presents received. As one may expect, in true traditional form the girls adored Barbie and Elsa, however spent the day interchanging between the myriad of presents they had received! On behalf of the girls thank you for the presents!
This was the first Christmas I had spent on the beach. Caroline was shocked and suggested that it was customary to swim on Christmas day irrelevant of the temperature. It was 19 degrees, the wind was coming through the beach and cloud cover was starting to make its way onto the horizon. We changed into our swimmers and jumped into the water. Refreshing? Yes! Unfortunately the clouds were rolling in faster than anticipated – affecting the remedial warmth of the sun. The girls played in the sand, wore their new ‘Australian’ hats and ate Christmas mince pies on the beach rug. Can it get any more Australian than that!
Audrey received a kite as a Christmas present from her godfather Mike Franklin. With the strong onshore winds, the kite was the perfect present for the changing conditions. Audrey stood on the beach grasping the handle with all her might as Ava launched the kite. The kite’s trajectory ranged from soaring like a ‘jellyfish’ (it looks a lot like a jellyfish!) to spiralling through the sky, before crashing to the ground. The girls were yet to learn the important lesson of covering their heads when a projectile is heading their way. Fortunately accidents were avoided on this occasion!
We optimised our time in the sun. Once again we left the beach as the sun decided to leave – ensuring we all received as much of WA’s good weather as we could! Caroline started on the Christmas lunch as I cooked a damper/bread on the Weber. We enjoyed cheese with warm bread along with a bottle of 2009 Lost Lake Blanc de blanc – an incredible drop we picked up from the Pemberton region.
A late lunch was served shortly afterwards. Turkey, roast potatoes, carrots, broccoli and sprouts with gravy. Caroline had excelled herself cooking such a fantastic meal in the confines of the caravan! This meal was matched with a 2011 Rockford Basket Press Shiraz from the Barossa – an early Christmas present from Nanna and Grandpa to enjoy with our Christmas lunch. It was a beautiful wine that survived 50 days of inclement weather in the back of the car. The meal and wine exceeded my expectations. Whilst different to the amazing spread that Nanna and Grandpa put on each year – we had a fantastic Christmas meal (and day!) Christmas pud’ was out of a packet – and I can confirm that it was surprisingly good – the second helping I had is testament to how good it was!
Taking time to spread the Christmas cheer we FaceTimed Nanna and Grandpa (along with the rest of the Beattie family that headed to Eastwood for Christmas), Nonna and Jamps, Nicki, Ines, Gary and Ranulph and then FaceTimed Mark and Claire to wish Jack a merry Christmas. It was so lovely seeing Jack having a fantastic time at home with the Sullivan’s – all my girls (and I) are looking forward to seeing him in four weeks.
The girls are having dinner and hopefully will go down reasonably well today. Tomorrow is a pretty big drive, 450km north east to Fraser Range. The start of our journey across the Nullarbor.
Whilst we have been away from family and friends this Christmas, it has been lovely spending Christmas on the beach and with new friends we have met along the way. For those of you that we haven’t had the chance to make contact with today, Caroline, Ava, Audrey and I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas. We certainly did!!