It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Photo by Michele Reid

Christmas decorations at Meyer.

How is it December already? Christmas has really snuck up on me this year. We’ve been super busy getting ourselves a place to call home (so excited!!!) and preparing for the arrival of our new fur-child, a gorgeous Maine Coon kitten. Hopefully her big Siberian sister will take to her quickly and we can all enjoy Christmas together.

Photo by Michele Reid

Mia playing in her favourite present, a random box, with her Santa toy.

It’s a bit difficult getting into the swing of things and doing all my Christmas crafts with it being 39 degrees Celsius today! Summer has truly arrived. I’m also busy helping with organising our office multi-cultural Happy Holidays party, so have been cutting out photo props and Santa beards to go on some paper straws (will take a photo and hopefully post them here later in the week).

I’ve managed to get most of my Christmas shopping done (that was the one department I’ve been very organised in) complete with stocking treats. I just need to get a few things for my family back home, but that’s easy enough thanks to online shopping (a lifesaver!)

I absolutely love Christmas. I think I have my parents to thank for that. It really was a magical time for me as a child. It all started with an invitation to the Noddy Party (if you’re South African and a child of the ’80s, chances are you went to at least one of these). It was organised by the local Rotary and Noddy was the main character. Ours was hosted on a farm (it’s long been sold off and is now home to lots of new houses). We would be entertained by characters on the stage which included Noddy, fairies and of course right at the end, Santa. Meanwhile, our parents would get stuck in the picnics they’ve packed and catch up with friends. You would wait and strain your ears until you hear Santa call out your name and give you a present. I always thought we were so special to get a present from Santa before Christmas!

Photo by Michele Reid

Antique German Christmas baubles from my childhood.

Another favourite was decorating the Christmas tree. Christmas smelt like tinsel to me. After a while, my grandmother gave us one of their trees (we had fake ones) and my brother and I each got to decorate our own trees! Christmas eve we always spend with my German side of the family where we got to indulge in some German Christmas treats. Naturally that meant Santa came on Christmas eve at their home. After midnight, we would head home and drive through our town’s main road which was completely decorated with Christmas lights.

My brother would usually wake me up early on Christmas morning. He would first report that Santa drank the two cold beers and biltong (cured meat) we left out for him. He would then go on to tell me how many gifts he received, how many I’ve received and what he thinks I got. Together we would rush into the lounge to open our presents before running to my parents room to show us what Santa brought us.

Later as I became part of Hubby’s family, I also got to experience some of their traditions and enjoyed delicious, lazy Christmas lunches under the big tree with their family.

Photo by Stephen Reid

Our Christmas tree.

Now that it’s just the two of us in Australia, I think I try to compensate by the amount of decorating I do. I make a delicious meal and we celebrate on Christmas eve (as that was really Christmas for me growing up), but we open our presents of Christmas day. Santa doesn’t even forget the fur-children! We also get to open our stockings (something I never had as a child but got to experience with Hubby’s side of the family). We might head off to the beach for an early morning swim and smile at the families from places like the UK enjoying the novelty of a summery Christmas. They pose with Santa hats on the beach to send back to their families who haven’t even woken up yet. It’s nice to see people create new traditions in their new home. The rest of the day is usually spent indoors with the air-conditioner on and phoning or Skyping family back home.

So, hope you get to finish all of your Christmas crafting and shopping (do share ideas with me, I love to see what everyone’s making) and get to spend some time with loved ones over the holidays!

Advertisements

Winter time

Photo by Michele Reid

Autumn leaves early in the morning.

Well it’s definitely winter in Perth. Icy mornings and my washing refuses to dry. My friends in the northern hemisphere are enjoying sending me photos and emails about how they’re enjoying the sunshine and warmer weather.  But winter isn’t all bad, the tree in our street put on an amazing display as the leaves changed.

It’s also a great time to indulge in some treats I won’t normally do in the warmer months. Hubby baked these delicious scones from scratch! I’m a terrible baker so I’m quite lucky to have a husband who can bake.

Photo by Michele Reid

Yummy scones with cream!

The weather really started to get cold earlier last month when we were down in Busselton for the Half Ironman. I took a few photos while we were down there.

Photo by Michele Reid

Rain coming in over the ocean at the Busselton jetty.

Photo by Michele Reid

Rain on the car window – I was taking shelter from the icy cold wind.

Photo by Michele Reid

Beautiful winter sunrise the day of the Busselton Half Ironman event. Pity it was absolutely freezing.

Best bookshop in the world…is in Perth?

Photo by Michele Reid

Sign at the entrance of Kaleido Books. Love it!

I am so excited I just can’t help myself. As an avid reader and book nerd, I was so excited when I realised Perth has the best bookshop probably in the world. Perth is slowly but surely casting aside it’s sleepy mining town reputation and becoming a vibrant, multicultural city. I’m so lucky to be living here as things are changing.

Photo by Michele Reid

The horror section

Photo by Michele Reid

Photo by Michele Reid

Photo by Michele Reid

One of my favourite signs

The bookstore is called Kaleido Books is located at the train station as you walk from Myer in the city towards the National Art Gallery and the WA Museum. I had a quick browse around and they stock a wide variety of books. If there’s anything you can’t find, the friendly staff will try their best to track it down.

Photo by Michele Reid

The history section

Photo by Michele Reid

Exactly what most of us are thinking

Photo by Michele Reid

The Penguin Classics section

Photo by Michele Reid

I love the policeman

While snapping away at their brilliant signs, I met the incredibly friendly Sarah who told me that the signs are just the beginning. Already a talented Western Australian artist have painted some beautiful signs in the store based on Alice in Wonderland and Terry Pratchett. More artworks are to come which will make this bookstore an even bigger feast for the eyes.  They also have some unique and adorable gifts for the art lover and book nerd in your life.

Photo by Michele Reid

Alice in Wonderland inspired art

Photo by Michele Reid

Terry Pratchett inspired art – I like the kitty

In a world of chain stores, it’s so nice to come across something so unique and quirky like Kaleido Books. So if you’re ever in Perth, pop round to see the latest signs, say hi to the lovely staff and who knows, maybe you’ll find that book you’ve been looking for.

Photo by Michele Reid

The language section

Photo by Michele Reid

You’re bound to find the perfect recipe book here

On a side note, Find Bliss on Earth is now on Facebook!