A lot like Christmas

You know that song that goes “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”? Sydney is doing its best to remind people of the season, just in case you overlooked it. Here are a few images that have caught my attention recently, and are my contribution to Sunday Stills Holiday Lights and Decorations.

I’d like to wish “Happy Holidays” to everyone, and I’ll see you again in 2014.

No chance I could miss this one, as I walk past it twice a day: it's the tree and a wreath in the lobby of my office building.

No chance I could miss this one, as I walk past it twice a day: it’s the tree and a wreath in the lobby of my office building.

Stars line Martin Place and blaze in the summer sun.

Stars line Martin Place and blaze in the summer sun.

Serried ranks of wreaths, Strand Arcade.

Serried ranks of wreaths, Strand Arcade.

Wreath close-up, Strand Arcade.

Wreath close-up, Strand Arcade.

The Christmas tree in Martin Place is to Sydneysiders what  the tree in Trafalgar Square is to Londoners. Here, its crowning star is caught in a shaft of late sunlight and backdropped by an office building covered in scaffolding and netting.

The Christmas tree in Martin Place is to Sydneysiders what the tree in Trafalgar Square is to Londoners. Here, its crowning star is caught in a shaft of late sunlight and backdropped by an office building covered in scaffolding and netting.

The Martin Place tree, against the late 19th century Colonial Mutual Life building.

The Martin Place tree, against the late 19th century Colonial Mutual Life building.

A bauble on the Martin Place tree. I'm the faint pink blob and spot of light in the centre, standing on the steps of the General Post Office.

A bauble on the Martin Place tree. I’m the faint pink blob and spot of light in the centre, standing on the steps of the General Post Office.

Flying reindeer, lights and spheres, in the Westfield Bondi Junction mall.

Flying reindeer, lights and spheres, in the Westfield Bondi Junction mall.

No lights, no designer, no budget. A colleague crafted this message on a writeable wall in our office.

No lights, no designer, no budget. A colleague crafted this message on a writeable wall in our office.

Travel Album: New Zealand

Bay of Islands

I recently spent eight days sailing along the north-east coast of New Zealand’s North Island. Some images from the stunning Bay of Islands area seem a fitting contribution to Travel Photos Monday.

This formation is known as "the hole in the rock". No kidding.

This formation is known as “the hole in the rock”. No kidding.

Early morning, Opua.

Early morning, Opua.

The Pohutukawa is also known as the Christmas Bush because it flowers in December.

The Pohutukawa is also known as the Christmas Bush because it flowers in December.

The path from Opua to Paihia passes pebble beaches, mangroves and tree ferns.

The path from Opua to Paihia passes pebble beaches, mangroves and tree ferns.

The public toilets in Paihia have three of these perched along the roof.

The public toilets in Paihia have three of these perched along the roof.

On Motuarohia (Roberton) Island, a 450-metre (490-yard) climb is rewarded with sweeping views.

On Motuarohia (Roberton) Island, a 450-metre climb is rewarded with sweeping views.

A photomerged panaroma from the viewpoint on Motuarohia (Roberton) Island.

A photomerged panaroma from the viewpoint on Motuarohia (Roberton) Island.

Grasses growing along the shoreline.

Grasses growing along the shoreline.

A pod of dolphins came to visit! That's my ship, Lord Nelson, in the background.

A pod of dolphins came to visit! That’s my ship, Lord Nelson, in the background.

Dinner on Lord Nelson after a long day spent lazing on the beach.

Dinner on Lord Nelson after a long day spent lazing on the beach.

Even paradise looks a bit dismal in the rain.

Even paradise looks a bit dismal in the rain.

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