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Christmas Day at Bondi Beach 2017

How enticing is this? Not.

Well, this is a dire Christmas Day on Sydney’s most iconic beach. 21C with a strong cold southeast wind, and heavy grey clouds. Not exactly what you think of when the term “summer in Sydney” springs to mind, is it?

To me, there’s a sort of admirable determination to have fun going on with these people. We’re in Sydney, it’s Christmas Day, we’re going to the beach!

We WILL have fun at Bondi Beach on Christmas Day.

There seemed to be as many lifeguards as beachgoers, and with not a lot to do.

These guys just look cold.

Compare this gloom to 25 December last year, which really was a perfect summer day.


Bondi photos

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Random Fridays: Christmas light

Christmas light

In this photo taken in Texas two years ago, the setting sun lights up the lamp post at the end of my parents’ driveway.

With Christmas Day falling on a Friday this year, I couldn’t resist a seasonal photo for Random Fridays! I’d like to wish all my blogger friends and visitors a happy and safe Christmas season, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing.


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Stranded in South Texas

I am one of the thousands of people whose travel plans have been disrupted by Winter Storm Hercules. The snow and ice didn’t reach south Texas, of course, but it grounded hundreds of planes farther north and led to the cancellation of thousands of flights — including mine, two days in a row. I’m now scheduled to leave tomorrow. Maybe.

There are some consolations to being stranded, however: my mother is a fantastic cook! (And these photos allow me to enter Ed’s Sunday Stills Challenge, The Letter F — FESTIVE FOOD, in my case.)

Filo-wrapped jalapeno peppers stuffed with crab and parmesan cheese.

Filo-wrapped jalapeno peppers stuffed with crab and parmesan cheese.

Oysters Rockerfeller (oysters in a cheese and spinach sauce).

Oysters Rockerfeller (oysters in a cheese and spinach sauce).

A trio of hors d'ouevres: asparagus spears wrapped in filo pastry; salmon pinwheels; guacamole-topped cheese crisps.

A trio of hors d’ouevres: asparagus spears wrapped in filo pastry; salmon pinwheels; guacamole-topped cheese crisps.

Pistachio-filo wafers with lemon honey mousse.

Pistachio-filo wafers with lemon honey mousse.

Malakoff Torte (brandy-dipped sponge fingers with a ground almond-brandy-cream filling).

Malakoff Torte (brandy-dipped sponge fingers with a ground almond-brandy-cream filling).

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.