Like almost everybody else, we spent the last Saturday before Christmas doing the shopping! In Australia, most smaller shops close around lunchtime on Saturday, even in the cities, so we only had a short time to get our shopping done. We were only after a few small Christmas presents for the girls (aware of the size of our rucksacks, especially as we’ve got to get everything back into them when the hire car goes back on 5th January; and also the ominous presence of a green suitcase, which Gloria and Michael are carrying and have told us is full of Christmas presents for the girls). I also had to buy a new CD-ROM writer, as the Archos drive I’ve been using since leaving has finally given up (it was temperamental when I first bought it, and has been getting steadily worse as time goes on). We need it because it allows us to backup our pictures onto CD, and send them home, as well as copy photos and text for our website, whenever internet cafés won’t allow me to connect up my own computer (which is quite often here in Australia). We’re also hoping that the green suitcase contains one or two CDs to play, as we’re now thoroughly sick of the same 10 CD’s worth of music on the computer. We could do with something else to put on our MP3 player!
Anyway, shopping successfully achieved, we then all went to the cinema to watch the new Peter Pan film (a pre-Christmas treat), and then went down to the harbour to play in the adventure playground and catch the sea breeze before bedtime. We’re still amazed at how good the public parks are here in Australia – every town has a park that most places in England would be proud of, with a great play area, and picnic tables and BBQs to cook on. This evening the sun had come out, and all the clouds had cleared away, and every BBQ was in use by groups of families and friends enjoying the summer. Its at times like this that you can envy the Australians their outdoor lifestyle (especially after the flies have gone to bed…)