Christmas at the family … … ranch (?)

This year the run up to christmas has been all about wrapping presents, drinking wine, ever-so-much sun, family decorations, watching Q.i., making Candy Cane Biscotti, and herding runaway caterpillars.

Candy Cane Biscotti

Candy Cane Biscotti

Delicious.

Traditional Decoration

Our tree is a family history of christmases.
Ever so old baubles made by my grandma using sequins and polystyrene balls. And a crochet angel from which the starch has disappeared.

Sleeping angel decoration

She now appears to be sleeping. Yawning. Not exactly caroling.

2007 Decorations:

Jayne's decoration

Charlotte's decoration

Christmas tree decorations

My decoration

My decoration

Rogue Caterpillars!

Runaway Caterpillar

Rogue caterpillar

Runaway Caterpillar

And scary scary decorations in the mall.
Well, mainly just the one extra scary decoration:

SUPER creepy decoration

Ugggh.
It’s all I see when I close my eyes!

Pretty rose

Pretty rose

Rose Closeup

(much better)

This morning my sisters and I all got up at different times and didn’t really see each other before leaving the house.
About an hour after we’d been all home together we kind of looked at each other and realised:

Scary.

We’d all managed to choose some kind white tee shirt and jeans.
Spooky in a not very interesting kind of way.

Creepy decoration

Out of Character

Remember when I told y’all about all the hundreds of photos I had to post?
And how I actually would post them?
Oh, that was fun. The tiny glimmer of hope that I might emerge from my camera-blind haze and put photos up in an organised manner.

Don’t get me wrong. I do still intend to.
Perhaps after Christmas.
To tide you over, here are a few of my favourites:

Hong Kong

Reflection of a reflection

View of 2 ifc

View of 2 ifc

Pretty Flowers

Craig and the HK Skyline

Sarah-Rose and the HK Skyline

Cute little Lily face

Mimi

Offering

Mmm Pocky (one)

Purple with gold behind

Incense with flowers behind

Burning Incense

Incense at Po Lin

Incense at Po Lin

Auckland

Dark dark shell

Gannet in flight

Favourite clouds

Some people make me feel inadequate.

Proof Craig made it to the top

So green

View from Rangitoto

And now, I am in Wellington and Craig is in Auckland and the freedom is a little spooky.
We haven’t spent this long apart since … June 2004.
In the last year we haven’t spent more than say, the day, apart.

Curiouser and curiouser

Today Craig and I took the ferry out to Rangitoto Island and climbed all the way to the top (!) and all the way back down again.
I took many photos (you’re surprised, I know) but they will wait for another day because this afternoon something quite strange happened to me …

We caught the 12:45pm ferry back to Devonport. I can’t be wrong, because there are only 3 ferry crossings a day and if we’d missed that one then we’d have been sat on the island, twiddling our thumbs, for another 3.5 hours.
The ferry ride was uneventful. Except halfway through one of those things popped into my head.
One of those things that gets turned around and around and around like a rock in a tumbler, polishing it up in my mind. One of them is Dolarhyde but today it was …
R.o.u.s es, Rodents of Unusual Sizes. ROUSes. ROUSes. ROUSes.
I even muttered it outloud as we were disembarking. I was trying to not slip.
The ferry ride took 20 minutes, we were in Devonport at 1pm.

On our way back to Craig’s parents’ house we stopped at a mall and I bought two pairs of shoes (also, not the point of this story) and the time on the receipt, (I just checked) was 1:51pm.

Have we established the time yet? Craig and I would not have been home before 2pm.
Shortly afterward I started editing and uploading photos from the day. And I checked my email.
I received this:

ROUSes

Bizarre right?
An obscure linguistical obsession pops into my head, apropos of nothing and I come home to a message saying the exact same thing??
My sister and I are obviously psychically linked.

ATTENTION FAMILY!!

A-hem.
Attention family.
It seems we love all y’all too damn much (oh yea, haven’t been in London at all. Actually Louisiana. Forgot to mention that) because the huge suitcaseS we just packed?
Half full of presents for you.

Craig would argue that it’s just a sickness that I have. This present buying obsession. But I blame all of YOU.

No turning back now …

In 45 minutes I finish work.
I have 5 weeks leave and everyone looks at me a little askance when I tell them, but I had it arranged before I started! And they didn’t HAVE to hire me!
Ach. It’s frustrating.

Tomorrow I have a million and one things to do, including a massive repack. Oh that will be so so so much fun.

I really didn’t plan this final week out too well. While the Pantomime last night was amazing (just fabulous boys and gels) and the concert tonight I’m sure will be equally fab, I just think that really I could have used an extra evening or two at home in the final run … I can’t think about it anymore. My head hurts just a little.

Why did I start this again? Oh right. To say that, as of tomorrow, we are on holiday!
In the evening we fly out to Hong Kong!! We haven’t been before and oh, I am excited.
We arrive in Auckland on the 12th December (New Zealand!!) and then Wellington on the 20th December.

A week or so ago, I mentioned to Craig how it was disappointing that we leave London just as we hit our 6 month anniversary of arriving. It seems so soon to be abandoning it, even if it is only for a month.
Thinking about it, we left Wellington on the 1st of May. Which means that when I get back, it will have been 8 months since I left.

I almost hope that it has changed just a little …

p.s. Is it strange that I’m really looking forward to coming back to London already? I hope it snows for us.

p.p.s. Please blame this entry on two cans of Red Bull. My fingers feel all twitchy!

It’s the Post Script that amuses me most. Hee.

This morning I received an email from my sister :

So, the other night i had an odd dream…
You had killed Craig, and had been arrested in London, and we weren’t allowed to see you anymore. While i woke up upset that i couldn’t see you anymore, i was also concerned for Craig’s well being …
You may want to warn him … or turn yourself into the coppers.

PS
i found a tiny, tiny strawberry