Geraldton – Christmas Day

Christmas Day is Christmas Day however old you are and wherever you are in the world. It is just as exciting regardless. Well for me it is anyway! I got up eagerly – if a little gingerly (too much beer and wine last night!) to see if Santa had left me any presents under the tree. I was pretty optimistic – because I always am - but mainly because I'd had a huge stash of parcels waiting for me yesterday which I had deposited under said tree ready for this morning! I spread festive cheer around the rest of the gang with Christmas tea and toast - which is pretty well the same as normal tea and toast except I'm bouncing around with Christmas excitement and anticipation! I manage to lure the others out of their bunks to join in with the promise that Father C had been and left them each something in the saloon area.  Father C had indeed been and left little foil stockings filled with chocolate and crackers and labelled with stars looking suspiciously like they'd come out of one of my arts and crafts 'Blue Peter' sessions!
The next 3 hours followed with me opening my many, many presents and cards which included a stocking full of goodies from my mum, parcels from my brother, friends Kate and Anneli and a box from Simes with pressies from him and a collection of cards and gifts from other friends, people at work, my next door neighbours and a load of fabulous cards to the whole crew made by children from Stoneferry Primary School! It literally took me 3 hours to open and read everything – amidst much 'oohing and aahing' and several misty-eyed moments!  During the course of the morning Arthur, Charles, Adam and Alex went of to join their “adopted families” for Christmas Day.  As part of Geraldton's welcome and hosting of the Clipper Race many of the residents had offered to “adopt” a Clipper crewmember for Christmas Day. I'd decided not to be adopted – I thought my Mum might not be too happy - and having only arrived the day before I really wanted my own space to do as I desired! In the end Ken and I sauntered up to the Broadwater Marina complex of apartments – where many of the crew were staying in search of a rumoured bar-b-q and the chance to swim in the pool there. There were no obvious signs of the bar-b but by the time we'd swam and sat in the jacuzzi (Christmas is tough in Oz), Victor (Jeremy) and Rob invited us to join them and their wives for Christmas supper – an invitation we most graciously accepted and so a traditional Christmas meal was enjoyed on a warm Aussie evening by the not so traditional pool!