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Day 271 Sunday 25th December 2011

Merry Christmas!

Firstly, apologies for the lengthy post, but it is Christmas after all!

After last nights clear sky, this morning we awoke to grey clouds. As we sat outside eating our breakfast under the little canopy of our tent, the rain got heavier and heavier. I then decided to do something that I have never done before and would highly recommend… I put on my bikini (this, I have obviously done before and is not a first ha-ha!) and took a rain shower!!

There are no showers where we are camping, no real facilities other than drop-toilets, it really is back to Mother Nature here.

I held my arms out wide and just embraced the rain and it was fantastic! The funny thing is, opposite our site, there is another couple who have a tent also, they were here before we arrived. And the lady was laughing in a nice way (I think) at what I was doing. Next thing I know, she’s in her bikini and her partner was in his swimmers doing what I’d just done!! Later in the day, they actually thanked me for inspiring them!! Oh, by the way I encouraged my partner to do it as well and he reluctantly did, though be it through gritted teeth. I somehow got the impression that he didn’t quite enjoy it as much as I did.

We opened our presents, which were all lovely. We are also lucky enough to have some to look forward to opening when go home.

Thankfully, the rain passed and the sky cleared to a beautiful blue and we walked to our local beach for a Christmas day swim/surf.

When we arrived back at our tent, we had neighbours! A family of 5. I think they are Dutch, 2 young boys and a girl about 8 years old, who likes playing with her dolls, toys. Seeing her in her own little world, reminded me of me when I was her age.

We had a box of Christmas crackers (they call them bonbons here in Australia) and I took out 2 for us and then gave each of the children and their parents a cracker for them to pull. They didn’t know what they were for, so I explained that it’s a Christmas tradition, that 2 people pull the cracker, it makes a bang noise and inside is a gift, a paper hat and a joke. The children all seemed really excited and the family sat there wearing their paper crowns and instantly became a royal family, just for a moment in time.

The highlight of my day though, was for the first time in almost 3 years I was able to see my Mum! Unfortunately my Mum has yet to embrace technology, though I am hoping that in 2012 this will change. Anyway, she was staying at my Aunts over Christmas and we managed to Skype them! I even watched Mum open up my Christmas present, which was a really large framed photograph (for those who may be curious as to which one, It’s the photo that I took back sometime in April, of the clouds reflecting on the beach, which was taken where we are staying right now. I would put a link on here, if I could but I don’t have much battery left, it shouldn’t be too hard to find, just go to the calendar to the right hand side of this page and click on April). She loved it. It’s the first photograph of mine that I have given her.

Christmas is a time when I feel very far away, when the rest of my family are in Europe, so having 40 minutes talking to my Mum face to face and also my Aunt, Uncle and their dog was the best Christmas present I could ask for.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Seal Rocks, NSW, Australia

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Day 270 Saturday 24th December 2011

My Wish Became a Star

Relaxation….I am slowly slowly starting to relax and unwind from every day life, Seal Rocks has that effect on you, it’s pretty difficult to feel stressed out here.

We’ve been so fortunate that it’s been really quiet where we are camping, I think the weather has a lot to do with it, as it has been raining a lot during the night, except for tonight…tonight was different…

Last Christmas, we were given a couple of Chinese lanterns which we still hadn’t used, so I brought them along with us on this trip. Tonight was the perfect night to set them free, as the night was calm and as we walked to the beach in the dark with only a little torch to guide our way, our eyes adjusted to the darkness. I was sure to not look at anything other than my partners legs as he walked in front of me as I didn’t want to know what else was out there watching us as we walked through the dark dark forest, even though it was only a 5 minute walk, a lot can happen in 5 minutes!!! Did I mention that Seal Rocks also has a way of playing with your imagination?!!!

Once we cleared the forest, we came to the sand dunes that decorate the side of the beach with wild vegetation and upon arriving at these, all we could see was a sky full of stars. It was so so beautiful.

We sat down on the beach and proceeded to light our lanterns one by one. We lit my partners one first, I lit the wick and he held the top of the lantern and as it gradually filled with air and got lighter and lighter, he set it free whilst making a wish. It gradually rose and then drifted out to sea, high above the water until it actually looked liked the twinkliest of all the stars and as the wind gently guided it to where ever the wind wanted it to go, it slowly faded out of sight.

We then lit mine and this time, I held the top and I set it free when it was ready. I Made my wish. I hope that it comes true! My lantern almost followed exactly the same route.

We then lay on the towel that we had brought with us and watched the billions of stars twinkling above us and saw several shooting stars dance across the sky.

All in all it was a Christmas Eve night that I will never forget. We felt so peaceful and relaxed watching the lanterns drift away high above the ocean, it had such a calming effect on us.

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