Thursday 23 January 2020

First Christmas in Australia has been a new experience

Justine O'Mahony

So we made it to Australia in one piece... just about.

The flight nearly killed me. This was partly my own fault because I refused to sleep for fear of missing any drinks or snacks being brought around! Is that just an Irish thing - that if you've paid for something and there are lots of extras included, you accept everything because you've paid for it, even if you don't really want it?

It's been an eventful few days. As soon as we arrived The Youngest got a tummy bug, was floored by jetlag and fainted hitting her head off the ground.

Then it started to rain and continued to do so for the next three days. People kept apologising for the inclement weather but how could we be annoyed when half of Australia is burning?

We were promised under pain of death that there were no spiders in the house. In fact The Sister in Law swore she hadn't seen a spider in the house in 13 years. Well guess what appeared underneath a blanket on the first night? The biggest hairiest spider I've ever seen. Cue hysterical screams from myself and the Eldest as we ran outside like headless chickens requesting the Emergency Services.

The following night, a midnight trip to the loo resulted in Himself having to rescue me, when upon sitting down another hairy friend joined me climbing up the wall to my left. Having been safely extricated, I am now insisting on someone coming with me each time I need to go to the toilet.

They said it wouldn't feel like Christmas but strangely it does. Yes it's a bit bizarre seeing people walking round barefoot and in bikinis whilst Chris Rea sings about driving home in the background but it still feels festive. Just a different type of festive.

We swam on the beach on Christmas morning, went to mass, had turkey on the barbeque, (even Himself was forced to admit it wasn't as bad as he predicted) and drank frozen margaritas.

I didn't get my Christmas blow dry in the end as my hair is 6 times bigger than normal and growing by the second, nor did I wear makeup, probably for the first time in 20 years. I may have looked a bit haggard but it was sort of liberating too.

And I've finally realised that it's not where you are at Christmas that matters, but who you're with. You can be just as happy in rainy old Ireland as sunny Oz as long as you're surrounded by people that make you happy.

As we head into a New Year, let us remind ourselves to seize every moment and cherish our loved ones.

And if they're bugging the bejaysus out of you after days of enforced proximity just remember you won't have to do it for another 12 months!

Wexford People

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