Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas in Dunedin, New Zealand

Despite having moved to New Zealand from England 11 years ago, I still cannot get used to Christmas in the summer. The weather in Dunedin is usually dreadful - cold and wet - which actually makes me feel like I am back in England and feels a lot more Christmasy.

On the plus side, I took the dog for a walk the other day along the sea at Aramoana. For some people this is a place of tragedy and sorrow because a number of years ago a man went on a shooting rampage and killed a number of people.

I always feel a great sense of loss when I go there but at the same time, I also have a great sense of peace and oneness with nature. Whilst I got nearly got blown to kingdom come, it was a lovely afternoon and I was able to watch seals play in the kelp and literally ran into three yellow-eyed penguins. The dog chased a family of feral cats, including three kittens who were nesting amongst the rocks. My husband was disappointed that I had not knocked the cats on their heads with a rock because of the danger they pose to the rare penguins.

I miss my family in England very much at this time of the year but at the same time I feel Christmas is a lot less commercialized for us as a family here than it would be if we were still in England. Because we are on our own, we have had to rely on each and develop our own Christmas traditions. So hopefully, the weather will hold up and we'll get to play our annual game of Christmas cricket.

But Christmas changes as the family grows up. My two teenagers are both working all over the holiday except for Christmas Day in the local supermarket and department store. My husband is working night duty. So I will be home alone with nothing to do except read my historical romances and may be plan some blogs posts!?


M-H said...

Happy Christmas, Sarah. Enjoy your peace and quiet.

Sarah Stewart said...

Thank you very much for that, m-h. Hope to get some serious writing done as well. Good luck with your Phd endeavors next year as well.

Anonymous said...

We're about to have our first ever Christmas as parents, and for the first time we're not going back to England to my family (not until January, anyway). It feels exciting and special - a precious time for the cementing of our little unit. Hope your family get some good bonding time free of jobs and PhDs. Happy Christmas!