A Busy Christmas Break

Xmas has been and gone for another year. I had a couple of weeks off work, along with Rach, so we were able to make the most of it and take her Mum and Dad for a spot of sightseeing. Rach’s Mum and Dad are leaving on Saturday and they seem to have had an enjoyable time, although Rachelle’s Mum has struggled a bit with the heat. This Xmas was certainly a lot hotter than the previous year. We had many days when the temperature was well into the mid 30’s. Rach’s Dad even got sunburnt just hanging some washing out on the line!

Here’s a brief summary of what we’ve been up to over the festive period:

Internet Business December Meetup

Quite a while ago I put my name down on meetup.com as being interested in attending a meetup for internet business owners. After a few months of waiting for someone to start a group, I decided to start one myself. So in October I held my first Brisbane Internet Meetup Group at a café/bar just outside the city centre. The event was immediately a success and all attendees (there were roughly 10 for the first month) said they found it really useful to be able to swap experiences, tips and ideas on everything related to Internet Business including marketing, web design, sales, blogging, social media, etc.

The meetup is now a monthly event and the December get together was held on the 19th December and received the best turnout yet. At each meetup I get to meet new members over a meal and a few beers in an informal setting.

As of today 68 members have joined my group.

Work Xmas Party

The following day, on Friday 20th December, I took Rach and Lauren to my work xmas party.

Xmas in the park

Being Australia, this was quite different to the xmas parties I remember from the UK. My company had booked out an area of a park by the Brisbane river just next to Story Bridge, with views into the CBD. Food and booze was provided and we had a lovely afternoon drinking and playing cricket in the park.

Xmas at South Bank

Queensland Youth Choir

On the Sunday before Xmas we all went down to South Bank for the ‘Christmas Around the World’ celebrations. This included fireworks set to xmas music, performances in the Suncorp Plaza, movies in the park, fairground rides, international food stalls, amongst other stuff. This is one of the reasons I love Brisbane. The council are always putting on events like this and it’s totally free!

Xmas Day

Even though this was the second xmas we have spent in Australia, it still took some getting used to, and xmas day was very different to say the least.

As well as me, Rach, Lauren, and Rach’s Mum and Dad, we had Cath and Bonnie around for xmas day. It was a really hot day so most of it was spent out in the garden, where we had xmas dinner, beautifully cooked by Rach with assistance from Cath. Rach went for the full works, even to the extent of devising, and laminating, a menu weeks before.

Unlike xmas days in the UK which were mostly spent in a comatose state on the sofa, this one was pretty active. We had a couple of session of cricket in the garden, as well as a couple of sessions in the swimming pool, including one in-between the starter and main course!

Most importantly, Lauren was happy with her presents. And so was I. Santa was kind enough to bring me Guitar Hero on the Wii which resulted in me turning into a rock God! My rendition of Are You Gonna Go My Way by Lenny Kravitz is particularly good if I say so myself. Honestly, I got obsessed with the thing and I’m now considering going out and buying a real guitar!

Sun 28th @ Surfers Paradise

On the Sunday after xmas we went down to the Gold Coast and spent the day at Surfers Paradise. This was another hot day so we spent a good amount of time on the beach. Myself and Steve (Rach’s Dad) had some great fun getting knocked for 6 by the waves.

Surfers Paradise

Cirque du Soleil

On the 30th December it was Mandy’s (Rach’s mum) birthday so we all went to Cirque du Soleil to see Dralion. It was a fantastic show and I’d definitely recommend it. The trampolining in particular has to be seen to be believed. Lauren loved it in spite of the fact that she was disappointed that there weren’t any clowns!

New Year’s Eve

On New Year’s Eve we all went to Rach’s boat club for the NYE party which included a meal and live band. It was a good night but I did feel a little out of place as most of the clientele that turned up seemed to be pensioners. I think I might try somewhere a little more hip next year. I was half expecting them to start playing bingo!

New Year’s Day – Mount Coot-tha

On New Year’s Day we all went up to the scenic lookout at Mount Coot-tha, where you can get wonderful views of Brisbane and the surrounding area.

View from Mount Coot-Tha

Besides that much of the xmas period was spent cooling off in the pool or escaping the heat in the shopping mall. Rach also had a few days out taking her parents and Lauren to places such as Sea World and Redcliffe. Fair to say it was a pretty good break.

Alas, all holidays have to end eventually and we’re back at work, business as usual. Except, we now live in Brisbane, Australia, which means we can go to the beach this weekend if we want to. And the following weekend. And the weekend after that.

I heard it reached -12 degrees C in the UK yesterday. That must be depressing.

See more of our photo's from the xmas period on Flickr