December was very much a Christmas oriented month with all activities involving Christmas events.
Sunday 6th - Jose and I went to a picnic organized for the all Portuguese families that want to join. This year it was held at Point Walter Reserve, a beautiful area by the Swan river.
By the time we arrived there was already one table full of food and we set up another table that quickly filled up. By the time everybody left we had 4 tables full of Portuguese savoury and sweet food. I took a pineapple cake and a tuna and potato cold salad.
Monday 14th - our good friend Tony turned 80 and we were invited to a surprise birthday party at the Bull Creek Royal Air Force Estate where he lives. I left work early to be able to join the other 30 guests. When Tony and wife Kei appeared he was surprised to see all of us sitting down at two tables of the recently inaugurated restaurant at the retirement village. There was a choice of two dishes - Barramundi (fish) or Chicken, both served with vegetables and potatoes and Sticky date pudding for dessert. Some of the friends had brought other desserts and cakes, which were passed around the tables.
|Barramundi, Sticky date pudding, Tony and Kei, the golf cart that Tony drives around to ferry those who can't walk dolled up for Christmas and Biscuit cake.|
|The new and fancy restaurant at the Royal Air Force Estate in Bull Creek|
After lunch we helped Tony and Kei carry the presents home to their unit a few hundred metres from the restaurant, and I took some photos of the beautiful flowers he's got in his garden.
Wednesday 16th - the last French class of the year was accompanied by Christmas goodies that we had all taken to share. Small gifts were swapped too.
|Cathy, Sami, teacher Brigitte (standing), Suzanne and Jennifer|
Sunday 20th - At 6pm Jose and I joined Maria, who I met and befriended through the "Buy nothing group" for Christmas carols and dinner that she had organized at the residential complex where she lives just 5 minutes away.
As well as 4 or 5 people from the "Buy Nothing Group" that she knows better, Maria had invited the residents from the 16 units in her complex, but probably only half of them showed up. It was a fun evening, with her neighbour who had been an Anglican pastor leading us with the Christmas carols, and then we all shared the food we had taken. After dinner we sang a couple more songs, and then Maria put some Abba music and we danced. It was 10pm by the time we left after having helped her clear her carport.
After a couple of months of waiting for fabric, sewing, cutting up an Ikea mattress foam (much cheaper than buying foam from a foam shop), I finally finished the cushions for the patio furniture that our friend Idalia gave us when she moved into a retirement village in July this year. Finally ready for Christmas!
I only managed to paint two pieces of furniture this month - a bedside table in Fusion's "Divine Lavender" and two pine stools for my grandkids, painted in "Casement" and "Seaside". Those were gifted to them at Christmas together with with some books, and specially the 4 year old loved it.
Tuesday 22nd - We drove to the city at about 7pm, parked the car and walked around following the Christmas light trail, and returned home close to 11pm.
We still made a couple of calls to Jose's brothers in Portugal and South Africa to wish them a good Christmas, before going to bed, and left the calls to my family in Portugal and South Africa for the 23rd.
|Christmas lights trail in Perth|
Thursday 24th - One of my colleagues worked my half-day shift and I was able to finishing preparing Christmas Eve dinner, for the family and friends that were coming to our house in the evening.
It was a small affair this year with a few of our friends having taken holidays at this time of the year... but it was still nice to have 11 people around the table.
We had decided not to gift to adults, just to kids, but I still received a few gifts at work from our boss, from a few of the Doctors and from colleagues. On the 25th, we stayed home and had leftovers from the Christmas Eve dinner.
|Our Christmas tree with the kid's chairs. Trifle my daughter in law made, our dessert table - a fruit tree salad, French toast, Fruitcake, Honey cake from Madeira and Milk pudding - the gifts I received|
Sunday 27th - At about 6pm we drove to the foreshore of the suburb of Shelley, a 10min drive from home, to watch the sunset (7,25pm). We took a basket with crackers, cheese, nuts, fruit and a small bottle of bubbly that had been given to me at work.
|At Shelley's foreshore watching the sunset. The last photo (bottom right) was taken the following day on the freeway|
The magpies that live in the park across the street come around to our front garden/driveway when they see us and we give them bits of walnuts. They take one or two pieces and waddle back across the road. Quite funny.
Fluffy sleeping on top of me while I was lying on the couch, and Fluffy and Twiggy by the Christmas tree.
Thursday 31st - New Year's Eve Dinner and Dance at the Portuguese club in Fremantle.
Dinner consisted of a platter of prawns to share per table of 8, the main dish was half a lobster, a steak with rice and salad. There were no desserts, so I took a platter of Rice pudding and one of my friends at the table took a Creme Caramel pudding.
Music and dancing started after dinner, and just before midnight each table was given a bottle of bubbly to toast. Unfortunately it was a Brut which wasn't really liked by any of us, so just a taste was enough for me! We left just before the party ended at 1am.
|New Year's dinner and desserts|
|Jose and I, our 87 year old friend Idalia (right) and our table behind, our table (bottom photos)|
|The hall with the singer on the stage at the far end- the bottle of bubbly before midnight|