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“Christmas Down Under…”

We invited our neighbors from Roper Bar – the policeman, his wife Nell*, and their seven-year-old son to join us. I’d attempted to make the house look festive by baking bell-shaped sugar cookies with a little hole that I put a red ribbon through to hang on branches from a Coolabah tree one of the men had cut for me.

Nell arrived with traditional wreaths made from Australian Christmas Bush to decorate the

“In July, we can celebrate Christmas again,” Nell said, referring to the winter season that would make them flower.

We returned inside to find the cookies gone from my Coolabah branches. She began chastising her son, but the men confessed to the crime, pointing to the crumbs around the table where they were drinking Foster’s, Australia’s most popular beer at the time.

By late afternoon, Nell and her family returned home, releasing in me another round of


Next installment: More Adventures at the Homestead

Visit me at I love hearing from readers. Ask a question, suggest an idea, or comment about this blog. (All blogs are on my website.)

This series of My Life in the Outback is based on recollections of my life in Australia many years ago. My own photographs of Australia are not only limited, but they are also old 35mm film in dismal condition. To make the series more appealing to the reader, I supplement with photographs that are similar to the experiences and locations I’ve described. I’m often dependent on pictures from the public domain and Creative Commons. All photographs are used in an editorial or educational manner.

*Names of people have been changed to protect their identity since this is not a memoir, but merely my recollections of Australia.

My Life in Australia Blog – Installment 10 is brought to you by Tortuga Publishing, LLC

Photo credits:

Poinsettia Bush by Kathryn Lane

Christmas Bush Wreath – Public Domain

Santa on Skis by Public Libraries – licensed under CC BY 2.0

White dingo by lillymb5 – licensed under CC BY 2.0

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