Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas in Adelaide

Greetings all! Hope you all had a lovely festive season. 

It having been pointed out to me yesterday that I've been growing increasingly slack on the blogging front, I thought I'd do a quick recap of how we do Christmas down in SA.

Things kick off early around here, with the Credit Union Christmas Pageant heralding the start of the Christmas season at the beginning of November. This year was the 80th Anniversary of the Pageant (one of my personal favourite Adelaide events I must admit) and I was lucky enough to be with me nieces as they experienced it for the very first time. Which of us was more excited its difficult to say (ok, it was me). Joining the thousands of people who arrive hours early to secure a spot along the route, I met up with the family who had got us a primo bit of road about half way along. A lot of sitting in the sunshine, watching the kids cover the roads in chalk drawings, chatting to the people around us and losing count of how many balloons were floating off into the distance later, it finally began, being led not by the Police Greys as we expected (though they weren't far behind), but by 4 bicycle cops in their spunky new dark blue uniforms. And then it was waiting for the 80 floats including marching girls, bag pipers and drum bands, clowns, fairy tales, monsters, pirates, toys and of course the old favourites, Nellie the Elephant, Nipper and Nimble to pass by until Father Christmas finally arrived and was safely escorted into the Magic Cave. 


With 99% of the population putting up their Christmas trees on Pageant day as is mandatory, you know face a month and a half of walking around the Mall in shorts listening to White Christmas blasting from every shop. The suburbs also light up (to the great joy of the electricity companies) with clusters of fantastically decorated houses now springing up everywhere, thus eliminating the need for the delightful pilgrimage to see the Christmas lights at Lobethal (which is good cos I don't think I could pedal that far).

The big Christmas tree in Victoria Square gets lit up at the start of December, and just to make sure that no one has missed out on the Christmas spirit, everyone descends on Elder park for Carols by Candlelight on the last Sunday before Christmas (which I missed this year, boo).

Last but not least you have the Brewery Lights. These decorations have been brightening up the riverbank below West End for over 50 years now, and I strongly suspect that was the last time they got any new ones in. This year it was joined by the Christmas Tree Festival where groups came together to decorate Christmas trees in the park land to raise money for various charity organisations. But back to the brewery lights. Once again joined my nieces to wander along and look at all the old favourites; the jack in the box (now covered in channel 7 advertising, hmmm), the ferris wheel, the nativity scene, the black smith working away in his volcano and, of course, the blue whale, now extra secured in the river after his escape attempt during the floods a few years ago. Oh, also there are donuts :)

So there you have it, just a few of the Christmas traditions we have around Adelaide. When you have Christmas in the middle of a sweltering summer, you can't exactly go out building snow men and ice skating but I think ours is more fun anyway (not that I'm at all biased or anything). Hope where ever you were in the world your Holidays were just as much fun!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Yarn bombing in Victoria Square

This is a bit of a quickie post because I sadly didn't get the time to participate (mostly because I kind of forgot it was coming up, hence not having time to whip something up) but spotted the finished installation today and thought I would share how great it looks. 

As part of the Christmas tree lighting celebrations this year, anyone in the community was invited to knit or crochet something to be included in the yarn bombing of Victoria Square/Tarndanyangga. With the project being wrapped up (haha, get it?) last week, the Square is not much more colourful with all the trees left of the fountain wrapped in bright Christmassy blankets, complete with teddy bears, knitted baubles and, for some reason, a rat on one. Some ingenious person even knitted up a set of stripped (and by now very soggy) wing covers for one of the birds in the fountain. 

And I must say, it's been a long time since I've seen Queen Victoria looking quite so snazzy!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Mud Run

Bit of a short one today as I've been slacking off on my adventures around Adelaide with the warm weather starting in earnest this week. But what better way to combat a bit of a temperature increase than by running a 4 km obstacle course through the mud?

Arrived at Urbrae and found the other guys I was running with nice and early (because it said to get there an hour before our 10am wave time), got all registered (which involved being handed a t-shirt, white of course, and having my number scibbled on my arm in not-quite-permanent-enough-to-last-through-the-race-texta), checked our bags....and that left us with a good 45 minutes of standing around and waiting time. Went for a wander with the Biz to suss out the what we could see of the course and evaluate the food situation for afterwards. Rejoined the team back at the start line for more standing around waiting while our action sports photographer extraordinaire went off to find a good spot.

Before shot, all nice and clean

We finally made it to the start line and set off around the oval, through the hay bales, over the tyres (yay, didn't stack it) and into the paddock for 2 laps of very, very muddy obstacles. We crawled through mud under flags and cargo nets, waded through waist deep canals of mud, climbed over stacks of hay bales, over barrels and through concrete pipes, all culminating in a face first slide into a pool of mud, then (after the second time around), back around the oval and across the finish line.

Got ourselves hosed down (which mostly just served to make us all look like we'd recently gotten dodgy fake tans) and enjoyed some tasty post-run hot jam donuts as a reward while watching others go down the mud slide. Seriously fun event!

After shot...less clean