Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

We thought it was about time we wrote a bit about our Xmas and new year. It was a xmas with a bit of a difference not only for me but also the Anderson family. Normally an Anderson xmas is spent up in Taupo with the Tucks, Robbie’s mum’s family, but this year it truly was an ‘Anderson’ Xmas. It was Robbie’s Grandmother Biff, who is 89, last xmas in the house she has spent 60 years in and Robbie’s sister in law, Steph, was pregnant so it decided to spend xmas in Wellington. So, all the family descended from his grandmother, about 30 of us, gathered for a few days up at his Parent’s, which conveniently is next door to his parents!

It all started on Xmas eve, when I made a lasagne in the largest dish I could find and we went up to Robbie’s parents at about 6. From here the fun started, and after a couple of glasses of fizz, we started the evening’s entertainment. Robbie’s brother Dave and his wife Steph had put together a pub quiz for the evening. We were organised into three teams, in a darkened room with a projector and so it started. The evening was to have 8 rounds, with a break for dinner in the middle, plus a round of picture questions to warm us up. First was the trauma of choosing a name… and then onto the serious business, picking two rounds where your points would be doubled, would this give the edge to winning.. I should add here that I think the Anderson’s are more competitive than the Barries, which I didn’t think was possible. (For reference for those who don’t know the Barrie’s being my Mum’s family). So I took a look at the quiz list, it started… pictures of NZ brands, kiwi trivia and NZ slogans… at this point I was beginning to get worried that I wouldn’t know a single question all night. It got better and I think Steph, being a fellow Brit, felt sorry for me and in the sports round with a name the picture put a photo of Steven Redgrave up. Did anyone else notice Nicola skillfully avoids mentioning who’s team was the winning team? Just so the record is straight, not that we are keeping score or anything, Team Robbie triumphed over Team Nicola (sadly Team Robbie can’t remember the real team names)

Sarah and Tara Hand Out Christmas Presents

Xmas day started early, Robbie and I opened our stocking presents then went up to his parents for breakfast and presents. The morning was spent catching up with rarely seen relatives and playing tennis, yep another competition. Lunch was served, four roast turkeys, a mound of potatoes and kumara, thirty people and three large trestle tables! I was feeling exhausted as it was only my second day off in a month and crashed in front of the TV, so we came home for a while and chilled out, returning in the evening to have a few drinks once the kids had gone to bed.

Boxing day was again a full day, this time out at Waikanae, normally about a 50min – 1 hour drive out of Wellington, to spend the day on the beach. We were lucky and made it in about an hour and a half while others were stuck in traffic and eventually made it for lunch after 2 and a half hours, thankfully the journey back into town was much better. The weather was good, and people played on the beach, swum and generally relaxed. In the run up to Xmas we were each instructed to spend NZD5, about 2 quid, on a present that would be wrapped and placed in a basket. So after lunch, numbers were placed in the bucket, drawn and we all sat round in a large circle… the first to go chose a present, while everyone else in order had the choice of stealing one of the presents (with a limit that each present could only be stolen twice) or choose one of there own from the pile remaining… presents ranged from chocolate to Diana’s biography to a box of condoms… all in all a good laugh which worked surprisingly well. Needless to add to those who know me well… I got the chocolate. I somehow managed to get a telephone pad, which doesn’t seem to bad apart from the fact that it was identical to the telephone pad I had been given for Christmas by a certain unmentionable person and so now I had two of the sodding things

So that was Xmas, Robbie went back to work and I did some ‘tidying up’ of the project I was working on with a brief visit to the office but mostly at home. New years in NZ has the advantage of having 2nd as well as the 1st of Jan as a statutory holiday so we decided to go up to Taupo and spend a couple of days at Robbie’s parent’s bach there. I though I would look up the dictionary definition to help the non-NZer’s so I looked in the ever faithful “New Zealand Language and Culture Guide Book” and found this: Bach – See Crib. So I dutifully looked up Crib and found: Crib – See Bach. So I hope that clears that up for you. (Actual definition – Bach from the verb to bach (live as a bachelor) – has become a characteristic local typology in New Zealand, where it is usually a simple seaside holiday home. This meant I then had to look up typology… As it was his sister’s b’day we decided to go to her birthday dinner and drive up after that. We dropped the cats off, hoping that they weren’t going to kill each other being trapped in the same room for five days and actually made it to Taupo in less than four hours, a time I previously didn’t think was achievable despite Robbie’s insistence, getting there just after midnight. So we had four whole days up in Taupo, hoping that the weather would be lovely and we could spend some time on the lake, read some books and relax in the sun. Unfortunately the weather was awful, with gales and rain storms, so we read indoors and ate lunches of toasted sandwiches (a traditional Taupo lunch) and I still tried to finish off my work…. The Tucks were also up in Taupo including Miff and her husband who live in Norway, so days were spent eating and drinking with them.

Penny and Carol fight with the Christmas Lunch

We drove back down for on the Wednesday, did some more work and then went to watch the one day cricket match on Friday, late afternoon and evening, NZ v Sri Lanka. No I’m not really getting into cricket, although I do seem to be watching more of it, but it was a glorious day and there was a group of about 20 people who we went with, most of whom had been there for the whole afternoon and provided much additional entertainment for us.

The weekend was again spent up in Waikanae, for Xmas take two – but with only two turkeys this time and runner beans from our garden, with the Tucks down from Taupo and the Wellington crowd who couldn’t make it to Taupo over new year making 16!

All in all a good Xmas, oh just to add, the Baby who was due on the 27th managed to make it through to 2006 and was born on the 10th, a little boy Oliver John Alan Anderson, which would make it 31 for xmas next year….