Chinese New Year is here again

You would think that Malaysia wouldn’t do Chinese New Year celebrations as extravagantly as China does them. Well, I thought that. I was wrong. Red lanterns have been hanging from every other home all month; shopping malls are decked out in all things red and sparkly; and there’s fireworks. Ohhh, the fireworks. I’m not sure that it’s worse than in China, but they’re closer to us. And louder. And since we’re surrounded by trees, we get to hear them but not enjoy the view of them. Arlo comes home singing songs about Chinese New Year. Songs in English and Chinese. And she’s learning all about Chinese New Year at school. Again. Because, at Chinese New Year, you must be taught about everything you were taught the previous Chinese New Year. But she’s loving it, so I won’t complain too much.

This is what we’ve seen lately.
CNY at The Curve 1
CNY at The Curve 2
Last night was the annual Sierramas (where we live) Chinese New Year street party. This place REALLY knows how to do street parties.
Excited about the party...
REALLY excited!!
Street party
Lion dancers
Freaky man
I didn’t get too many pictures because, despite Geoff and I thinking the lion dancers and drums and food and noise and lights and everything else was fabulous, Arlo and Galen were completely freaked out by it all and couldn’t wait to leave. So we ate our fill of delicious Malaysian and Chinese foods, then walked home. Good thing the street party was just one street away from us.

We knew there would be fireworks, so we went up to our roof to see them. Apart from having a pesky tree in the way, we had a great view of the first set of fireworks at 9.45.
Fireworks 1
Fireworks 2
Fireworks 3
The second set of fireworks was bigger, louder,longer and much later than the first set, so Galen and I sat in the bedroom and watched occasional flashes of light through the trees. For the first time this Chinese New Year, I actually enjoyed the fireworks, because I knew where they were, why they were being let off, and when it would end. Perhaps next year the kids will feel the same.


Three Christmas trees in three different locations. That is what happens when we travel during the holiday. First Christmas tree - Malaysia
We dragged out our four-year-old Chinese tree with all the usual decorations (several have since been binned because of mould!).
Christmas tree at Grandma's
We decorated Grandma’s tree, complete with decades old decorations. And tinsel. Ugh…
Three number three - Berarra
And then there was the temporary, afterthought, holiday tree. Beautiful in it’s tackiness.
Christmas morning
And dwarfed by presents.
Postman handing out lollies!
Christmas in Australia!!
Only in Australia would a postman dress like this and hand out lollies to mesmerised kids…
Customary Derry gingerbread house.
Mr Whippy visited
Mr Whippy made the rounds.
Slip n slide
Slip n slide. This looks like she’s flying along like a pro. I think she was actually motionless – kid needs more practice with this.
Roos at our home
Regular visitors – morning and night – to houses in the street. The advantages of living next to a national park.
Galen chats to Uncle Paul
Chatting to Uncle Paul on Christmas morning.
Present time
Joy on Christmas morning.
Someone loves cherries.
Cousins with hair tied up
All tied up

I can’t wait for our next holiday…!!

Christmas in Canberra

So, since last time, 2014 ended and 2015 began. We celebrated a Derry Christmas this year with a whirlwind trip back to Australia. We spent a few days in Canberra, then a week on the NSW coast south of Sydney, then a few days in Sydney.

First – Canberra…
We spent most of the time at home where Arlo and Grandma made a Christmas outfit for Arlo’s doll, we visited Santa and we checked out the Christmassy-ness of the city (lots of lights, dinner at Jamie Oliver’s restaurant, and free camel rides – though our kids were too small for the camels).
Carousel - Canberra
Arlo didn’t want to go on the carousel in Canberra, so Galen maintained the Christmas tradition.
Christmas lights in Canberra
We also saw the lights in the city which, to be honest, were just a heap of lights. There wasn’t very much magical or creative about it all. A bit of a disappointment.
Chef Arlo
The chef’s outfit from Grandma and Papa was a winner!
Dinner at the Green Herring
Cuddles and giggles
Dinner at The Green Herring was also a winner. A celebration of Grandma and Papa’s 47th wedding anniversary, as well as our arrival in Australia.
Biking at Grandma and Papa's place
The kids always enjoy coming back to familiar things, like riding bikes on the back deck at Grandma and Papa’s house.

Golf day

A friend had tickets to the KL PGA golf tournament (don’t ask me what it’s properly called) that he wasn’t using, so we spent the morning there a few weeks ago. The weather wasn’t great, but we were there long enough to get a taste of it all. The thunderstorms came after we had been there only a couple of hours, but it was just when we were getting ready to leave anyway. Happily, the kids managed to stay quiet and not ruin anyone’s crucial putt.