The War Memorial at Dusk

Randwick War Memorial

A list of names,
All that survives
Of a sad past:
History repeats

I took this photo a couple of days ago while going for a quick walk, just before dusk. I often find myself wandering past the local war memorial on my afternoon walks… it’s the main feature of a small, peaceful park in the middle of Randwick and I often stop there for a few minutes to reflect and gather my thoughts.

The memorial is made of sandstone and was originally unveiled in 1925 by Lord Forster, the then Governor General of Australia, to honour the soldiers of the First World War; the cenotaph contains a scroll with the names of over four thousand local residents who served in the war. Over the years plaques have been added to remember the soldiers of the Second World War, Borneo and Vietnam as well.

With more of our soldiers wounded in Afghanistan recently and with the current events in Syria as well, I guess I was feeling rather contemplative when I took the photo… something about the dusk light seemed to reflect the way I was feeling and I think it shows in the mood of the photo, and the haiku as well.

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2012

The Great Clock in the QVB

The Great Australia Clock in the Queen Victoria Building

Watching days
Turn into years,
Pass before my eyes:
Time waits for no one

A belated Happy New Year to all of my friends and readers out there. I hope 2012 will be a good year for you and everyone close to you.

Thank you to everyone who left comments and sent me emails over the New Year. I had meant to post before now but unfortunately I haven’t been feeling that well lately, so this has been my first chance to post since Christmas. I will have an update about my writing and a few other things finished soon but in the meantime I thought I‘d post a quick photo.

I took this photo inside Sydney’s Queen Victoria Building just before Christmas. The clock is called the Great Australia Clock and is one of two beautiful mechanical clocks in the QVB. It’s ten metres tall, weighs four tonnes and is decorated with 33 dioramas depicting scenes from Australia’s history.

The QVB is one of my favourite buildings in Sydney and I’ve always admired this clock, not just for its ornate beauty but particularly because the dioramas show both Aboriginal and European perspectives on our history.

I edited the photo over the New Year, while I was thinking about how quickly the year had passed and everything that had happened, both personally and globally, and I guess that was what was on my mind when I wrote the haiku. Time seems to go by so quickly these days… all we can really do is hope to make the most of it.

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2011
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The Great Clock in the QVB

The Great Australia Clock in the Queen Victoria Building

Days turn to years
As life passes
Before my eyes:
Time waits for no one

A belated Happy New Year to all of my friends and readers out there. I hope 2012 will be a good year for you and everyone close to you.

Thank you to everyone who left comments and sent me emails over the New Year. I had meant to post before now but unfortunately I haven’t been feeling that well lately, so this has been my first chance to post since Christmas. I will have an update about my writing and a few other things finished soon but in the meantime I thought I‘d post a quick photo.

I took this photo inside Sydney’s Queen Victoria Building just before Christmas. The clock is called the Great Australia Clock and is one of two beautiful mechanical clocks in the QVB. It’s ten metres tall, weighs four tonnes and is decorated with 33 dioramas depicting scenes from Australia’s history.

The QVB is one of my favourite buildings in Sydney and I’ve always admired this clock, not just for its ornate beauty but particularly because the dioramas show both Aboriginal and European perspectives on our history.

I edited the photo over the New Year, while I was thinking about how quickly the year had passed and everything that had happened, both personally and globally, and I guess that was what was on my mind when I wrote the haiku. Time seems to go by so quickly these days… all we can really do is hope to make the most of it.

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2011
Like this photo? Click here to buy it for $5

Cenotaph at Christmas

Bronze soldiers
Monuments to war
From another time:
We remember

I was in the Sydney CBD yesterday, looking at the Christmas decorations and doing some late shopping. The crowds were awful, particularly in the shops, but the atmosphere was quite festive and pleasant and I actually had a lot of fun walking around, taking photos.

I took this photo in Martin Place, outside the Sydney Cenotaph, where people were leaving Christmas cards and flowers in remembrance. The cenotaph was constructed in 1927 to remember the fallen from World War I; it is used extensively in the ANZAC and Armistice Day dawn services each year, drawing thousands of people.

As of December Australia has approximately 3,000 personnel stationed overseas, 1,500 of which are in Afghanistan. 2011 has been a horror year for Australian casualties; of the 32 deaths Australia has suffered in Afghanistan, 11 have been this year alone.

Please keep all of our soldiers and their families in your thoughts this Christmas.

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2011

Blue Motorcycle

Blue Motorcycle

Dirty Streets
Whisper my name
Fill me with longing
To find my way home

I took this photo last week. I saw the motorcycle out of the corner of my eye and took a quick photo without really thinking about it at the time but looking at it now, I find the contrast interesting, the shiny bike propped up against the run-down garage and street.

What you can’t see in the photo is that the entire street was in a similar state; most of the houses looked slightly rundown, with paint peeling and tiles missing and overgrown gardens – but they all had expensive cars in their driveways and satellite TV. I guess having a car and staying connected is more important for many people these days than if a house needs new paint, particularly in the current economy.

I thought it seemed like an apt analogy for the world at the moment. I wonder how many other streets and houses are like this around the world… probably too many to really comprehend, sadly.

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2011

Sydney Harbour Bridge and Ferry

Ferry & Bridge

A Letter of Hope to Sydney Cove, near Botany Bay
Erasmus Darwin (1789)

Where Sydney Cove her lucid bosom swells
Courts her young navies and the storm repels,
High on a rock, amid the troubled air,
Hope stood sublime, and wav’d her golden hair;
Calm’d with her rosy smile the tossing deep,
And with sweet accents charm’d the winds to sleep;
To each wild plain, she stretch’d her snowy hand,
High-waving wood, and sea-encircled strand.
‘Hear me,’ she cried, ‘ye rising realms! Record
Time’s opening scenes, and Truth’s unerring word.
There shall broad streets their stately walls extend,
The circus widen, and the crescent bend;
There ray’d from cities o’er the cultur’d land,
Shall bright canals, and solid roads expand. —
There the proud arch, Colossus-like, bestride
Yon glittering streams, and bound the chasing tide;
Embellish’d villas crown the landscape scene,
Farms wave with gold, and orchards blush between. —
There shall tall spires, and dome-capt towers ascend,
And piers and quays their massy structures blend;
While with each breeze approaching vessels glide,
And northern treasures dance on every tide!’
Here ceased the nymph—tumultuous echoes roar,
And Joy’s loud voice was heard from shore to shore —
Her graceful steps descending press’d the plain;
And Peace, and Art, and Labour, join’d her train.

I took this photo during a recent trip to Taronga Zoo. I was waiting for the ferry at Circular Quay and realised that I’d been there dozens of times before but had never actually taken a photo of the Bridge, something I’d always wanted to do… I guess living in Sydney I’d always assumed there’d be some other time and had just never got round to it. So this time I made myself take a few shots.

I particularly like how this one came out. The couple looking at the Bridge were tourists and they walked into the shot by accident at the last moment but I think they add a lot to it… they almost make me feel like I’m seeing it anew through their eyes.

The poem above is one of my favourites, A Letter of Hope to Sydney Cove, near Botany Bay by Erasmus Darwin (Charles Darwin’s grandfather). He wrote it in 1789 to accompany a small number of medallions created by Josiah Wedgwood to commemorate the settlement of Sydney Cove and it’s always struck me how eerily he predicts the city that would one day rise in its place. I thought it made an interesting contrast to the photo.

Photo © CJ Levinson 2011
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We Wish You an Aussie Christmas

Merry Christmas to everyone celebrating today. Hope you’re having a wonderful day wherever you are in the world. It was hot in Sydney today and we just spent a quiet day at home. We opened our presents in the afternoon – I got the new Stephen King which I’m looking forward to reading – and had a salad for dinner which was lovely. I must admit I’m feeling a little bit sick now though. I think I ate too much, although how you can feel bloated on a salad I have no idea. I haven’t even been able to fit in any cake yet!

Christmas is a bit of a funny time for me. I’m not religious anymore but I still enjoy the feeling of the season, the spirit of goodwill and cheer in the air. For some reason I haven’t really felt it that much this year though. We put up our tree a week late this year and that’s usually when I get into the Christmas spirit, so that might be part of it, but there’s also been a distinct lack of atmosphere this year. There have been fewer lights and decorations around and the shopping centres have been all but deserted, even on Christmas eve. I guess it shows how much people are struggling this year… 2010’s been hard on a lot of people and I think everyone’s feeling the squeeze. Hopefully 2011 will be a better year.

I guess to me Christmas is mostly about spending time with family these days and I felt lucky to be able to spend it with my parents today. It was a simple, quiet day and I think I’m starting to value those kind of days more and more as I get older. I know that a lot of people feel lonely and isolated at Christmas, having lost someone or not being able to be with their children, and I found myself thinking about them a lot today, and our troops overseas. I’d still really like to volunteer somewhere over Christmas at some stage. I didn’t feel well enough to do it this year but maybe next year I’ll be able to.

In any case I hope you’re having a wonderful Christmas wherever you are in the world. To celebrate I thought I’d post another of my Aussie Christmas songs. I did an Aussie take on Jingle Bells last year and The Aussie 12 Days of Christmas in 2008, so I guess it’s become something of a Christmas tradition on my blog now!

This year I thought I’d do We Wish You a Merry Christmas. Originally I wanted to do Frosty the Snowman but I couldn’t work out a way to make it sound very Australian – I mean, it’s not like we get much snow! We Wish You a Merry Christmas was a little easier and it’s also one of my favourite songs at this time of year. I’ll try to do Frosty next year if I can.

I hope you enjoy it. And Merry Christmas. 😉

We Wish You an Aussie Christmas

We wish you an Aussie Christmas
We wish you an Aussie Christmas
We wish you an Aussie Christmas and a ripper New Year!

Good luck and good fate to you and your mates
We wish you an Aussie Christmas and a ripper New Year!

Send the gifts through the post
Get the food for the roast
Sleep in on Christmas morning
And get ready to play host!

We wish you an Aussie Christmas
We wish you an Aussie Christmas
We wish you an Aussie Christmas and a ripper New Year!

May your kids make you smile
May your Christmas have style
May they get lots of pressies
To keep them busy for a while!

We wish you an Aussie Christmas
We wish you an Aussie Christmas
We wish you an Aussie Christmas and a ripper New Year!

Grab a sausage or two
Don’t forget the fondue
And we’ll gather in the backyard
To start the barbeque!

We wish you an Aussie Christmas
We wish you an Aussie Christmas
We wish you an Aussie Christmas and a ripper New Year!

Have fun with the rellies
Laugh and sing with full bellies
Take a few family photos
Then watch the cricket on the telly!

We wish you an Aussie Christmas
We wish you an Aussie Christmas
We wish you an Aussie Christmas and a ripper New Year!

Have a beer by the pool
While you try to stay cool
And we’ll sing songs and carols
To celebrate the yule!

We wish you an Aussie Christmas
We wish you an Aussie Christmas
We wish you an Aussie Christmas and a ripper New Year!

Try a slice of the cake
Just like mum used to make
A little dry and spongy
But at least it’s not fake!

We wish you an Aussie Christmas
We wish you an Aussie Christmas
We wish you an Aussie Christmas and a ripper New Year!

May your Christmas be bright
Filled with festive delight
And don’t forget to say g’day to Santa
If you see him tonight!

We wish you an Aussie Christmas
We wish you an Aussie Christmas
We wish you an Aussie Christmas and a ripper New Year!

Good luck and good fate to you and your mates
We wish you an Aussie Christmas and a ripper New Year!

We wish you an Aussie Christmas and a ripper New Year!

5 Things (redux)

So this is my first post in a little while. Actually in a long while when I think about it… I’ve barely updated this blog all year really. I’m sorry for that. I still see blogging as a major part of my writing life and I keep meaning to update more often. I’ve just had other things on my mind, particularly for the last few weeks.

I haven’t been feeling that well recently. I’ve hardly slept and I’ve had an awful migraine for the last few weeks. I blame the weather; everything seems worse when it’s cold and it’s been bitterly cold in Sydney this past month. It’s the coldest winter we’ve had in a long time.

We’ve also been gearing up for a national election and it’s been kind of surreal. Just a few weeks ago Kevin Rudd was our Prime Minister; now Rudd’s gone, we have our first female PM in Julia Gillard (long overdue) and we’re rushing to the polls on August 21. It’s all happened so quickly that it’s almost draining.

Usually I quite enjoy elections but after the brutal way Rudd was brought down and how both parties have gone so negative already, it’s just ugly. Neither party seems to stand for anything and it’s more a battle of personalities than policy. The way both parties are treating asylum seekers is frankly appalling to me. I may have to flip a coin at this rate.

I’ve actually had some good news about my writing, though, during all of this which I’m very excited about. I was contacted by a scouting agency last week who sound interested in looking at some of my work. I’m thrilled… it’s just what I need at this stage. I’ve had some minor interest before as well, so I guess that shows I’m on the right track.

I haven’t worked out what I’m going to send yet. I’ve only just started working on my first novel so I haven’t really finished enough to show to anyone yet. I’ve been thinking about putting together a collection of short stories, so that might be an option instead.

Either way, it’s encouraging. I feel like I’m finally starting to get somewhere, so I think I’m going to focus more on writing my novel for the next few months. I feel like I’ve come far enough to seriously think about publication now and if I can have a draft finished by mid-September then at least I’ll have an idea of if it’s good enough to send away.

I’ll probably have to put some of my other projects aside while I work on the novel but I’ll be continuing with Sleepless at the same time. I may change a few things about how I’m writing the story (I’ll probably hold onto a few updates rather than posting them all live, so I’ll have something to post when I’m busy with the novel) but I’m still really excited about it and some of the ideas actually complement the novel, so it shouldn’t be a distraction.

If you’re following Sleepless, by the way, you’ve probably noticed I haven’t updated it for a few weeks. I took a break from writing to plan out the rest of the story but I’ll be getting back to it later tonight. With everything planned out now, there shouldn’t be any more delays. Thanks again to everyone who’s followed the story so far. I really appreciate it and all your feedback.

Anyway, as it’s been a while since my last post I thought I’d do a fun post to get back into the swing of things. So how about a meme? About two years ago I did the 5 Things About Me meme and as it was one of my favourite posts, I thought it’d be fun to do a follow-up now and see how my answers have changed… kind of like digging up a time capsule.

I’ve answered the questions differently where I can and I’ve added a few new ones as well to show what’s changed in the last few years. Just looking back at the original post now, it’s amazing how much has changed since then… we’ve changed Presidents and Prime Ministers, gone through the GFC, watched Haiti suffer, Michael Jackson become a memory… I’ve made new friends and lost others, watched from overseas as my grandmother nearly died… you don’t really realise just how much can happen in two years until you look back.

I hope you enjoy the meme. Has much changed for you in the last two years?

5 things found in your bag
I’ll use my messenger bag again

  • Camera
  • Glasses (mainly for reading these days)
  • iPhone
  • Sunscreen
  • Notepad and pen

5 favourite things in your room

TV Corner

  • Favourite pen
    I have a number of pens but my favourite is a custom-made Amboyna Sapwood pen that I’ve had for a couple of years. I tend to prefer wooden pens to metal ones; I write by hand and they’re just more comfortable when you’re using them for a long time. I use it mostly for writing letters and editing and I always use it for the first page of a new story.
  • Writing area
    My computer died earlier this year, so I took the opportunity to get a new desk as well. I loved my old writing desk but it was too small for the monitor, so I’m saving it for when I have more room. I’ve got a nice area set up now. Now I just need to get on with writing!

Computer & Desk (side on)Computer & DeskComputer, Desk & Chair

  • Memory box
    Everyone probably has a memory box somewhere. Mine’s mostly filled with simple things – photos, trinkets, my school prefect badge, a copy of my favourite book from when I was a child (The Velveteen Rabbit). It also has my first acceptance letter from when I was published and my first email from a reader.
  • Statues and figures
    I mentioned that I collect these in the original post as well but I’ve added a few more since then. The Egyptian figures are made by Veronese from cold cast resin; most of the pewter ones are by the Tudor Mint. The Le Morte d’Arthur piece (right) is my favourite.

Egyptian CollectionPewter Figures

Pewter Fellowship sculptArthurian Collection

  • Wall plaque
    I got this for a bargain $2 on eBay a couple of years ago. I love Asian-themed art and it’s one of my favourite pieces. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find out much about it, though; I only know it came from Melbourne and has a “Partos” sticker on the back.

Asian Wall Art

5 things that have changed in the last two years

  • My writing
    My writing’s come a long way in the last two years; I’m much better at editing in particular now and finally feel confident enough to try a full-length novel. Also, I’ve really taken to poetry, which has been a surprise. I’ve never really thought of myself as much of a poet.
  • My philosophy
    I’ve been an atheist for about two years now. It was a gradual thing; I lost my faith after 9/11 and Bali and considered myself an agnostic for several years, before I started to drift towards atheism. Atheism isn’t what a lot of people think it is; it’s a philosophy based on the absence of personal belief, not the worship of science. I don’t pretend to have all the answers but I feel more content now. Most people seem to respect that.
  • My family tree
    I’ve always had an interest in genealogy and I started researching our family tree last year. So far I’ve found several distant cousins and an entire side of our family we knew nothing about. I’ve also learnt a lot about Isaac, my great-great grandfather.
  • My taste in music
    I’ve never been that into modern music but I’ve found myself drifting more and more towards indie and alternative artists and music from the 60s and 70s over the last few years…. I can’t even remember the last pop song I bought. I’ll take Sarah Blasko over Katy Perry any day.
  • My hair
    I guess it’s just a part of getting older but I’ve started to lose a little of my hair over the last year or so. It’s not that bad but still, I wasn’t expecting it just yet! And the icing on the cake? I found my first grey hair the other day as well…

5 things you want to do in the next year

  • Finish my novel
    I feel happy with where I am with my writing at the moment, so I finally started work on my novel a few weeks ago. I’ve been developing the idea for almost a year; it’s a modern fable exploring racism, terrorism and religious extremism. I won’t know if it’s good enough to publish until it’s finished but I think it could be excellent if it all comes together… something quite different to what’s around at the moment.
  • Study
    I’ve been thinking about this for a while and at some stage during the next year I want to get back to studying. Now that I’m finally working on a novel I want to have something to fall back on as well and I think now’s a good time to think about studying again. I’m looking at library studies atm; I could do a Masters later as well, which would allow me to teach, something I’ve always wanted to do.
  • Meet someone
    I don’t talk about my love life that often. I don’t date that much but the last time I had something close to a relationship was about two years ago, when I met someone I became very close to… I’m not sure if it was “love” but it was certainly the most intense connection I’ve ever had with someone. It ended quite suddenly; I don’t know why exactly, though I suspect it was because I became an atheist as she was quite religious. I haven’t really been looking to meet anyone since then, but I’d love to meet someone during the next year, someone I could be myself with. I don’t know if it’ll happen but it’d be nice if it did.
  • See the Australian Open
    I love tennis and I’ve been wanting to go to the Australian Open in Melbourne for years. Hopefully 2011 will be the year! It’ll probably come down to whether I can afford it closer to the date but it’s something I’d love to do to start off the new year. I’d love to see a cricket match at the MCG if there’s one on as well.
  • Get a good night’s sleep
    I’ve had insomnia for about three years now. I only get a few hours sleep a night and frankly it drives me nuts. I mean, what are you supposed to do at 4 in the morning? Just once in the next year I’d love to get a good night’s sleep. That’s not too much to ask, is it? 😕

5 things you have always wanted to do

  • Perform a poetry reading
    I’ve always enjoyed poetry readings and I’ve often thought about sharing some of my own work in public. I’ve always been worried about embarrassing myself as I’ve not taken my poetry that seriously before but I still love the idea. I’ll have to do it one of these days.
  • Learn to play the piano
    I’ve never been that talented as far as music goes; I’m completely tone-deaf and the only instrument I used to be able to play was the little plastic recorder they made us play in school (I still wasn’t very good!). But I love music and if I have the time and money one day, I’d love to learn to play the piano. I’d have to get soundproofing for the neighbours first, though.
  • Travel to Egypt and Japan
    There are a lot countries I’d love to visit one day – India, Canada, New Zealand, the US – but if I had to choose two, I’d really love to see Egypt and Japan. I’ve always loved the idea of trying to find my way in a completely foreign city, of seeing the Pyramids, the Asakusa temples in Tokyo. Hopefully I’ll make it to both one day.
  • Be an extra in a movie
    I’m a big movie buff and I’d love to be part of a movie as an extra one day and see how they’re made. Maybe I could be a red shirt in the next Star Trek film and die a horrible death. What do you think?
  • Ride an elephant
    I’ve always loved elephants. Some treks in India and Africa actually allow you to ride on the back of an elephant and I’ve always thought that would be an amazing experience. I’d only want to do it if it was safe and the elephant was comfortable with it, of course, but it’s something I’d love to do… a real once-in-a-lifetime experience.

5 things you are currently into

  • She & Him
    I’m a big fan of M. Ward’s and one of his side projects is a folk duo with Zooey Deschanel called She & Him. Deschanel reminds me a little of Julia Stone (who I love as well) and they’re kind of a throwback to 60s music with a modern twist and sound refreshingly different to anything else out there right now. Their latest album’s one of the best I’ve heard in years.

  • Scrabble
    I have a kind of ritual I go through before I start writing; I do a word game or a crossword to start thinking about different words. Lately I’ve been playing a lot of Scrabble and I’m hooked. I got my highest score the other day (425) and still lost! I’m still not quite sure how.
  • The West Wing
    I’ve been working my way through all the DVDs of The West Wing over the last few months and it’s become one of my favourite shows. The writing and acting are incredible and it’s interesting, seeing the parallels to both Bush and Clinton administrations. It’s brilliant. I can’t believe I missed it on TV.
  • Catherynne Valente
    I hadn’t heard of Catherynne Valente until recently but she’s quickly become one of my favourite authors. The best way I can describe her is that she writes modern fairy tales, with some of the most beautiful, haunting prose I’ve read in a long time. If you like Margaret Atwood or Kelly Link, you’ll love her books. I can’t wait to read Palimpsest next.
  • Natalie Portman
    Because she’s Natalie Portman. What? Some things never change. 😉

5 people you want to tag

I won’t tag anyone as I did it in the first post. But if you’d like to do the meme yourself or do it again, feel free to use it… I’d love to see your answers.

Christmas in Photos

Merry Christmas to everyone who’s still celebrating in their part of the world. It’s just tipped over into Boxing Day here and everything’s starting to wind down. Christmas seems to come faster every year, then it’s over before you know it.

We just had a quiet day this year; opened our presents in the afternoon and had a salad, with some berries for dessert. We live a fair distance from most of our family and Christmas isn’t such a big deal for us anymore. If my health improves I’d like to volunteer somewhere next year. I think that would be a great way to spend Christmas and spread some cheer.

That’s one thing that has really stood out for me this year. With the economy it’s been a difficult Christmas for many people but generally they’ve still been in good spirits. I’ve seen people saying Merry Christmas to strangers, shoppers wearing Santa hats, bus drivers decorating their buses in tinsel. It’s really brought people together this year.

Sydney comes alive during Christmas and I’ve been taking a lot of photographs to capture the festive season. I thought I’d share some of them, to show what our Christmas is really like. Some of the displays have been fantastic this year. And our tree came out pretty well too.

Wherever you are in the world, Merry Christmas. I hope you’ve had a wonderful day and have a peaceful rest of the year.

Christmas Tree (2009)

Christmas StockingsSilver Christmas StarGlass HouseSanta & Pink StarSanta & Pink BaublesSanta Kangaroos

White Butterfly (2)Bart & HomerGreen BaublesSnowman & Purple OrnamentTurqoise StarReindeer & Glass Teardrop

Aussie ChristmasRed BaublesFelt RudolphMagi & AngelChristmas Table DisplayReindeer & Glass Ornaments

We went for a bejewelled theme for our tree this year, with white tinges throughout. We’ve had some of the ornaments for almost twenty years now. My favourite decoration is the glass reindeer; it sparkles when light shines on it.

This was the first year where I fixed the tinsel and lights. I feel like I’ve grown up! The cord was so tangled though that it took almost an hour to undo. Bah humbug indeed.

Christmas Dinner (side)

Rudolph & PresentsChristmas DinnerChristmas MeatsBerry HeavenGold Coins & CashewsChristmas Salad

Potatoes & CarrotsGrape JuiceChristmas SnacksReady to EatChristmas CherriesChristmas Cake

It’s usually too hot for a roast so our Christmas dinner was a salad, with an assortment of berries and Christmas cake for dessert. Much less fuss and just as delicious.

The berries were my favourite part. They’re usually expensive, so we only get them once or twice a year. The blackberries were particularly nice and sweet.

Cheeky Elves

David Jones, Elizabeth St, SydneyDavid Jones NativityNativity (Three Wise Men)Nativity (manger)Nativity (animals)Holly & the Ivy

Holly & the Ivy (rabbits)Holly & the Ivy (moles)Joy to the WorldJoy to the World (animals)Joy to the World (Santa & sleigh)Joy to the World (angels)

Large Nativity SceneGood King WenceslasGood King Wenceslas (penguin)Little Drummer Boy (peasants)Little Drummer Boy (mice)Little Drummer Boy

These are from the Christmas window displays at David Jones in Sydney. They’re scenes from favourite Christmas carols and they were spectacular this year. They’d rival almost anything in New York.

I love the photo with the two elves. They were so excited that they kept bumping into people! I guess that’s what Christmas is all about.

Festive Pagewood

Santa & RudolphRandwick HouseFestive RandwickRandwick ChristmasRandwick DecorationsRandwick Santa

Festive MatravilleMatraville ChristmasMatraville Christmas (2)Matraville HouseMatraville House (2)Randwick Town Hall, Christmas

These are some of the houses around our area that have been decorated for the holidays. Outdoor decorations still aren’t that common over here but it’s exciting when you see them.

I can’t help but wonder what their power bills and carbon footprint must be like but I love the Santa sign. Very cute.

More photos are available on Flickr, if you’re interested. Enjoy. 😉