I’ll be home for Christmas – and excel gets a work out

Austria Christmas cold

Well, after 4 years it’s finally happening – we’re going to Oz for Christmas.

Although I can’t say I absolutely hate the warm coziness of being inside on Christmas Day while the weather outside freezes the landscape white – somehow it seems much more like the movies – but damn I’m looking forward to going back to the Aussie traditions of a Christmas morning swim, and it being too hot to roast inside. Better do it on the Barbie!

Hubby’s going to have to deal with it my way this time. Like the fact that nothing really interesting ever happens on the 24th, except maybe we watch Titanic and play scrabble. And no presents, they have to wait till the 25th. The fact that it will be hot is something he is still having trouble comprehending – the seasons really are in reverse. At least he’ll be all in for our tradition of playing computer games over the Christmas period.

I can’t wait to not only see my friends and family, but also that my dog (fingers crossed, we still have a few days to go), will be there to greet me (he was given 6 months to live over 6 months ago).

Australia Christmas beach
This is afternoon on Christmas Day in Oz!


I’ll be there for a month in total, which seems like a long time, but I still had to create numerous excel spreadsheets to coordinate everything:

  • A calendar plan of where I’ll be every day, where I’ll be staying, what friend or family member I’ll be seeing, and whether I need to borrow a car. I know from previous trips that it’s not possible to cram everything in, but that doesn’t stop me wanting to at least eat Thai, Chinese, lamb shanks, roast, pies, pasties, salt-n-vinegar chips, raison toast, coffee scrolls and everything else in between. It doesn’t stop me from wanting to go out for a dance at any one of many dodgy pubs we used to frequent. It doesn’t stop me from wanting to see everything and everyone. But I’ve come up with a half-plan. It’s not too crazy. It covers the important people. And it includes plenty of downtime.
  • Things I need to buy in Oz. Let’s be honest, it’s mostly food – and I absolutely need to import bran sticks, aeroplane jelly and pizza shapes. There’s also some medical requirements on there. Just all the old favs I’ve missed and haven’t quite found replacements for in Austria.
  • Christmas gifts. I’ve been collecting presents for everyone throughout the year so naturally I needed another spreadsheet for this purpose. I’m packing the presents in a separate suitcase which I can then fill with food on the return journey.
15kg aussie food
The hoard of food from my last trip to Oz!

All these excel spreadsheet and I don’t even like excel – in fact I hate it! But I do like being organized. So there you go, and yes, I am a little bit weird.

I’m also desperately excited at the fact that Baywatch will be showing on the aeroplane – that is exactly the right kind of don’t-need-to-concentrate movie for when I’m so tired I can no longer concentrate. And there’s mini pizza on the menu, and wine whenever I want. I know most people hate long-haul flights, but I use the opportunity to enjoy myself as much as possible.

So farewell cold, wintery Austria. Hello warm, swimmy Australia.



4 thoughts on “I’ll be home for Christmas – and excel gets a work out

  1. Rosie December 13, 2017 / 10:24 pm

    I’d find the whole seasons-in-reverse shenanigans befuddling – even though it’s never super-duper cold in the UK, the idea of a hot, sunny Christmas spent on the beach is just alien to me! (Though I’m sure it feels utterly normal to anyone who’s grown up in the southern hemisphere.) Safe travels, and have a fab time down under!

    • debbiekaye1980 December 14, 2017 / 2:56 pm

      Thanks Rosie! To be honest it is a little weird since we follow England’s tradition of hot roast – cooking a hot roast in the kitchen on a 35 degree day is not ideal! A lot of people in recent times have ditched it and do BBQ instead!

      • Rosie December 14, 2017 / 10:39 pm

        I can see why a BBQ wins out when the alternative is spending hours in a sweltering hot kitchen!

  2. Lucinda December 13, 2017 / 10:53 pm

    Have a wonderful trip back home Debbie.
    Give Captain as many cuddles as you can.
    Enjoy the sunny weather till you look forward to going back to the cold. If possible stop in at work to say hello. Cheers Aussie 💖😘

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