The First Day Of Summer

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Yesterday was the first day of summer in Australia. It brought wind and rain to Port Douglas, looks a bit stormy doesn’t it?  Our wet season has started, so there is plenty more rain to come . Don’t be fooled into thinking it was cold, the temperatures were up in the thirties and the humidity wrapped around you like a wet blanket. We abandoned our walk in favor of indoor entertainment, we put up our Christmas tree!

The first day of summer on Four Mile Beach Port Douglas

Australian Summertime and Christmas in the Tropics

Christmas tree going up in the tropics

After 5 years in the Southern Hemisphere it still doesn’t feel right to me, that child should be in a jumper, not board shorts still damp from the pool, it should be dark, the lights should stand out in the wintry gloom, not be overpowered by the sunshine streaming in through the windows and, most importantly, that should be a real tree, not a fake.

It’s one of the drawbacks of living in paradise as an expat, things just never feel quite right.

But, obviously, it’s just me. D said to me, after expertly dressing the tree

I love Christmas Mum, it’s so cozy!

I’m not sure how he feels cozy with the  air conditioning on for the first time this year and the overhead fans whirling in every room, but he does, and that’s all that matters. So we’re starting to feel a bit festive, looking forward to Christmas day at Dad’s hotel, one of the perks of being a chef’s widow. How about you, when does your tree go up?

Read more about how we spend Christmas in the tropics.


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About the author
Alyson Long
Alyson Long is a British medical scientist who jumped ship to chase dreams. A former Chief Biomedical Scientist at London's West Middlesex Hospital she started in website creation and travel writing in 2011. Alyson is a full-time blogger and travel writer, a published author, and owns several websites. World Travel Family is the biggest. A lifetime of wanderlust and over 6 years of full-time travel, plus a separate 12 month gap year, has given Alyson and the family some travel expert smarts to share with you on this world travel site. Today Alyson still travels extensively to update this site and continue her mission to visit every country, but she's often at home on her farm in Australia.

7 thoughts on “The First Day Of Summer”

  1. Well….it’s -3 degrees here so I have come to the local pub for apple crumble and custard to warm up while hubby out having Christmas Dinner with the work mates. BRRRRR

  2. I remember growing up it didn’t feel like Christmas to me unless I had spent a significant portion of the day in the swimming pool! We are putting up our own tropical Christmas tree today.

  3. This kind of blows my mind. I have no idea how I would feel wearing a bathing suit during christmas when it’s hot. As I sit here in the south of France where one would think is hot. I have fingerless gloves on, my knit hat I brought witih me from Montreal and wool socks. We are all sick too. feels like christmas with hot chocolate and a cold nip in the air for sure. Now that i think about it, i probably could get used to wearing a bathing suit at christmas time.

    We are buying our tree tomorrow. woo hoo.

    • I know Annie, I’ll never get used to it. Here we have to go on a pre Christmas diet to look reasonable in swimwear at the hotel pool on Christmas day. Life is so cruel! Happy tree shopping.

  4. Our ‘christmas tree’ is a post in our house on which an much loved hoya climbs (we inherited this from my mother-in-law when she died six years ago, I have no idea how old it actually is, could be decades!). A very pot bound restricted umbrella tree grows beside it and the two against the pole make lovely green spot in our living area. Today I am going to weave some tinsel around the pole, add ancient fairy lights (again, inherited, probably the same set my husband used as a child!) and some pretty purple balls we purchased last week. Frangipani hair clips already adorn the hoya and we have a few glow in the dark rubbery lizards stuck to the post. The duplo has been cleared from the large ceramic fish bowl at the base of the ‘tree’ (which once housed gold fish until babies and toddlers started visiting): we’re going to fill it with presents for family, friends and visitors.

    This year, because we purchased extra solar photovoltaic panels for our stand-alone system and can spare the power, we invested in some LED string lights and have put them and the old ones up around the house, both inside and out. I don’t call them christmas lights and we won’t be taking them down in January. Our house is going to be a blaze of pretty colours throughout 2013!

    • That sounds absolutely lovely Beverley! We are so far away from home, grandparents, real friends and everything familiar, it makes this time of year very hard for me. Being a chef’s widow compounds the lack of family tradition, James works Christmas day. It’s good to know the kids are happy with what they are used to, even if I’m dreaming of real fires, mulled wine and gathering holly.


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