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That one thing would be my husband. He is the consummate DIYer - able to turn his hand to absolutely anything - as well as being a qualified chef who can cook anything in existence.
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John's mince pies - hands down! - the most beautiful shortcrust pastry and Robertson's Fruit Mince. It's like eating shortbread stuffed with fruit mince - love 'em.

Menu for yesterday's xmas lunch buffet for 12 people:

Sausage rolls
Prawn & Avocado Mousse
Smoked Trout Pate
Crystal Bay Prawns with Marie Rose Sauce (peel your own!)
Oysters Natural
Oysters Kilpatrick
Oysters with Bacon & Cheese
Smoked Salmon
Salmon Gravlax
Ham
Turkey
Roast Potatoes
Green Salad
followed by:
Xmas pudding with brandy butter and custard
Egg Nog Icecream*
Mince Pies
Ginger Cookies

A good time was had by all and we're eating leftovers this week (there's still about 4 dozen oysters left and a kilo of prawns but nowhere near as much turkey or ham as last year!). Very seafood oriented menu as usual for an Australian xmas - we even cooked our own prawns this year as we could only get the CBs green! - but no baked ham, we usually cut a chunk off the leg and bake it to serve with this wonderful Cumberland-type Sauce but decided not to at the last minute. I usually also make the wombok crunchy noodle salad (recipe on the Chang's packet) but didn't this time - which is ok because almost nobody eats the salads anyway - it's all about the protein [G].

*Our xmas present to each other was a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker (with compressor - no need to freeze bowls!) so I expect we'll be making lots of icecream and sorbet this summer.
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In our house xmas decorations, tree, etc. go up on xmas eve after the kids have gone to bed and come down on Twelfth Night, 6th January.
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The Australian War Memorial is my favourite:

http://www.awm.gov.au

you can spend days in there and still not see everything. Along with our (un)patented Nightlights Tour of Canberra, where we take the visitors to all the high spots and show them them lit-up versions of the national landmarks.

My elder brother and his wife and step-kids are coming for the second week of the school holidays (11th - 17th July) so we'll no doubt be doing a lot of touristy stuff. I'm scheduling appointments so that I don't have to work at all that week, since we didn't end up getting much of a break on our 'holiday'!
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We have mobile phones - post paid. Mine costs $49 per month and has $300 credit. John's costs $29 per month and is on the same account as the two phones we have for his Mum and my Dad, also $29 per month; they share their credit total of $87 between them which means that John gets most of it as the other two barely use theirs.

We recently exchanged our home landline for a wireless package (basically a mobile phone in a box which our cordless phones plug into) and got rid of one of the three landlines into our house. The other two landlines are office only so they don't ring in the residential area at all but are there for emergencies if needed.

Covers all the bases methinks.
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Birthplace - Brinkworth Close, Hockley, Essex, UK - 1961 to 1970
Sitmar TV Fairsky - 4 weeks in 1970 - this was the boat that brought us out to Australia from the UK
The Del Monte Private Hotel, Henley Beach, SA - our first 2 weeks in Australia (the migrant hostel was full!)
Salisbury Highway, Salisbury, SA - 1970 to December 1971
Riversdale Rd, Camberwell, Vic - December 1971 to June 1972
Salisbury Highway (again) - June 1972 to June 1975
Harvey Avenue, Salisbury - June 1975 to May 1981
Bindi St, Para Hills West, SA - May 1981 to May 1982 (first place out from under the parental wing - a shared rental with my younger brother and his fiancee)
Cooradilla Drive, Salisbury Park, SA - May 1982 to September 1982 (house-sat for my older brother while he was away visiting USian relatives)
Naracoorte, SA - Sept 1982 to January 1985 - 4 various rented places (country service with Bank)
Frost Rd, Brahma Lodge, SA - January 1985 to May 1985 (back home to Mummy!)
Balmoral Rd, Salisbury East, SA - May 1985 to August 1986 (my first 'own' place, rented until I bought))
Buckingham Drive, Salisbury East, SA - August 1986 to January 1990 (mine, all mine - and the Bank's!)
Castieau St, Higgins, ACT - February to August 1990 (our first rental in Canberra)
Banambila St, Aranda, ACT - August 1990 to April 1992 (our second rental in Canberra)
Prichard Circuit, Richardson, ACT - April 1992 to present (us and the Bank again!!)

I guess the two places I/we've actually owned would be my favourites. I bought the flat in Buckingham Drive when I was single and had a very placid, quiet life there. At least when you own the place it feels that much more yours to do what you like with.

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January 2012

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