Christmas Day this year marks the end of my eighth year in Australia. I arrived on this continent on 25 December 2003, having flown straight through and missed Christmas Eve, due to the time variation between here and home. I spent that first hot summer’s day with my future husband, Robin. We took a walk in Westerfolds Park, and enjoyed a swim in the Yarra River, under the protection of tangy-smelling eucalpyts, and squadrons of screaming sulphur-crested cockatoos. Christmas lunch with Robin’s family included abundant fresh seafood – shellfish, salmon, and king prawns – a variety of salads, beautiful Australian wines, a selection of traditional cakes (plus a delightful Pavlova), dessert tarts, and hand-made chocolates. This was an all together different realm from my usual Northern Hemisphere holiday experience. Everyone was in short sleeves and there wasn’t a turkey in sight!