Hi team, and happy 2013 to you. We rang in the new year at our friends Martina and Stuart's house last night with a couple of others. It was just the right amount of champagne, giggles, games and food.They live very close to us; on our short walk home the streets were misty and magical, and there were fireworks coming off a balcony right in front of us.
You know how I was whinging that the citizens of Vancouver don't get enthusiastic about live music? I eat my words. At the Commodore Ballroom (a Vancouver institution on Granville St which my Gramma was delighted to hear we were patronising... she remembers it vividly from her dancing days) we waited for 2 hours to see Gogol Bordello because they couldn't rustle up a 'special guest' in the quiet holiday season. We were ravenous for some tunes after such a long stand-around with nothing but an unkempt dj spinning endless instrumental musak, and so was everyone else. There was weird and wonderful hair and fashion (including some mohawks and a mullet straight from 1987), and some very sticky carpet. Band played for hours, people danced their trousers off, it was great.
I heartily recommend youtube-ing Gogol Bordello videos, because if you haven't heard this band, it is a genre unto itself. Here's Matthew's best shot of the evening. As you can see we were not there to take photos. A long-running joke of the evening was Eugene's (frontman) open bottle of red which he gesticulated with as he sang, and which dripped down his skinny nekkid little torso for most of the show. Also a highpoint was the transformation of his short Ecuadorian bandmate's transformation from annoying wing-man to awesome energy rockstar.
Matthew had never made a gingerbread house before, and the last time I made one (10 years ago I think) the ants got to it only 72 hours later. The King's invited us over for a decorating evening the Sunday before Christmas, and boy did we come prepared.
|WAY AFTER... why yes we did eat the gingerbread house, it was delicious, thanks for asking.|
|Carolyn, Elly, and her man Bryerton, decorating their own houses.|
Okay this last picture is unrelated to gingerbread houses, but I wanted to show how adorable these kiwi shortbreads with chocolate piped detail turned out... just look at them!! Matthew did the piping, of course. Mum gave me the kiwi cookie cutter as a souvenir from her travels in NZ in October, and in turn I gave these cookies to the NZ branch of my Vancouver family, who as luck would have it, were Christmas-dinnering with another NZ/Vancouver family! Nationally-appropriate cookies for all! (And I was given a moose-shaped cookie cutter as a Christmas gift, so the national fauna baking now knows almost no bounds!!)
Matthew and I did brunch at the Gray's house and then dinner at the King's house. There were gifts, croissants, turkey + trimmings, and everything you could want. The whole Canadian crew skyped with my mum and dad, and we chatted with Matthew's parents in the days before and after.
|Matthew at the supermarket with a whole trolley full of turkeys|
|The Gray's Christmas tree with gifts under it for the whole family|
|Some of the crew: Lorraine, Eileen, Gramma, Leslie, Matthew, Carolyn and Eleanor|
Matthew had to work. We opened our gifts from overseas friends and family in the evening when he got home, and ate left-over Pear and Ginger Trifle.
After much persuasion, I agreed to see The Hobbit. We met up with some of the Kings and their friends in town, grabbed a coffee and a croissant, and settled in for the long haul. Seriously 3 hours later we all parted company and Matthew and I wafted home for the last wine + cheese of the holidays. It was a nice gentle way to start the year.
Have a lovely new year, everyone. With love from Zoe and Matthew.