26 December 2006

Christmas Eve, Christmas Day & Boxing Day

Christmas Eve we all went over to Rob & Julie's around lunch time. They served a lovely meal and it was nice to have all the family together. Christmas itself was pretty quiet -- this year David's brothers spent the day with the "other" in-laws. David's mum (Raema) came over mid-morning and we all opened our presents together. Anya received so many presents she got bored with opening them. She really loved her new jungle gym (from David & me) and baby dolls complete with stroller (from Raema). In the afternoon we went over to Don & Ann Maree's and had a little swim. Anya's main interest seemed to be in walking around the edge of the pool and jumping into my arms at random. A little scary when she did that near the steps!

Boxing Day was possibly the worst day for both David and me in recent memory. We packed up for a two-week holiday up the coast, picked Raema up from her house, swung back by our house for some last-minute items, and were finally on the road by about 12:30. It was about 2:30 when we got to Coolum -- we had to stop because I was getting a bad headache from not having eaten. Unfortunately I'd forgotten that nothing would be open due to the public holiday. Luckily, a pie shop was open so instead of yummy fish and chips I had a pie. I couldn't wait to get to the unit at Peregian and settle in with some additional munchies.

Instead, when we arrived at the unit, a foul smell greeted me as I went up the stairs. I thought at first it was the house next door, whose family doesn't clean up after its dogs very well. Even after finding that the odor was coming from inside, I still thought that perhaps there was just a dead lizard stuck in the window, as has happened before. I walked into the kitchen, opened the freezer door, and realised that this decomposing mass was the source... remember that I was
nauseated (pregnant), tired (pregnant), and had a burgeoning headache (again, thanks to being pregnant I'm sure!) I exclaimed, "GROSS!!!" with great feeling -- whereupon Anya burst into tears (she had followed me in).

I carried Anya out, feeling bewildered & overwhelmed. Thankfully, Raema kept her cool, and suggested we move into the downstairs unit until the situation was resolved. I did the bare minimum of carrying some bags in, made up the queen bed, and collapsed on it, completely incapacited by my headache. (It lasted for 3 days in the end.) Again, thank goodness for Raema, who looked after her while I lay and groaned.

Meanwhile, David worked out that there was no power to the whole building, contacted Energex, cleaned out the fridge (retching the whole time), finished bringing all our stuff into the unit, cleaned the fridge some more, kept cleaning, cleaned the fridge again every time he went back upstairs for something... you get the picture. Every time he returned from a foray, the stench came with him and even after he left the room a bit of the smell remained behind. It was truly terrible.

Don & Ann Maree & their kids were meant to arrive the next day, but we called them to ask them to wait a day or two. It was raining, so going to the beach was not really a big attraction anyway. We spent the evening waiting around for Energex to fix the power. Dinner was a very haphazard affair, eating ham and bits from our Esky. Anya was probably a bit perplexed about sitting in the dark and using torches. Three Energex staff came out separately to look at the situation before a crew was finally called in.
It wasn't until 10:30 pm that power was restored. The failure had occurred from a neighbor's tree rubbing away the insulation on the power supply line to the property. They trimmed off some branches, but probably not enough. We really need to contact the owner (the property is a rental) and have the tree properly trimmed back.

Next time, I'm going to make sure to bring camping lanterns and some sort of gas stove, just to be safe. I'd really be happiest if we didn't have a fridge permanently loaded there, either, but the boys like to keep their bait in it. Sadly, we ourselves had left two Magnum ice-creams in the freezer on our last trip up, forgetting to eat them. :(

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