Dec 12, 2014

Christmas Travels. Uniqlo in the City. 'Big Little Lies' by Liane Moriarty.

As much as this weather appears to be threatening all hope of a sunny Christmas Day, I wasn't going to allow it to get the better of me on my day off yesterday.

Which is how it came to be that Toddler SSG and I set off for the city in the midst of a mid morning downpour armed with nothing more than his pram, my Opal card and a flimsy umbrella.  I'm seriously loving my Opal card.  I'm not at the same level of expert usage as commuters who manage to get free fares each week but I do appreciate the convenience of a one card for all modes of public transport system. High five, Transport NSW!!

The grey skies and rain slicked footpaths might lead us to believe otherwise but the buildings of the Pitt Street Mall were shouting Christmas with glistening baubles here

and silvery, dangly Christmas trees there.

While over at the Opera House, the stage in the studio was all set for Babies Proms, a special presentation of The Little Drummer Boy.

The promised individual drums for each audience member were temptingly stacked on either side of the stage while a central square of carpet was sectioned off for the toddlers to sit down on for the best view.

Toddler SSG on the stairs.

Well, most of the toddlers.  Toddler SSG made an early break for the stairs leading up to the stalls.

Free range Toddler SSG celebrating his hard won freedom.

After which he managed to evade two ushers before making  break for it out onto the main concourse overlooking the harbour.  Perhaps one of the good things about all the rain is that the area was mostly deserted save for a few hard core joggers who deftly wove around Toddler SSG with a smile and a wave.

Fortunately, the Drummer Boy himself lured Toddler SSG  back into the performance with his impressive percussion skills.  There's something about seeing and hearing classical music instruments up close that entrances even the most spirited toddler.  Eventually.

After the performance, we had our packed lunches in the foyer, Opera House style.  Which totally justifies that glass of Chandon I treated myself to.

Toddler SSG made a bee line for the packet of Smarties in his lunchbox, followed closely by the party favour.  I will say for the record that his teddy bear shaped Vegemite sandwiches were the nicest ones I've had in a while.  It must be the butter.  Or their shape.

It's only now as I look back on the hastily taken iPhone photos I took while trying to stay dry that I truly appreciate just how cool the Lego Christmas tree in the Pitt Street Mall is.  Billed as the largest Lego Christmas tree in the Southern Hemisphere, you just have to see it for yourself.  Candy canes, a sleigh, toy soldiers and a surfing Santa surround the tree making it a fun tribute to Christmas on both sides of the world as well as a site that would trigger many a happy childhood Lego memory for practically all of us.  I've seen lots of happy Instagram photos of the Lego Advent calender and I'm going to get one for myself next year.

Ahem.  So there's this place called Sephora that's just opened in Westfield.  And this was the line outside a packed store on a rainy day.  I just couldn't do it.  The waiting, the rain, the poor toddler with places he'd rather be.  Do you think the frenzy will be done with after New Years?  Because that's the earliest I'll be returning to try my luck.

Fortunately, there were places we could go without having to languish in a soggy queue.  Uniqlo was one of them.  In fact, we caught a lift that took us straight into the store.  Toddler SSG did well with all the colour and the people to watch.  Unfortunately, there was nothing in his size but I'm pretty sure he'll be big enough for a Uniqlo puffer jacket next winter.

But I did find myself some new PJ pants.  Technically, they are Relaco (for RELA-xing and CO-mfortable) 3/4 shorts but I'm among friends, aren't I so PJ pants they are.

The Relaco range is available in a shorter length as well and appear to be just in ladies wear.  They retail for $19.90 a pair and have a drawstring and elastic waist plus pockets - all the essentials in pyjama pants.  There were so many prints to choose from, I had trouble just picking one.  But I was determined and I found this festive coloured floral pattern that should go down well for Christmas.

Before I go, I have a book find.  It's been the perfect bedtime read for this bleak weather.  Liane Moriarty is an Australian author who has great success in the US with her novels.  I find it hard to fit her work neatly into any one genre.  She writes for adults about relationships, mysteries, romance and suburbia.  And she does so with wit, humour and an arresting ability to paint multiple strong characters in each of her novels.  Characters you may or may not relate to but who are complex and leap off the page at you.

I'm loving 'Big Little Lies' (link to Liane's webpage).  It tells the story of a murder that shatters the picture perfect world of Pirriwee Public, a primary school in beach side Sydney.  I've read about a quarter of the book and I still don't know who actually got murdered and I know this is mostly Liane's intent but I've also been swept up into the lives of each of the main characters.  The kindergarten mums and dads, the elderly widow who lives near the school and the dialogues of the school staff that intersperse the narratives of the lives of the mums and dads.

It's a fascinating world to read about in the hands of Liane's imagination.  The traditional stereotyped mums and dads we laugh at and hope we never will become are shaped with a combination of humour and humanness in 'Big Little Lies'.  I'm not sure when the actual murder will come up in the novel and if it will be solved by the final page.  But I don't care because I'm having such a blast reading this novel.

Have a lovely weekend!


  1. Sephora......I get all excited when I see it overseas but usually walk away empty handed. Because I have enough makeup!
    Also I don't know that it is that cheap, but I suppose it has a great range.

    Glad you had a lovely day out with the little'un.

  2. Oh hooray! A pajama pants source AND a good read. Now that's Christmas information I need:). Happy Festive Season to you, SSG!

  3. I've now read all of Liane's books! I've found them quite enjoyable.


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