Why Christmas is great in Cumbria – from an Aussie

Egremont 2Day’s resident Aussie, CRAIG WISHART, gives us a fresh perspective for appreciating Christmas in Cumbria


A different climate: From shorts and t-shirt to wrapped up warm Craig gives us an insight in to an Aussie Christmas vs a Cumbrian one.

A different climate: From shorts and t-shirt to wrapped up warm Craig gives us an insight in to an Aussie Christmas vs a Cumbrian one.

It sounds idyllic and it was, but that’s Australia for you; it’s very nice but it’s also all upside down and a bit back to front.

What it means is the festive season comes in summer, the days are long and we’d all get around in shorts because it’s scorching.

Of course it’s nice to look back on my younger days with a heartening nostalgia, but I can’t neglect to mention that Christmas day was not always so pleasant, in fact Christmas dinner would always turn out to be an over-heated affair.

My grandmother was what is referred to as a Ten Pound Pom and it didn’t really matter that she hadn’t been back in the old country since 1959; she never adapted to her new way of life, came to grips with the heat and she never went with the flow.

Christmas dinner for her always would be roast dinner.

Turkey, spuds, over-cooked veg, complete with all the trimmings.

She was a good cook and it was a nice dinner, but it was always 35 degrees outside and, with a dozen people tucking into their meal in a cramped dining room in suburban Melbourne, it felt closer to 45.

Air conditioning was not a standard requirement back in the late 70’s and with the sun beating down on my grandmother’s already hot tin roof we’d rush through our meal before our paper hats plastered to our heads with the sweat that poured off our brows.

A coloured stain on a forehead was not an uncommon sight.

I’ve been in the UK for seventeen years now, and yes I miss the hot weather, but it is very nice to have a cold Christmas.

A roast dinner and a brisk day are perfect for each other.

Eat too much, over-indulge, turn on the telly and fall asleep. You can’t do that when it’s too hot – for a start you stick awkwardly on a vinyl couch.

Yule is a feast, a celebration to lift the spirits in the darkest days of winter. It’s really lost in translation in the summer.

Also, Baileys will curdle in the heat and a lumpy cream liqueur is not nice.

Here’s another benefit for you. Let’s say the kids want to try out their new bike, but you’re stuffed and ready for a snooze.

Well you just look out the window and say maybe tomorrow, the weather doesn’t look so great today.

You can’t do that in Australia – Step outside and you’re likely to be bowled over by an over-excited child on a wobbly bike and a complete lack of co-ordination.

The streets are teeming with them as they try out their shiny toys. It’s dangerous; so that’s something else to bear in mind.

Now comes the clincher. Sometimes, not always but sometimes, we’ll get a white Christmas.

When the snow is lying, everything is white and perfect and that is truly magical.