Merri Creek Primary School: Queensland Christmas (by Theo)

 

2017                                                by Theo Harms

 

Friday (22 Dec)

I am very excited about the holidays coming so soon. Today is the last day of school for the year. The holidays are tomorrow and in two days I am leaving to go on holidays! I look forward to seeing my family. The only bad thing about the Christmas holidays is that the holidays start three days before Christmas.

Today is the day we are in a rush. Tomorrow we are leaving to go to Queensland. I am very excited about getting there… except I hate long car trips.

 

Saturday (23 Dec)

 We are up early to pack the car and get off on an earlystart. At eight o’clock, the car is packed, and we are ready to go. But… we don’t. Mum says she needs to do something, and Dad wants to go, and Anna is watching her iPad, and Evie is brushing her hair. So our house is a chaotic, noisy mess.

Eventually, we get going at about 12 or 1. It is very uncomfortable for me because I have to sit in the middle seat, between the two girls’ booster seats. There is also so much stuff in the boot piled up to the roof and we still need to have to have some stuff at our feet too. So there is not a lot of elbow room (or leg room too), and there is not much to do.

The drive has started. It is a very boring expanse of time. There is nothing to do. The only things you can do is read (that makes you feel sick), play video games (that makes you feel sick), and sleep (that is hard to do when you are so squished).

The drive is 20 hours long. We have to spread it across two days because it is very hard to drive for 20 hours straight. Normally, we would do 10 hours one day and 10 hours the next, but today we can only get three hours of driving in. It is so boring, and after a while the girls start fighting. I am so unlucky to be in the middle because there are people yelling and screaming on both sides of me.

We are pulling up in the driveway at the motel, and I am making a checklist of towns along the way. I tick off the towns we have passed and make a checkpoint where we are now.

 

Sunday Dec 24

Now for the bad part. Seventeen hours of solid driving. The good thing is that we are going to go through Parkes, a town with a radio telescope. I look forward to that.

 As we approach Parkes, we notice some strange things. There are weird people dressed up in white clothes, wearing black wigs. Then Dad yells out: “I forgot! It’s the Elvis Festival this week!”

There are so many people dressed up as Elvis Presley. There are people playing Elvis music. There are people singing Elvis songs. Anything to do with Elvis, people are doing.

“It’s lucky we’re not staying here,” I say. “It would be choc-a-block”

“I know,” says Mum.

We drive on to the edge of town and we arrive at the Parkes observatory. Guess who we see there? You got it – more Elvises. They are all sitting in the bakery. We can see the dish now – it is huge. I once saw a movie about the dish. It was about the dish tracking the Apollo 11 spacecraft.

Now we have to turn our phones off because of interference with the signals. We go inside the observatory museum. There are lots of cool diagrams and figures about the dish and the things it does. Then we go into the backyard of the museum and we see even more Elvises. There is a café in the backyard and there are in there. There are also people with telescopes out scattered across the backyard.


“Excuse me, what are all the telescopes for?” Dad asks a man with a telescope.


“Today is the telescope open day,” replies the man. “If you want to, you can set up a telescope, and people can look through them if they want.”


“Cool! Can I look?”


“Sure, this telescope is pointing at Alpha Centauri. See the white dot? Look inside it. The sparkly thing inside is Alpha Centauri.”


“Wow,” says Dad. “Theo, why don’t you have a look?”

I look in the telescope, through the white dot, and I see it, the little sparkly Alpha Centauri.

We look through several telescopes and see Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and even the sun through a telescope with special light filters so that our eyes don’t get ruined.

It is time to go again. We leave the radio observatory and get driving.

It is nine thirty and we are still driving. We are starting to lose the plot. I can’t wait to get out of this terrible squished space. We are in the town Warwick, near the border of New South Wales and Queensland. I can’t survive much longer. It is horrible in this car. We are driving down my cousins’ street and after what seems like forever we pull up in their driveway. It feels so nice to be out of that wretched car.

 My cousins hear the car coming and rush out to meet us.


“Hey Theo,” says Nick.


“Hi Anna, hi Evie!” shouts Zoe.


Zoe and the girls are so excited that we are visiting. I am too, and so is Nick, but we are not so shouty. We are much calmer.

 We are very tired from the trip. As soon as we haveunpacked the car, we slump onto our beds and go to sleep.

 

Monday (Dec 25)

“MERRY CHRISTMAS!”

I am awoken suddenly from Zoe shouting in my face. I remember that it is Christmas today and am excited. I rush upstairs to the kitchen and quickly eat my breakfast. I see many presents under the Christmas tree. There are no names on most of the presents. I am confused now. There are so many presents addressed to no one.


“Why are there presents addressed to no one?” I ask to no one in particular.
“Because we are going to play Secret Santa this afternoon,” replies Aunty Bec.


“Ooooohhhh…. What’s Secret Santa?”


“It is where you get a number from one to sixteen, by pulling a number out of a hat. Then you choose a present from under the tree in the order of your numbers. If you don’t want to choose a present you can steal one from a person who has already got a present. That means the person you stole from has to get another one.”


“That sounds fun,” I say.


“Can I give you some advice for the game?”


“Sure!”


“It’s good to get a high number, because you can steal any person’s present. You get to choose what you get!”


“That’s cool. Thanks for the advice,” I say. “Can we open the presents that are not for the game?”


“Wait until Nick wakes up.”

It is nine thirty and Nick is still asleep. I have been waiting for hours and I am just going to go and wake him up.

When I get down the stairs into the media room, I see Nick playing on the PS4.


“There you are,” I say to him, “We have been waiting for hours for you to get up so we can open the Christmas presents!”


“Oh.”

Nick is finally upstairs and we can open the presents. I have got Lego, and a ball that skims on water. It is still two hours until midday when everyone else comes. I ask Dad if we can have a swim in the pool while we wait and he says yes, as long as we put sunscreen on.

We get in the pool with Nick and Zoe and play some games. We play with my water-skimming ball as well. When we get out there is still an hour until the others come. We get dry and play some games until we hear the doorbell ring. We rush upstairs to the door, outside and open the gate. It is our other cousins. We ask if they want to swim in the pool. They come into the pool and we get in again. We have lots of fun.

It’s a great Christmas.

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