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Cambria Flag.png Look at all that equatorial snow!

There's No Place Like Holme for the Holidays

I met a man who lives in Avalon, and he was headin' for
Vadiorare and some homemade fruit mince pie
From Saviso folks are travellin'
Up to Cambria's sunny shore
From the Rabe to the Uthyran
Gee the traffic's really flyin'!

Well jingle my bells, it's Christmastime again! A time for giving, for spending times with loved ones, and for drinking industrial-strength rum to try and steel yourself for the big day. In Uletha, folks are snuggling up by the fireplace while snowflakes gently fall outside; in the Federal States, they're preparing ever-larger quantities of potato salad for Christmas lunch; and in Vodeo, there's no hint of irony in the radio stations playing wintery Christmas songs while the dry season beats down on everyone from Tecarai to Tracendar. In the Royal City, the final preparations are being made for another festive holiday, so today we shall pay a visit to Holme to get ourselves in the holiday spirit.

Holme is without question one of Vodeo's finest cities, but most of the city's denizens would agree that it's at its very best at Christmastime. Downtown Holme becomes festooned with lights and decorations, under which shoppers hurriedly bustle with their gifts. In Queen Adelaide Square, an enormous Christmas tree has its lights switched on in a grand ceremony involving the Queen, the Lord Mayor, and notable figures, such as sportspeople, actors, or politicians. On Christmas Eve, it is a tradition (as it is in many towns and cities across Vodeo) to assemble in parks and town squares to sing carols, and once the kids are in bed (although not necessarily asleep), the adults can sit back with a glass of rum and enjoy the traditional annual Radiation broadcast. And as the city heads off to bed in anticipation for the big day, they can sleep soundly knowing that Santa will arrive safely - the boys and girls of the Commonwealth Space Centre and the Air Force will see to that.

Come Christmas morning, some people will be off to church for morning services, while others will be tearing apart the wrapping paper to see what loot they got. The hot dry season means that much of the middle of the day is spent relaxing, perhaps with a light lunch, while the cool of the evening brings dinner and the Queen's Christmas Message, for which the country comes to a stop at 6:50 pm to watch. After dinner, it is again time to unwind and reflect upon the day, and perhaps an early night will be in order so that one may be energised and ready for the Boxing Day sales. Yes, what better way to celebrate the season than with a discount television?

As the Christmas holidays approach with great speed, I wish to exhibit two parts of the city I have been working on recently. We'll begin in the borough of Lidbanks, to the southeast of the city centre. The two predominant suburbs are Lidbanks, the council seat, and Belvoir, one of Holme's most well-to-do suburbs, with its streets, beaches, and hillsides lined with grand old villas and modern manors. Elsewhere we see the cozy bayside suburbs of Waldegrave, Mercy Bay, and Roseneath tucked in amongst the hills, and beside Roseneath, Battery Hill, home to the city's observatory and planetarium. Battery Hill has itself become something of a Christmas hotspot, as for the last 60-odd years, locals have bedecked their houses in all manner of lights and decorations, and these days the switching-on of the lights on the first Saturday evening in December has become a must-see event. It's somewhat ironic that the suburb home to an observatory has become synonymous with Christmas lights, but they don't seem to mind much.

Our other location of note, and the one shown on the map above, is Hopesmarch. Located on the southern side of Hopesmarch Island, Cambria's second-largest island (and, technically, also Vodeo's second-largest at this stage), Hopesmarch is the definition of a quaint little seaside town. Established in 1639, Hopesmarch survived for years as a fishing town that doubled as the port for the island's (albeit small) fruit and sugar plantations, but in the late 19th century, took on a new role as one of Holme's favourite playgrounds. Today, tens thousands of people visit the town every year to wander its narrow streets and even narrower shops, enjoy boat trips for sightseeing or fishing, or just to enjoy fish and chips on the beach. One peculiar local Christmas tradition is the birdman competition held after the Christmas parade, where people will attempt to "fly" off the end of the town wharf in all manner of strange contraptions or costumes. The mainlanders all think the islanders are nuts, but the islanders don't seem to care - after all, it's Christmas!

If we look under the hood at these parts of Holme, we'll see that Belvoir is based loosely on Sydney's Bondi Beach, Melbourne's St Kilda Beach, and Wellington's Oriental Parade; Mercy Bay and Roseneath are based on some of the bays on the northern shores of Auckland's Manukau Harbour; and Hopesmarch draws heavily from Provincetown, Massachusetts. Yes, Vodeo doesn't copy just Australasia - it copies everywhere!

All there is to do now is to wish you all a merry Christmas, and I'll see you back here on New Year's Eve for the 2018 round-up!

By order of the Lands Survey Department,
ParAvion (talk) 07:39, 22 December 2018 (CET)

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I need to be here first. I also enjoy the Christmas season, the juxtaposition of Northern and Southern Hemisphere traditions, barbecues and backyard cricket in the Australian way (sandpaper not included). Meanwhile across Tarephia, the Xenicans are cooking noodles and all manner of spicy tropical fruits, preparing their fancy outfits, and whining about paying taxes (they have until January 15th).
Furthermore, I'm not one for alcohol... what do you have in the way of soft drinks? Eklas, you should also listen.
Anyway, political correctness be damned Merry Christmas!
FictiveJ (talk) 10:15, 22 December 2018 (CET)
Christmas Down Under is a very strange affair, what with listening to wintery Christmas songs and sending snowy Christmas cards while the sun beats down and the mercury soars, but I wouldn't have it any other way. It's also funny you should ask about soft drinks, because I've recently been working on them. Given that there doesn't seem to be any big soft drink brands on the site yet (some of what are present have been marked for deletion), I guess Vodeo has to step up to the plate again. So far I've concocted 88 (a cola) and as-yet-unnamed lemon, pineapple, and orange drinks. At this rate, perhaps in 2019 Vodeo will become the dominant power in the all-vital coffee, computer, and soft drink markets. I suppose it brings in the money while the sugarcane is still growing. — ParAvion (talk) 10:41, 22 December 2018 (CET)
I'm going to do a bliki tomorrow about how Xenicans celebrate Christmas. Also, I'll make some Xenican soft drinks, since even though our countries are economic partners, there's still some room for friendly-ish rivalry. FictiveJ (talk) 11:21, 22 December 2018 (CET)
I'll bring the lemon, lime and bittersshall I? --Turnsole80 (talk) 16:39, 23 December 2018 (CET)
Ooh, that's a good idea. I came up with Vigour for the lemonade drink yesterday, so that's that one I can strike off the list. I suppose I could make a nice little Bundaberg-esque operation out of this. — ParAvion (talk) 19:53, 23 December 2018 (CET)
Damn, I'd kill to live in Holme! I love you work in OGF, mate, I love when someone puts passion on what he/she does, and those stories you made are awesome, plus your mapping skills that are really smart and creative. Btw, I've noticed that New England-vibe in Hopesmarch. --Fazzstinson69 (talk) 16:33, 23 December 2018 (UTC -3)
I wouldn't rush to move into Holme just yet, not with most of the city still unplanned and nobody knowing what the city's going to look like come this time in 2019. Still, I hear the living is good and easy. — ParAvion (talk) 04:11, 28 December 2018 (CET)
I love the way you've done the coastline shape of Hopesmarch Island. I have to be honest, I'm almost envious of your creative coastlines. I'll try to send you some thoughts of snow for the holiday from the northern hemisphere. :) Merry Christmas! — Alessa (talk) 06:19, 24 December 2018 (CET)
I like my coastlines to look nice on a map. They might seem a little odd on the ground, but at least on the map, they look splendid. As for the snow, it might look a little strange settling atop the palm trees, but I'm sure we'll manage somehow. — ParAvion (talk) 04:11, 28 December 2018 (CET)
So I've always enjoyed a good ParAvion bliki post, but this one got me to re-read one of my all time favorite OGF wiki entries on the movie Radiation. SO GOOD. Also, seconding Alessa—are there real-world locations that you use to model your coastline? It's so intricate. -- LW (talk) 00:00, 00 February 2018 (EST)
Generally, I look at places around Australasia and the Caribbean, since they're the places I model Vodeo most strongly from. For the most part, though, I just make whatever looks nice in my head, and alter it from there. There's a lot of things I love about making these maps, but coastlines are probably my favourite. — ParAvion (talk) 04:11, 28 December 2018 (CET)
2017 February 26: An Introduction by the Lands Survey Department March 5: Noticing North Harbour March 23: Coffee and Relations April 18: Of Late I Think of Crafers April 30: Why is Roger So Jolly Today? May 4: Listen While I Play My Green Tahorine May 11: Of Motorways and Men June 21: Oh Helensvale! July 3: Parliamentary Conduct July 9: Diplomatic Insanity July 16: A Better Saviso Bradford July 21: Go Where the Rhodes Take You August 8: Get to the Point September 11: When Real Life Writes the Script September 24: Mapping Politics October 15: Breaking the Gridlock October 26: 390 Not Out December 12: Good Cheer and Googie December 31: That Was the Year That Was
2018 January 26: Do These Suburbs Make My City Look Big? February 7: Carry On Doctor March 15: Bordering on Madness May 1: Putting On the Pounds June 1: Further Adventures in Finance June 30: We'll Have a Gay Old Time July 20: Aving Fun in Avington August 15: The Country Members September 26: RADern October 3: Living History October 10: The Hauntings of Holme October 17: Is There Anybody Out There? October 24: If You Go Down to the Woods Today... October 31: The Evil That Men Do November 16: Crawl Out Through the Fallout December 22: There's No Place Like Holme for the Holidays December 31: Looking Backward, Moving Forward
2019 January 30: The South Tonight February 20: Jeez Gerrise March 31: The Angles of Aslington April 30: All the Rivers Run June 23: Consolidation and Crafers July 22: The Pirate Kingdom September 9: Every Which Way but Loose October 3: Tender Loving Care October 10: Mystery in the Mountains October 17: Blood, Sweat, and Tears October 24: Highway to Hell October 31: Supernatural Saviso December 31: 2020 Vision
2020 February 3: This Old Holme