Sunday, 2 December 2007

Christmas is coming...!

Yes I know it's only the 2nd of December but I am soooo excited.


I love everything to do with it. The preparations, the shopping, the food, the decorations. Even though the holiday is very different since we left home I have devised my own routines and rituals that suit life on board.

Much to TBH's disgust I have insisted on carrying two large bags of Christmas things across the world with us. Even down to my own little tree - with lights! We have tinsel and holly and ribbons. Candles and banners and stockings. As over the top as I can get away with!

This year, for the first time in 5 years, we will almost certainly be in a Marina for the festivities. No need to conserve the batteries, so I can have the lights on every evening! No need to secure all the glittery baubles in case of rough weather, oh I can't wait to get everything out and decide where it will go. Bit sad as in this small place there is usually only one choice for each decoration but that's beside the point really isn't it!

I have a hoard of Tiptree Mincemeat for the mincepies and even a bag or two of Paxo sage and onion stuffing! TWO Christmas puddings! I have stashed away icing sugar to decorate the cake and managed to buy some cans of cranberry sauce. I even saw a live turkey in the market at Puerto Barrios earlier in the week. Sadly Jim, the marina boss, did not respond to my suggestion that we buy it and fatten it in the marina for a couple of weeks...some people have no sense of adventure! Shame as it looked like a nice specimen.

In one of my previous incarnations I owned the largest goose farm in Britain. We reared over 10,000 of the lovely birds for the Christmas market. The weeks prior to the 25th December passed in a flurry of white feathers and delivery schedules but I loved it all.

Every year once the final bird had been prepared we would break out the mincepies and the first bottle of the previous years vintage Sloe Gin and there, still clad in our rubber aprons, in the antiseptic surroundings of the gutting room we would drink a toast to the Christmas bird. I miss that moment! In fact I have a few tears in my eyes as I type this…

Our work force consisted of family members, regular farm staff and a motley assortment of overseas travelers who were looking to earn a buck or two as they moved from country to country. We always had a core contingent of Aussies and Kiwis with the odd ‘exotic’ thrown in…..I wonder what tales they tell their families now of the English farm that they worked on?

Ah sweet memories.

Turkey’s don’t like Christmas,
Which should come as no surprise.
They say;” Why don’t human beings pick on people their own size?”
To sit beside potatoes in an oven can’t be fun,
So a Turkey is quite justified to feel he’s being done!

I adore this poem by Richard Digance, My children get quite fed up with me reciting it every year!

I am afraid that you’re going to have to forgive and indulge me in this period, I intend having a good Olde Yuletide here in the Tropics!

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