OK so it is just past that time of year, and where on earth if here at all [on earth I mean] will I be this time next year? To everyone I have not yet managed to email with greetings [in both senses of the word if you know the northern meaning of greeting] sorry, and do send me one as it will inspire me.
Our Christmas Day was like this: Donal Cindy and the boys went out for the morning – to their usual Sunday Fastrack school – no Christmas holidays here, they went to normal school yesterday, Boxing Day. Fastrack had arranged an earlier party with Santa before the class which would be the first bit of Christmas apart from our own small tree for Louis and Ali. When they came home, they had their usual pm sleep while Granny put the tree in the middle of the sitting room and surrounded it with presents. There were in fact got more than most chinese families. Thanks Callum and Wendy for your great parcel, ditto Veronica, and thanks me from George and Neill who had stuff wrapped on their behalf. Cindy and Donal had bought bikes, though where they will be able to safely ride we do not yet know, and I gave Lego, so at least I can hopefully play inside when we can’t go out.
I was ‘home alone’ feeling something I can only call culture shocked as it was not like any Christmas I have ever spent. It was not about being alone, as I have spent Christmastime alone before, but something about all the run-up being ‘as if‘ it was the same, but it just is not, it is somehow contrived or an attempt to copy something which is not understood. In the shops and the boys school, decorations are everywhere, but reindeers and cribs and snowmen are all mixed up in a sort of disney glitter version. Like I said already, there is no Christmas Day holiday. Even food – I could go and get a lunch or a dinner, but it would be look online for the right kind of restaurant and either go by myself or persuade the family to come with me. We do not have an oven here so I couldn’t do it at home, and any way of ‘doing it’ would also feel too contrived. So here are a few Christmas Day pictures – showing that it was really very very cheerful.
Very very interesting! I suppose that Cindy often feels the same in reverse, and she was talking about the time she was in UK for Christmas and we took the boat over to Ireland and had a big meal at Irene’s, with Veronica and Neill and Claire and Steven. Shared the cooking etc. I now realise she must have been totally bewildered about it all.