Still BBQ weather here in Cartagena. 50+ adults today. Great company and music.
Christmas & New Year in Lagos
(written 2nd Jan 2016)
Christmas was great. To me, Christmas celebrations are Christmas Eve (I love Christmas Eve), Christmas Day and Boxing Day. On Christmas Eve I watched a couple of Christmas movies and worked on my crochet blanket. In the evening, our friends Pam and Roger from Deja Vu joined us for a Bucks Fizz then for a walk into town to see the Christmas lights. Town was really quiet and we had a pleasant walk around town.
My younger brother, Gavin, “face-timed” about 9am Christmas morning while I was still in bed. Awake and reading but still in bed. His kids had been up since 5.30am and had opened their Santa presents. Zak was virtually falling asleep on his Dad. When I did get up Neil and I enjoyed smoked salmon with scrambled eggs and another Bucks Fizz for breakfast (a tradition of mine). Mum then “face-timed” and I opened my present from Mum while we were chatting (Pandora heart bead which read “You are so Loved’) as well as our folding chairs which we were sat on in the sunshine.
We joined a group arranged by Les from Gee Bee Jay for Christmas Dinner at a local restaurant, Ala do Castelo. There were 13 of us for lunch including Roger and Pam. I had made Christmas Crackers for Neil, Roger, Pam and myself. Interestingly, crackers are not well known in America and the Belgian couple we sat next to, Nikki and Edward, weren’t familiar either. It was quite amusing to see the cracker jokes being treated as trivia questions and real thought going into the answers. If I don’t know the answer to a joke in about 2 seconds then I just want to be told the answer. I had put in personalised gifts and the four of us wore our paper hats during dinner.
The dinner was great. Nothing like anything we have had before but really enjoyable. When we sat down there were already some canapé style dishes on the table along with wine, water and soft drinks. Little dishes just kept coming out including meats, cheeses, olives, salads, smoked salmon on crackers then whole prawns in a tasty sauce and a dressed crab. The main courses included a traditional salted cod pie (which was delicious) and a plate of sliced roast turkey with roast potatoes. Dessert was a plate of 3 different cakes and then either port or whisky to finish. We spent over 4 hours at the table and one of the few times I have managed a dessert with Christmas dinner (I am usually too full). Gavin rang during the afternoon while he was visiting Dad so I got to speak to my Dad too. Neil and I really enjoyed the lunch but by 4.30pm were ready to head back to chill out and open the rest of our presents. We had a chilled evening watching a movie, me in my PJ’s.
Boxing Day was also a chilled day. We went for a walk along the beach and although the weather wasn’t as good as Christmas Day, it was still fine and warm. Mum “face-timed” and it was great to talk and see both Mum & Bry and my brothers and their families. They were having a buffet supper at Mums and we spent about 30mins chatting. I also saw Mums new Christmas Tree. It’s not really a Christmas Tree but a tree style standard lamp which I think they should keep out all year and just put the tinsel on at Christmas. For dinner, Neil and I had turkey breast which I roasted along with some potatoes and then sprouts with bacon bits. Turkey legs and breast is available all year round here but at Christmas we noticed that whole turkeys were available as much as in the UK. After spending some time searching for Cranberry Sauce and finding it on Christmas Eve, we forgot to use it. However it obviously wasn’t missed.
Those days between Christmas and New Year were pretty much like other years (but warmer) in that I didn’t know what day it actually was and had nothing specific to do.
New Year’s Eve was a warm day and there was a free music event in town followed by fireworks at midnight. Neil and I walked down the opposite side of the river to the music event and settled down on the sand dunes on a blanket with a bottle of sparkly listening to the music. We were very close to the fireworks, we could see a whole bunch of barrels behind a taped off area. When the fireworks went off, we realised how close we were. One of them still had burning embers when they hit the floor both in front and behind us. Luckily enough not on us or the blanket. It was a good evening and we toasted the New Year and reminisced on 2015 with a couple of glasses of sparkles. New Years Day was good weather wise and we had a repeat of our Boxing Day dinner for our supper.
Neil has done a blogpost about the past year and what we achieved which you can read here.
Happy New Year to you all and may 2016 bring you all you wish for.