A&A; Stiff Crackers and Festive Cheer

Merry Christmas!
If you’ve not dozed off into a turkey induced coma, the festivities are well and truly over for another year.
Forgive my late salutations, but in the strange ‘no man’s land’ between Christmas and New Year, I still like to cling on to that festive yuletide joy.

This week’s awkward and awesome are undeniably festive.
I make no apologies. 

Awesome
This week I have to start with the awesome: Christmas.
Well, not just Christmas, but sort of Christmas.
We were, undeniably, absolutely spoiled this year.
Christmas celebrations started on the 24th with a trip to Owl House Day Spa – just around the corner from our house and without a doubt my favourite spa.

 

Home made winter soup from Owl House – delicious!

 But my favourite part was just getting to spend the day with my family. We’re under no illusion that it could be the last Christmas we’re all easily together, the last Christmas as we know it, have known it.
And it was wonderful to have Zac share it with us too. It wasn’t a white Christmas, but it was a Christmas of age old tradition: stockings and croissants and rules that we didn’t realise were rules until Zac ‘broke’ them.
Board games and paper hats and canal title deeds.
Crackers that didn’t go bang as loudly as we wanted and prosecco with a splash of sloe whiskey.
The turkey was cooked by Papa K (as it always is), with his home made stuffing and Mum insisting on a ‘Dibley’ dinner with 17 different types of veggies.
(Which I pretend to think is silly, but I love my veggies, so the more the merrier – samphire being my new favourite)

 

Playing ‘Mine a Million’ – Mums favourite family board game from her youth!

 It was strange being a grown up for Christmas, we all woke up later, the day was longer because I think we were all just enjoying spending time with each other.

Awkward
Which leads on to my ‘awkward’.
This year I loved Christmas. I’m often a bit up and down with my festive cheer, and come Christmas Eve, I’m over it all.
Whether it was because it was my first Christmas in 2 years (last year was a complete write off), or whether it was sharing my first Christmas with Zac: this year felt special.
And bittersweet.

 

Zac and Peeves with our huge pile of stockings!

 You see, the whole time, these little thoughts would creep into my head, like: Can I buy mince meat in Australia to make mince pies? or Will Mum and Dad like a hot Christmas? or Would it be possible to BBQ a whole turkey?
It’s not that I wasn’t enjoying Christmas, but just like I’d been so excited to show Zac what an English Christmas was like, I was getting excited to show my family what an Australian Christmas is like.

We’d been Skyping Zac’s family on and off all day and seeing them sat outside with beers, avoiding sun burn on Christmas Day was suddenly not as odd as it had first seemed a year ago.

 

I tried my hand at mince pies this year – didn’t go too badly!

 Right now I’m in limbo.
I am and always will be proud to be British, and I only pretend to be annoyed when I get called ‘Pommy‘ by Zac’s family, because I am English. There are things I will never understand about the Australian culture and English traits I’m never going to give up: but for whatever reason, there’s something about Australia that feels like home.

Not that England doesn’t.

It’s hard to explain.

Perhaps the best way to describe it is with cake.
Let’s say England is a devil’s food cake. Three layers of rich chocolatey goodness and a ganache frosting and hand made chocolate curls and flakes and a bajillion calories per crumb. Delicious.
Australia is a lemon cheesecake. Light and refreshing, best served cold with some refreshing sorbet, made from a (sort of) family recipe. A satisfying afternoon treat.

I love chocolate. Some might say I’m addicted and anyone who’s been around me during my annual period of ‘no chocolate’ (lent) will vouch for how down right insufferable I am without the damn thing, but it’s not good for me. Chocolate in small amounts is special, a real treat and something I look forward to and I’ve learnt not to just binge on chocolate, because it makes it all the more special having it. It’s my first true love, the one thing that can be relied on when I’m feeling down and the treat I always come back to. It’s got a special place in my heart.
But I’m growing up, my tastes are changing and as my palate evolves, I enjoy the zingy hit of a lemon cheesecake. It’s refreshing and sweet and hits my treat cravings without leaving me feeling guilty. It’s not dark and heavy like chocolate, it’s light and good for me.

Maybe that’s a terrible analogy.
Maybe I just want some cake.
Maybe I’ll never be able to explain it in a way that’s going to satisfy everyone.
Maybe the hardest part isn’t this waiting to move, but feeling like you’re waiting to disappoint and upset the people you’re going to leave behind.

I do however know of a half eaten mountain of chocolate log.
If you’ll excuse me.

Merry Christmas x

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One response to “A&A; Stiff Crackers and Festive Cheer

  1. Pingback: Silver linings sometimes look like rain clouds | Take Your Marks...Go!·

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