It struck me that I might have been a tad morose in my last few posts so here’s a mellow post. Christmas day started with a pared down fry up eaten on the mattress with the dogs salivating on the floor. We sat on our mattress and opened our presents – yes we had presents! Terry parents had bought us thermal long johns; genius! Dani had made a photographic collage of our animals; past and present in poster size and then I had an aroma therapy set and Terry a customised keyring. Claire had bought Terry a fleece lined hoodie and me slippers and furry pjs which will come very handy in Bulgaria. James bought me a white gold chain for my wrist; a beautiful twisted chain and Terry a No Fear hoodie but a thin, smart one. We were very humbled. We arrived at my parents, sans chien, to find my younger bro Drew already there. He’s got Sciatica and the Tramadol he’s taking had taken the edge of his usual acerbic wit. He’s lost a bucket full of weight though. Terry and I sat out of the way of the kitchen and my somewhat frazzled parents, in their 70’s but refusing help, and caught up with Drew. Not long afterwards my eldest bro Mark arrived avec Caroline his wife and Gay his MIL. Marks son Jake and partner Taylor arrived with minutes of his daughter Sophie and her partner Walker. Amalia had finally decided to stay in Brighton and Danielle with her grandparents. William was going to be with his Mum Paris and her partner Jack till 3pm when James would take him home to open his Christmas presents and then to his Papous (Greek grandfather). Terry and I would be seeing William the next day rather than in fit in a quick visit. Sorry that sounds like the beginning of the Old Testament with a list of who begat whom! You get the idea? A typical family Christmas round two beautifully dressed tables with plates and plates of steaming Christmas fare. We queued, ladies first in a cacophony of laughter and over exaggerated shuffling to reach the top of the queue. My parents ran in molten jugs of glossy aromatic gravy in relay until finally, glasses filled and plates laden my Mom sat down and the feast began. Jokes flew back and forward across the tables echoing around the spacious, immaculately dressed and decorated dining room and I drank in the tableau. Next year we might not be there.
I have been having secret fantasies about having the fam over on visits to Bulgaria. We have so much work to do on the house before it’s habitable but I think the kids will be more forgiving than the seniors of roughing it! I found the following images from good old Auntie Google of Bulgarian Christmas. I specially love the Archbishop chocolate figures and the goat rather than a reindeer statue!
On boxing day we had a slow and lazy start then picked up William to bring him home to open his PlayMobil castle. I’d prepped the massive George Fornby grill and hotplate we’d borrowed from my parents and neglected to return with a line of bacon rashers and buttered slices of bread. Terry put the castle together as William and I played hide and seek and goodies and badies till the castle in all it’s magnificence was revealed. We then spent sometime using all of the brilliantly thought out secret passages and turrets and secret traps.
James had to go to the doctors, he was so ill and found he has proper flu, not man flu and was given 3 days off work. I made some Greek soup Kotosoupa Aygolemono or chicken soup with egg and lemon. It’s medicine and was muchly appreciated.
Terry jet washed the patio and I made a roast pork dinner after which we took a chill pill and I trawled the net for all things Bulgarian. I actually learned the alphabet properly, the Cyrillic one. I found an English online news agency based in Sofia called Novonite so I can acclimatise us to Bulgarian affairs. Two more blogs too. Bee Zone in Bulgaria (blogspot) and Living in Bulgaria (Google+). And of course I regularly read my 3 fav’s for news and have not been disappointed.
And I finally got round to cleaning, peeling, chopping, blanching, cooling and freezing all the wonderful veg from Terrys parents. I didn’t mind because in the years to come I’m going to be doing this quite a lot!