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Archive for December, 2007

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Friday, December 21st, 2007

It’s been absolutely freezing down here this past week, although the sun usually manages to melt the frost before I manage to go out. So this is from last year:

Wintry Sun

Also by way of reminding anybody who’s interested that Day in the Life of (DILO) 22nd December is almost upon us, for those who are on Flickr.

This time around we’ll be partying in Watford 🙂

Santa Claus is coming to Town!

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

Santas at Great Scotland Yard

Once a year, hundreds of Santas invade the city of London for the annual Santacon shenanigans.

Santa Tux Santas of all shapes and sizes gather at a central location to spread Christmas cheer and holiday goodwill, and of course they would not be complete without their companions and associates. Those Pesky Reindeer Again!

As for me, I was accompanied by Knecht Ruprecht, the grumpy servant who is always at Santa’s side on St. Nicholaus Day in Germany to deal with the naughty children.

Badass Knecht Ruprecht

If only the assorted assistants, servants and companions would keep from fighting for five minutes…Did I Spot a Reindeer?

Despite Santa’s best effort, open conflict was only narrowly avoided, and Santa has the sprout marks to prove it! (Those pesky elves got me while Knecht Ruprecht was busy with the reindeer…)

So long, until next year!

Super Santa meets Body Idol

P.S. I’m currently baking a black cake or three, and if it works out I will blog the recipe both here and on Flickr, even though it’s too late to start one now. (Well, you could simmer the fruit in alcohol for half an hour and soak overnight, but it’s not quite as authentic…)

Back in Blighty

Friday, December 7th, 2007

Corralejo Beach

We had a great time. The Canaries are Europe’s playground: people come for a stress-free holiday and the islands don’t disappoint. But being part of the tourism-mill, we didn’t get to hear about the irrigation problems, rising property prices, or the fate of the boatpeople arriving constantly from Africa. So there isn’t much to talk about.

We ate, we drank, we snorkelled and we were merry. We had a happy holiday in surprisingly pleasant surroundings. Some of the islands—Fuerteventura among them—have put a stop to ugly high-rise developments, and Corralejo is an attractive, lively resort with the soul of the fishing port it once was still in there somewhere.

Alas, it seems not even a package holiday comes without the requisite near-death experience. I’m not a happy flyer, but I thought I was used to it by now. After all, people take their families on holiday—it’s not a high-risk undertaking.

But I swear the plane did a rabbit-hop upon landing at Gatwick, with all the wheels leaving the tarmac, accompanied by a frightening shudder.

“Turbulence,” John said when I unrolled myself from the crash position (I put my knees and arms up out of sheer reflex). “Pilot had to make a correction. No worries.”

No worries? The pilot had to make a correction?

Why do you think I’m scared of flying in the first place? What if he’d flipped the wrong switch?

That’s all for now. It is rainy and stormy outside and I only venture out of doors to buy milk or go to the pub. Meanwhile, I’ll keep updating the Flickr set (I have to insert a lot of descriptions and write up my holiday recipes, featuring—among others—stewed rabbit and goat).

I’ll see you again at next week’s Santacon!