Christmas in a Warm Climate

As there is yet no sign of the bridge being rebuilt – two years after it was washed away – our Christmas will once again  be quiet.
I have missed taking part in the ‘posada’ when on the nine days before Christmas groups of friends get together to replicate the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, visiting a different house each night for prayers, Christmas songs -villancicos – and, of course, tamales.
I cannot scramble across the stream (now putting on airs as the local version of the Grand Canyon) and refused a kind offer to come to collect and return me on a motorbike….it is a long way round and our road down from town is not the best to navigate in the dark.
The French may hold that riding at the sitting trot is good for the liver but I can assure them that doing so on young Mynor’s motorbike is as good a recipe for rapid corporeal disintegration as I can imagine.
Neither shall I be making the boar’s head this year as it requires masses of hearty appetites to devour it in the tropics….or a fridge which is not full to its eyebrows with  maturing cheeses.
It’s a pity though, as I enjoy doing it: boning out the head, filling it with a pate mix and protecting the ears with foil before putting it in the oven where the heat expands the pate and puffs the flattened boneless head back to its proper shape.
I shall have to content myself with listening to Steeleye Span…
Christmas shopping has been at a minimum – just as well, seeing the price hikes – and I have managed to avoid – so far – two of the main local hazards:
A the man selling fibre glass reindeer recovered from the dump last year then
spruced up in his garage
the man selling hammocks made from recycled plastic which are guaranteed to take the skin off your backside in a fashion worthy of admiration by Chinese exponents of death by a thousand cuts.
Still, I shall think myself lucky if I manage to avoid Danilo’s cousin ( he has as many as Gilbert and Sullivan’s Ruler of the Queen’s Navy) who lives in the fond belief that I want to buy a pedigree pup. From him.
He haunts me when shopping,  popping up outside the bank, the agricultural co op, the supermarket, like a portly Jack in the Box.
I’ve got a nice puppy for you..
I don’t want one.
Yes, yes, you do. Danilo tells me what a bunch of  mongrels you’ve got. You need a a dog with style
So what sort of pup have you got?
What sort of pup do you want?
I’m tempted to ask him for a Turkish Kangal but have a sneaking fear that some five years down the line he will turn up with one and claim his price.
Christmas always has its musical associations but neither the vilancicos nor the supermarket pap really do it for me….one a bit too plinky plonk the other too soapy.
I suppose it goes back to my years in England; when I was a child in Scotland, after all, Christmas Day was not a public holiday – or if it was this knowledge was very successfully concealed from me.
In no way would I return to live through an English winter….but the sound of the Sally Ann blasting out carols in the wet streets marks Christmas for me as much as listening to the Nine Lessons and Carols on the radio, and as summer has finally begun here, I can listen to this  without automatically reaching for the thermal long johns.
Best wishes to you all and let us hope and work for the time when there will be peace on earth – though for that to come to pass the Lord had better get a move on in respect of
scattering the proud in the imagination of their hearts,  putting down the mighty from their seat  and exalting the humble and meek.

30 thoughts on “Christmas in a Warm Climate”

  1. I recall a friend and I fancied going to Brompton Oratory for the Midnight mass on Christmas Eve. But it was, of course, choc-a-bloc with the Catholic regulars and already dozens standing outside.And it was sleety.We chickened out…
    But I usually try to catch some of the Kings College Carols.Can’t abide the trashy pop song stuff.
    Which is , perhaps, odd as I am not a follower of the faith, Rome or Canterbury.
    Happy Christmas, my friend! Even without a gay-garlanded boar’s head! 🙂

  2. Home and staying quiet and simple. And staying clear of Danilo’s cousin a very good idea. That organ music was wonderful. Can you believe we had an organ like that that we donated to an animal rescue thrift shop. Netting them a good sum of money. It was an heirloom from Terry’s family, from an old church. We’ll save the longer story for another time. Nice memories. Be well, take good care, and hope your holiday time is enjoyable. Love to you, Leo, and your quadrupeds. ❤

  3. Well, we’re but a few days away now.I’m waiting for the shops to return to normal and the endless piped pop pap being over for the year.
    It’s very cold at the moment but it’s fresh and not raining, just how I like it though it doesn’t like me so I have to stay in as much as I can. Too late to worry about bronchitis as I haven’t shaken off the last bout yet.
    Christmas Day became a National Holiday in Scotland in 1958 so you can check if you’re right.
    Have a Wonderful Christmas, even without the boar’s head.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx.

  4. You’re wise to avoid the fibre glass reindeer the hammocks. If you wait a year, you’ll be able to get hammocks made from leftover fibre glass reindeer. Now that’s a deal you won’t want to pass up.

    Perhaps Danilo’s cousin will be the one selling them, along with his assortment of purebred mutts …

    1. If – as I will _ I see reindeer man when i go to the feria on Saturday I’ll pass on your suggestion – and leg it sharpish.
      I daren’t suggest it to Danilo’;s cousin – he will be after me for a loan to set up the workshop…

  5. What’s this Christmas thing you are going on about? As for a Kangal in your stocking, they are really big, soppy and loveable creatures – although it is best to remove the spiked collars before hooking up the suspender belt. Have a nice time and good health to you and yours.

    1. We will, thank you and best wishes to you too.
      I liked the Kangols I saw in Turkey…sod’s law is that wretched cousin of Danilo’s would probably manage to find me one – probably something with false papers – and charge me an arm and a leg…
      Apart from which dogs seem to find their way here in sufficient numbers as it is.
      Watching them renewing their acquaintance with each other this morning I remembered a song which which should probably have been left buried

      The doggies held a meeting….to the tune of the church’s one foundation..

      You may have come across it in your time.

      1. The doggies called a conference, they came from near and far. Some they came aeroplane and some by motor car. They came from places far apart like China and Peru, from the icy wastes of Greenland and the plains of Timbuctu . . 😀

  6. Ah yes all those beloved Christmassy songs, ‘Let it snow,’ ‘White Christmas’ and all the others, all written by Jews in Tin Pan Alley! That gets Christmas of to the right start!
    The Boars head I could gleefully avoid, I hate eating things that look back at me. I do however agree with you regarding the motorbike, those are things that you need to be in charge off.
    I can recall dad going off to work at Christmas, I suspect little was done however, and it must be 59 or 60 before it became a day off. A day off and double time for bus drivers.
    I know you and the menagerie will enjoy Christmas Day, hopefully Leo is well up for it! I have asked the BBC World Service to play ‘Mistletoe & wine’ by Cliff Richard, just for you……what? Oh!

    Happy Christmas!

    1. Cliff Richard! What is it the mafia bosses say to the recalcitrant…I know where you live…?
      If you don’t like eating things which look back at you never try a fruits de mer…
      Have a merry Christmas – in a dour, Scots sort of way, of course, not being one to complain….

  7. Skipping quickly past the boar’s head :), wishing you both a peaceful and tasty Christmas with your band of four-footers. Wise to refuse the motorbike ride, and good luck with dodging the pedigree puppy. Why am I starting to visualise you waking up on Christmas morning and finding one sitting mournfully on your doorstep, bearing an invoice on its collar?

    1. Thank you…wouldn’t it be super if we all did have a peaceful and prosperous New Year!

      The Year of the Bridge! I like that! The president of the development committee is still in a private hospital…people are counting the daily rates there against the monies laid aside for construction…

  8. A boar’s head eh? I’m impressed!! Must be quite a sight.
    Anyway, I wish you a very Merry Christmas even if you have no bridge, and a Happy New Year, with a bridge at the end of it.

    1. And a merry Christmas to you too…hoping the weather will be mild enough for you to enjoy the outdoors. I dudpect the motorbike to which you are accustomed is a damned sight more comfortable than young Mynor’s!
      The boar’s head is easy enough to do…and it used to be a great standby over the Christmas period to pad things out with unexpected arrivals! But in the tropics it needs to be eaten fairly swiftly so as we are being quiet this Christmas…no boar’s head.
      It does look good – well, at least, as long as you have someone sensible cutting it!

  9. Sounds like you’re going for a simple Christmas without all the fancy bits like making the boar’s head or buying a Christmas puppy. I hope all the maturing cheeses live up to their promise. A very happy Christmas to you. I wish summer was just starting here!

    1. We thought so…but as we can’t go to friends, friends are coming to us…no boar’s head, but a flurry of activity in the kitchen!
      And, I sincerely hope, no puppy on the doorstep on Christmas Day.
      Have a lovely Christmas….you’d be very welcome to some of the sun!

  10. I have often wondered what Christmas would be like somewhere warm and now I know. Anyway we shall find out for ourselves tomorrow as the temperature here is forecast to be a balmy 13 degrees C – no sun though, dark cloud with rain late afternoon. It definitely won’t be white.

    Enjoy your Christmas especially the sun and its’ warmth.

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