Sunday, November 30, 2014

southern hemisphere christmas

I have caught a stonking cold from my son.

We're falling like soldiers in this house.


Not only am I excited to go home for Christmas after six years of doing it elsewhere (here mostly, and one stray year when I was backpacking in Argentina), but it's the first Christmas my Brit will be spending down south.

He's never experienced a sunny, warm Christmas; the mere concept of it blows his mind.
"I can't imagine what it's you just hang out on the beach?"

Well, yes, if I lived by the beach.

I explained that we do pretty much everything that people do here, but without the Christmas jumpers and Seasonal Affective Disorder lamps. Brits generally put on a better show though. It has to be said. Because it's so cold and dark, they really go all out on the food, the cosy atmosphere, decorations and things like Black Friday. When the weather is shyte, it's something to really look forward to, so people here really embrace the festive.

They wear lots of sparkly things, drink loads of mulled wine and spiced cider, and warm fruity puddings. Certain streets have big "switching on of the Christmas lights" evenings, where Christmas markets come out, we all bundle up warm and go and watch.

We did it the other night with our other baby-addled friends. We bundled up the babies, went down to Northcote Road, sunk a few glasses of prosecco, and felt all Christmassy.
December in London is wonderful.

It's January when you pack away the sparkles, Christmas jumper and there's nothing to look forward to until the spring (and longer days), that you want to suicide yourself.

Anyway, we are spending Christmas in Cape Town with the extended family for a few days, having rented a house with a swimming pool.
We are making an extra special effort - for the Brit's sake, and as we have a new member of the family to celebrate.

We'll be whacking a turkey on the weber, crisping ourselves in the sun as we do so, eating cold gammon and salads, and drinking chilled wine. Afterwards, we will have meat sweats and will sleep it off for three hours as we fight against the heat and digesting of a massive meal.

I cannot wait.

I also can't help myself.

"I need to tell you about a family tradition we do, but I'm not sure you're going to like it."


Peas: Well, you know how it's about 30 degrees and after you eat Christmas lunch you usually need a sleep and a swim?

Brit: ....yes?

Peas: Well. In our family, we all strip down and go skinny dipping. We've done it for years.

Brit: What??

Peas: It's nothing hectic, you just jump in the pool and that's that.

Brit: With your mother? And father?

Peas: Yes.

Brit: That's just weird. Not doing it. Can't do that.

Peas: It'll be fine, promise.

Brit: That's so weird. Are you having me on?

Peas: It sounds worse than it is.

Brit: No. You guys crack on. I'll go for a walk.


And never come back.

Peas: It'll be fine.

So he thinks that's what we do. Am I being cruel?
(We don't. Just in case.)

Back to my Lem Sip and 8000 tissues.

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