First thing’s first: Merry Christmas!
We hope that your Christmas’s were full of love and joy wherever you are, however you choose to celebrate. Nick and I aren’t religious in the slightest, but Christmas is definitely steeped in tradition for Nick especially, and celebrating in a reasonably traditional fashion is important to both of us. So it was difficult to spend this year away from our families, who we are both very close to, and no matter how many Christmas decorations we covered the boat with, it just didn’t feel very festive around here without experiencing the usual run-up of pre-Christmas catch-ups and parties with friends, pre-Christmas theatre (The Nutcracker has become a tradition for every year we’re in London), and the never-ending Christmas adverts on television or the radio.
Christmas eve is normally spent preparing for the day itself and seeing family or friends, but this year it was fairly low-key. In fact, apart from the odd waitress wearing a santa hat, or a bit of tinsel in the shops, it didn’t really feel like Christmas at all. Nick baked some home-made sausage rolls and we did the last-minute supermarket run, but it was pretty quiet. The marina has emptied out with only a few ARC boats left, most of which are locked up, their owners obviously staying in land-based accommodation or back home for the holidays.
However, Christmas eve night we had Magda and Tim over for a drink, and we quickly decided that we ought to go out and celebrate properly. We dinghied over to the village, and found a microbrewery for a couple of beers. Very pleasant, except I was getting savaged by mosquitos and Nick and Tim were becoming quite vocal about their sudden and intense need for jerk chicken. We had planned to head down to the beach, but we were distracted by a bar that Magda assured us had good BBQ’d meat (despite being a vegetarian, she seems to be very keen on sourcing good quality meat wherever she goes!), and it looked pretty lively so we decided to give it a go. We ended up drinking cocktails and eating awesome slow-cooked beef brisket, chicken and pork ribs with macaroni and cheese, coleslaw and roasted veggies. God, it was good! Excellent way to celebrate Christmas eve!
Christmas Day in the Caribbean
Christmas day dawned with a hangover, pancakes and lots of peeling of vegetables and steaming of puddings. Tim and Magda were doing the turkey and we (okay, okay, NICK!) were doing everything else. Seems like a fair trade- the success of a Christmas dinner hinges on having a delicious and moist turkey, after all!
So, you know how I was saying how it didn’t feel like Christmas at all? Well, that was until the moment the turkey was unveiled on Christmas day at lunchtime, and the cockpit table was suddenly laden with perfectly roasted potatoes, carrots braised in butter and honey, red cabbage with sultanas, cranberry sauce, gravy, stuffing and, of course, the turkey itself. Suddenly all four of us were like, “Oh my God, it’s CHRIIIISTMAAAS!!”
Christmas dinner was hugely successful- possibly one of the best I’ve ever had, and that says a lot considering my mother-in-law makes an absolutely cracking Christmas dinner- and followed it up with pudding (that my mother-in-law made earlier this year), brandy butter, cream and mince pies. In-keeping with tradition, we all over-indulged and almost fell asleep in front of the television, watching The Germans episode of Fawlty Towers and the Christmas Blackadder special.
Also, Some Photos of Pigeon Island
While I’ve got you here, I’ll also provide some photos of our walk up to Pigeon Island and the view over Rodney Bay from the lookout at its pinnacle, where an old fort stands from the 18th Century.
Nick’s parents are arriving today and we’ll stay here with them for the next week or so before moving on to explore some other parts of the island. Bye for now and, as the North Americans say, Happy Holidays!