Well, Christmas was a lovely affair - everything went absolutely according to plan (I can say this because we hadn't planned anything...)
Los abuelos went out in the morning to buy langostinos - big prawns - which everyone here eats on Christmas Eve. We got a call to say they'd had a puncture down at the supermarket and by the time Cesar arrived to assist, los abuelos were almost coming to blows - which would have been quite interesting to watch as Amelia is about 5 foot nothing, if that, and Cesar Snr is like a bear ... but I know who my money would be on! Anyway, all was soon put right and that was one hurdle cleared - and the prawns looked delicious.
Cesar then decided to take the children to the Archeological Museum. whilst I helped prepare the food for the evening with Amelia. However, by the time they got there, it had closed - and as this was part of the unplanned day, it didn't matter so much - so instead, they went into Valladolid together and drove around for about an hour trying to park and returned traumatised by the sheer volume of people out on the streets!
By the time they returned, the lamb was in the oven, the soup was smelling wonderful, I was on putting out the tapas and we'd cracked open the first of many bottles of 'Palacio de Bornos' - Spanish 'champagne'. All was feeling good.
We dressed up in our finest and emerged scrubbed and ready to eat at around 8pm. Famously late for every occasion, we expected to have to wait for Cesar's brother, his wife and their son - earliest prediction was 10pm... at which announcement, Mateo made a beeline for the tapas and got stuck in! Much to our great pleasure, they arrived at 24 minutes past 8 and suddenly we were in full fiesta mode - with very loud music, lots of noise, hugs, kissing and the wishing of 'Felices Navidades' all round.
And then we ate - and boy, did we eat well! A soup of butternut squash; huge prawns with a garlic sauce made by Ruy, asparagus, a salad of escarola and pomegranite; another fish course with cod and monkfish; then the lamb (lechazo, which is a very young lamb); and along with the traditional spanish turron, we ate an English Trifle that I made earlier in the day and which down very well.
On Christmas Day, good old Father Christmas made a special visit to our three English children, who are not used to waiting for the Kings to bring them their presents on 6th January and who would have been most disappointed not to find a little heap of gifts waiting for them when they got up. And they were delighted with what they got - full on yelps of excitement and joy that makes every parent's heart glad, even if it is over something as material as a Nintendo game or a remote controlled helicopter....and I know that they enjoy as much the family fun and the pleasure of us all being together - even if they missed their family in England. However, with SKYPE, we were able to sit down and have - if not a civilised conversation (because there were 12 of us all talking at the same time, more or less!) - then at least feel closer for a little while.
And today, we've started to pack our things up once again. The printer has gone into it's box already - which is why I can't put any pictures up just now - and most of our clothes, books and summer things are folded, bagged, boxed and in the car. It feels very strange. Very exciting. A fitting end to the year and hopefully a good start to the new one.
Hope everyone has enjoyed a wonderful Christmas! I look forward to writing about new things as the new year gets underway. In a new place in another part of the world. WOW!!!