Christmas Day with Rona, Dave, and Ziggy was glorious. Ever since our first Christmas in New Zealand two years ago (which included all the same people, minus Ziggy, plus assorted others of which Adrien’s cousin David and his girlfriend Fanny) I have had a real soft spot for a warmer Christmas, where you can be outside all day in the fresh air and don’t suffer from any sort of dark afternoon cabin fever. The French side of our families and friends may not know this feeling as it’s often nice enough weather to enjoy at least part of the day on a terrace, and the days are a fair bit longer, but that’s more of a rarity in the chilly U.K. However, there is of course the famous (and à la mode) Scandinavian-imported feeling of “hygge”: being cosy indoors with family and good food, the cosyness of which is lacking from a Southern Hemisphere Christmas, but family and good food were certainly present and I couldn’t have asked for a better day. We did of course miss our families, but with the joys of modern technology people just don’t seem so far away.
We had a chilly and windy walk on the wild western beach Piha in the morning, where Ziggy bravely faced her fears of the sea and walked towards the waves a good few times, flanked by Dave and Adrien and encouraged and congratulated by Rona and me.
It brightened up in the afternoon and we had a beautiful meal of barbecued beef brisket in soft tacos prepared by Dave, gorgeous wine provided by Rona and our brother David (yes, everyone we know is called David), and of course a board of New Zealand cheeses for the French man among us. The day ended in a very traditional way, with the Gavin and Stacey Christmas special, and the still jet-lagged Adrien falling asleep on the sofa. We can’t thank Rona and Dave enough for such a lovely Christmas weekend.
Merry Christmas everyone, I hope your days were happy and relaxed. If it’s not your favourite time of year, I hope you had a peaceful day and remember that 2017 is just around the corner!