Monday, 27 December 2010

Christmas in England

So its Boxing Day now (26th December), another public holiday and a time for the cold meats and cheese to be eaten, trip to the sales, wearing the Christmas jumpers and feeling rather fat.
Christmas in England is always fun.

For me this is the first English Christmas for a few years and so I had the double shock of the weather (ice and snow and bitterly cold temperatures) and also the amount of food and drink that needs to be consumed in order to appreciate it fully.

I had a little need to shop luckily as I had bought most gifts in Indonesia but it has not stopped me from shopping for stuff and getting into the mood for the big day.
Christmas eve was spent visiting friends and family which I have not seen for many years, drinking beer and looking forward to a big night out in a town close to mine. Not the most pretty or exciting of places but still always a good night.
I took the train to the town I was staying in (Trowbridge) and for some reason there was no ticket check and so I travelled the 20 mins free of charge. I then took a taxi to an old friend of mines house and stay a few hours while waiting for another friend to finish work and then met him and back to his for the night.
His wife was not coming out with us, so we opened the whiskey, ate some dinner and got ready. As a tradition which we have kept up for the past 4 times of going out on Christmas eve, loud shirts, sunglasses and hats were the order of the day and so glasses empty, taxi waiting we headed out into the town.

The shirts this year were batik. For the sake of human decency there are no pictures of the next 5 hours!!!

We went into the local pub, got past the comments and stares and then settled down for some more drinking. The pub was visited by the police and a sniffer dog and they took out a few suspects who were probably carrying drugs of some kind. One of the police men recognised me almost instantly and we had a good chat about things. He had to keep going outside to arrest or search people and then come back in for a chat. The policeman used to be working in the same town as I worked in and part of the relationship we built with the police, they were offered free breakfasts in the coffee shop or staff canteen or lunch or really anything and I would often spend time chatting and talking to him when he visited either for food or to arrest shoplifters. 
We went to a bar/club which me and my friend Tony have frequented for years and spent the night, drinking, chatting and dancing badly.
At around 2am, we left and then moved on for something to eat.

This man makes the best kebabs you are likely to eat in Trowbridge at 2am in the morning when it is -6. Large mixed donor, extra chili for £5 was a bargain. From there we staggered to a taxi ate back at Tonys. 

Later Christmas morning we left to go back to my mums house, Tony and his wife were on the way to his parents and so he dropped me back to mums. Our family was meeting up with my brother and his family so it would be a big afternoon.

 We spent our time eating the best Roast Turkey meal with all the trimmings, followed by Christmas Pudding and Cheese cake and then Cheeses and Fruit, drinking whatever we liked. I choose Cider, wine and port as well why, its Christmas. The atmosphere was great and there was lots of noise and chatter and everyone was happy and enjoyed the day, food, gifts and the time spent. This would be the only time I will get to be with my god children and my brother for the next couple of years and so it was time well spent.

Boxing day morning was a very very cold morning with temperatures in the early morning reaching -12 degrees and so the snow and ice became even harder and more slippery to walk on.
Coming round from the hangover and excess of food and drink, it was time to embrace the cold and go for a long walk. I took mother and the dog with me and we headed off a for a walk along the river into the town and then home.

 The river Frome with Ice                                                 Some of the older buildings in the snow
 View over Frome

Near the river

Whilst the countryside always looks pretty in white, don't forget it is also very cold and dangerous.The roads on hills were sheet ice where they have not been either gritted or the sun has not been warm enough to melt the ice away. The last 2 photos are of my parents road which is very dangerous at the moment to walk in.

After about 1.5 hours we came back, hot and cold and really from there done another typical Boxing day activity, watch tv and chat and be very lazy. I did not feel the urge to join the shoppers buying the boxing day bargains in the sales, I will wait for a few days and do it then.
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