Thinking back I have spent the last eleven Christmasses in the following ways and places. Two have been spent at home, both with friends staying, one has been spent in New Zealand in the early stages of a southern summer without a care in the world, and all the rest have been spent in the way of this one. I am in Meeden in The Netherlands, staying with long-standing friends.
Getting here was a little fraught but without too many hitches. The day before I came, because of weather conditions in the UK, no KLM flights went between Bristol and Amsterdam. This caused me to wonder about whether my own flight would happen at all. By some Christmas miracle mine was the first flight out of Bristol to Schiphol for more than 24 hours and it was only half an hour late. I was met at the airport by Gerrit and Evelyne and we drove north on a murky day to Meeden. It is so good to be back in The Netherlands with special friends, and especially at this time of the year. Yesterday was quiet with some last minute shopping and a little bit of a drive around. Being me, I managed to get some photography in as well, pictures of wind-turbines and, bizarrely, a statue of Lenin will appear here later.
Yesterday I received a slightly worrying email from Rebekka. She has not yet received the package I sent her and Philippe for Christmas. Ordinarily, that wouldn't be too terrible, but, you see, Rebekka loves Somerset Brie. Perhaps it was foolish, but along with other presents I put a pack of this cheesy speciality in the parcel. It has now been in transit for twelve days and counting and won't be delivered until at least Wednesday. If it's any longer than that I fear that the cheese will be breaking out on it's own and making a run for it. I have this mental image of the Swiss postman delivering it, followed by a pack of mice keen to see where the smell is coming from. Perhaps it was foolish, perhaps it has already evolved into something distinctly uncheese-like, we will just have to wait and see. A Christmas cautionary tale - don't post cheese to Switzerland in the busiest postal time of the year.
I wish all my LJ friends and everybody else out there, a great Christmas, full of all the things you wish yourselves and lots of joy, warmth and kindness. Have a good one, wherever you are and whatever your plans.