Christmas Day

To be absolutely honest, this is a Christmas that I had hoped would be spent in a new home back in England. Sadly, with the current state of the property market, that was not to be. Our home remains on the market and we hope that a buyer will appear in the coming twelve months.
It's not because we no longer like it here. If you have to be stranded anywhere there are few better places to be. It's just that with increasing age and decreasing stamina, living on the side of a mountain gets more challenging. Going up to the car park behind us involves climbing thirty seven steep steps, whilst returning from the Centre of the village involves thirty five steps to get to the front door, followed by a further twenty eight up to our floor.
On the benefit side this is a beautiful place to spend Christmas. Outside it's cold but sunny with a clear blue sky. We are just the two of us this year, which is a lovely change. It's so easy to be sociable in this village that we tend to forget that sometimes it's nice to be unsociable and just enjoy each other's company.
In Spain the main Christmas meal is held on Christmas Eve, and everywhere closes around six o'clock so that staff can get home to their families. So for us Christmas began on Friday with a visit to one of our favourite restaurants, a fish restaurant. Cream of lobster soup followed by grilled turbot in a citrus sauce, accompanied by a very good bottle of red wine from the Ribera del Duero region. I've said it before, but to repeat myself, when you're looking for a good Spanish red, look for Ribera del Duero on the label rather than Rioja. On a pound for pound basis you'll do far better.
Last night we went to Midnight Mass in the seventeenth century village church (extended and converted from the earlier mosque). It was a 'proper' Midnight Mass; the priest appeared at midnight, so we were already celebrating Christmas, and what a celebration. One of Frigiliana's groups of traditional singers and musicians was in attendance and what they may lack in polish they more than compensate with enthusiasm. After the gospel reading, the children presented their Nativity play with equal verve. Latin countries do emotion so much more uninhibitedly than we Brits.
So here I am, all the bits and pieces I need are ready in the kitchen for a lunch that will stretch across the afternoon and into the evening, and I can pause for a while to wish you all a Happy Christmas.

No comments:

Post a Comment