An English Christmas

christmas1It’s day 3 in Colchester, a city in Essex, England. I’ve never experienced a proper English Christmas before today, and as the day draws to a close, I can safely say that I’m happy that I have experienced it. David​ and I travelled from Cambridge to Colchester, by train, on December 23rd. We first went to Ipswich, and from Ipswich to Colchester… where David’s dad, Phil, was waiting to pick us up from the station. When we got to their home, his mom Joyce was there and we said our hellos. I’d met them before, and they’re really lovely people, but it’s still a bit nerve wrecking being in the presence of people you’re not very familiar with— especially when you want them to like you. >_<
Either way, after settling in a bit, we had dinner. There was a plate with a knife on one side and a fork on the other, a teacup in a saucer, a little teapot with tea, and then the dinner. I asked David if the setup was normal… because at home in Trini, we don’t really use knives and forks to eat, or have teapots on the table unless something special is happening… and I’d never put my teacup or mug in a saucer at home. He said that it was normal.
Fast forward to Christmas day though… the big day. ^_^ After breakfast, we opened all the gifts under the Christmas tree, which David and I had decorated with lights and yellow and red decorations the day before. I then called home and spoke to my family who had not too long woken up back in Trinidad. I do miss being with them, but thank God for Skype! and David’s family too. David’s brother, Martin, came for Christmas day, and his uncle, John, had arrived on the 24th. The atmosphere felt very much like home: laughing, jokes, gift paper strewn on the floor, saved Christmas gift wrapping bits for use in the future, and I appreciated that… it’s nice to spend time with a family on Christmas Day. Joyce prepared an amazing lunch and dinner, and we ate with all the fancy cutlery and wares. We ate turkey*, mince pie*, Christmas pudding*, fruit cake*, roasted parsnips* and potatoes*, stuffing*, little sausages that were wrapped in bacon* (which they call ‘pigs in blankets’), brussel sprouts*, hops* and cheese*, smoked salmon*, tomato soup*, a tomato bread* with olives*, carrots*, red wine*, sparkling juice*, champagne, a swiss roll covered in chocolate (called a Christmas log), cucumbers, lettuce, pork pies, scotch eggs, etc. (Foods with asterisks are what I had).
We played scrabble later in the evening. Team D&K came second and M&J came first, after which we settled into watching the final episode of Downton Abbey…. which I think only Joyce and I were perhaps looking forward to. It’s after 12am now, and I’ll be going to sleep soon, but it’s been a great Christmas. It’s been a bit different, such as with the turkey and Christmas crackers (which look like giant sweets; one person holds one side of the cracker whilst another holds the other, then we pull and it bursts and makes a loud cracking sound. After it bursts open, there is a little gift inside, a joke, and some other little notes), but certainly the family atmosphere and happiness has been pretty much the same. 🙂

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