Tag: Christmas carols

Christmas Carols at Cotehele

The day before Christmas, we decided to hear some christmas carols at Cothele, a National Trust property near Plymouth.  It was built in Medieval times but the present house is mostly tudor.  We also came to see the famous longest Christmas garland the house is known for and we were not disappointed.

And here it is, the longest Christmas garland in England, made of real flowers, lovingly strewn together by National Trust volunteers.   The finished product is beautiful.

And then it was time to listen to some Christmas carols.

Then T was eager to go home, I promised her she could open some Christmas presents from her family in the Phil.

Back home, we open our present on Christmas Eve after Noche Buena (Christmas dinner), that’s the reason why I allow her to open some, especially presents from my side of the family.

Happy Christmas to everyone!

And hope that you are all having a lovely time spent with your families.

What about you?

When do you open your Christmas presents?

The Night before Christmas …

we got invited to have a Swedish Christmas dinner with little F and his lovely family.  C, F’s mum is from Sweden. Dinner was absolutely yum.  We enjoyed the smorgasbord of meat balls, sausages, home-cooked ham, bread, pickled cabbage, and cheese to name only a few and must not forget the drinks like glog (mulled wine), and of course the sips of shnapps as we sang some traditional Swedish songs and toasting.  When I say “sang” it was more like us nodding our heads and trying to join in the chorus.  Oh and must not forget to mention the old tradition of dipping a piece of bread in the ham broth, I definitely gave it a go.  It was absolutely delicious!

And after that, we all went to our local pub, the Napoleon which is a 16th century Inn that serves delicious food, local ale and is a lovely family pub.  That night though since we’ve just had dinner, we gathered around a fire-pit instead or what they call a brazier and sang Christmas carols. This time, we actually knew the lyrics!

It was really fun actually.  Singing without any care whether one was in pitch or not.  My in-laws gamely went and even sang along (let’s just say they aren’t “pub people”).  I think my father-in-law was the only one in the group who could carry a tune.  Yet no one cared and every one sang with gusto.  The kids enjoyed it as well, mostly because they were each given a present.  Little T opened hers right away and squealed in delight to find a bubble bottle and some sweets.  She and her best-friend ran around blowing bubbles at each other.

Toasted marshmallows and roasted chestnuts were also passed around …

It was the first time the pub did anything like that.  It’s nice to be able to support your local pub, especially when it comes to fun-filled activities geared for families.  What about you?  What were you doing the night before Christmas?

This post is linked-up with Country Kids.

Little Father Christmas

A friend and I spent Christmas 2007 in Benin.  We travelled from Ghana, passed Togo within a few hours (that’s how small the country was) and headed for Porto Novo, which is the official capital of Benin.  My friend and I didn’t speak a word of French apart from the usual merci, s’il vows plait and combien?

In spite the language barrier, I loved Benin.  I loved the colours, the rich history, the old buildings, and the culture, although unlike the Ghanaians who are known to be friendly, the Beninese on the other hand were, let’s just say the opposite.  But of course, that could just be a simple case of lost in translation.

I took loads of photos of course.  But a few months after we arrived in England, I dropped my external hard-drive where all my photos were saved, and alas, it stopped working –  I lost all my photographs 🙁

The good news is that I managed to upload some of the hundreds of photos on my Flickr account which I haven’t used in ages.  Here’s one of my faves:

My friend and I were doing the usual touristy-stuff when we heard giggles, the sound of a tambourine and Christmas carols in French!  We were being serenaded by these cute Beninese boys aged around 9-10.  When I pointed to my camera, the other boys fled, but only this one little boy stayed and posed in front of me.  Do you think he had a big smile behind his Father Christmas mask?  I bet he did!

This post is linked-up with PODcast’s What’s the Story.

And The Olivers Madhouse

Christmas is definitely just around the corner, hope you guys are doing your Christmas shopping early to avoid the maddening Christmas rush.  Believe it or not, we have ours done! 🙂  Yay!

Hope everyone has a great week ahead of them!