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Mark's World Tour 2007-08

Day 50: Christmas Day

INDIA | Tuesday, 25 December 2007 | Views [880]

Tuesday 25th December

I woke up to the sunniest, warmest, most beachy Christmas morning I had ever seen. Although it was really just another lazy day in Goa, it was weird to think that it was Christmas and that everyone back home would be exchanging presents around the tree and having a slap-up dinner (with real, proper meat on it!). It was sad to think that I wasn't going to be able to share it with my family, but at least I was with people that I knew and it would be a good day.

However, I was lucky enough to get a few special presents all the way from home, and these were in the form of Ramelton's finest Football Special soft drink ( ), gratefully received from Pete, and a recent copy of the Derry Journal, courtesy of Davey 'Boy' Hasson. I felt like the luckiest person in all of Goa to have these treasures in my hand! They say that Guinness doesn't travel very well outside Ireland, but I can inform all fans of Football Special (and there are many, I am sure), that the Drink of Sporting Champions tastes even better than it does in Donegal. As for the Derry Journal, I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

The rest of the day was spent lying on the beach and I felt completely relaxed. The temperature had dropped slightly and the sun didn't feel as strong as it had in recent days, so it was just about right for a nice afternoon snooze. There was no real sign that it was Christmas except for the fact that more people seemed to have started drinking earlier in the day.

Christmas dinner was being prepared by the same people who had cooked us the Goan feast earlier in the week. Our Greek friend, Manos, who himself was staying as a guest, very kindly helped to organise the whole event: he set the menu, coordinated cooking operations, and even cooked the fish soup! Tables were laid out on the beach and a bar set up behind it, with a fire in the middle to cook the fish. I had already ordered the fish soup and the lobster, just to treat myself on Christmas Day. The fish soup was excellent, made of a simple broth and served with rockfish and vegetables. The lobster was simply boiled and served with a tomato-based sauce, rice and naan bread, and it was fantastic! It was cooked to perfection and I have to say that I really enjoyed it.

After dinner, I spoke to everyone back in Windsor, with the whole family getting together in David & Nuala's for Christmas dinner. I was able to speak to and see them all via Skype (finally finding a webcam that worked), and I was delighted that it worked so well (except they couldn't see me at the other end). Everyone looked very well and Orla was particularly full of beans, and I even got a song from her, a fine rendition of Tomorrow from the Annie soundtrack. The kid's gonna go far! It was strange not being at home, I found it difficult to get my head around it for much of the day, and seeing everyone together made me feel homesick. However, I knew that they were doing well and I was also having a good time, so there was little reason to get too upset. Although I swear I could smell Christmas dinner all the way from Windsor, I'm sure it was that good!

I was very happy with how the whole day had gone: relaxation, presents from home, great food and company, and the chance to see my family again - it all made for a very special day.

Tags: Beaches & sunshine


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