##Incr-edible but Incomplete Christmas
So another Christmas has come and gone. This was our first one without the full complement of Daggs present: Caitlin is about as far away as it is possible to be, down in Australia. She’s having a wonderful time, which is what it’s all about, but we really miss her. We always knew the day would come when one if not all the children would be elsewhere for the festive season, and suddenly we’re at that stage. Part of life, but I do wish time would slow down a bit, don’t you?
Anyway, we had a very edible Christmas. Food parcels seemed to be the order of the day, which is perfect with us. Caiti got in first with some chocolate bars and snack biscuits from Oz in the Christmas parcel she sent. There were some lovely souvenirs as pressies too – t-shirts and badges and some beautiful wooden tree decorations. I’ve put up a colourful tea towel of Australian birds up behind the finches’ cage so they’ll feel at home!
I also used Australia as a theme for our crackers. I found some jokes about koalas, kangaroos and marsupials, and I threw in some about penguins too since Caiti works at the aquarium in Sydney, which has a new and wonderful penguin display.
Back to food. Benj gave Chris and I a hamper of French regional snacks, including amongst other things pain d’épices (roughly equivalent to gingerbread), nougat, biscuits, meringues, quince jelly and, intriguingly, a jar of confiture de lait = milk jam! It’s like a thickish caramel sauce, and is a speciality of Normandy. My sister sent us a large box of British staples like digestives, teabags, peanut butter, golden syrup, Branston pickle (especially for Rors) and marmalade. We had some Betty’s of Harrogate goodies from sister-in-law Sue, and some fabulous flavoured teas from my another sister-in-law. Oh, and not forgetting a kilogram of assorted flavours of Swiss chocolate from author friend Paul in Switzerland. We’d already stocked up with a big grocery shop a few days before Noël so we’re going to be eating very well for quite a while to come!
And a Christmas silly to finish with. Even after ten years in France, we’re still making mistakes due to misunderstandings. I thought I’d bought Chris a lovely flannel shirt, but it turns out it’s a lovely flannel nightshirt!