One of the most enjoyable things about travel, is reminiscing about it.
With Christmas just around the corner, I have been remembering our one and only cold weather Christmas which we spent in Devon, England. Our friend Barbara, from Townsville, had married Ed (a Pom) and was living in Devon. Ed’s parents, John and Molly owned and lived at the Royal Oak, a sixteenth century pub, in Ideford, near Dartmoor, and they had kindly invited us to join in their family Christmas.
The pub itself was just big enough to hold the guests and a handful of locals. Locals with names like John the Hat; who spoke with thick Devonish accents, that made them impossible to understand. The fireplace crackled, memorabilia hung from every available place behind the bar, and Rule Britannia was sung spiritedly, followed by a somewhat hesitant Waltzing Matilda!
While we enjoyed ales at the bar, a huge Christmas turkey (my first) was cooking in the Pub’s cosy kitchen. When the bar closed, the thirteen of us gathered in the kitchen, now nicely warm thanks to the oven, and squeezed around a table that filled the room. How lucky we were to spend our first and only English Christmas with such a great bunch of people. Later that night we dragged ourselves up the centuries old stairs, ducking our heads, and collapsed under a big warm doona!
It did not snow that Christmas day – the locals said it was too cold to snow – but maybe they were just pulling the legs of the gullible Aussies!
So this Christmas, when the last prawn has been peeled, pour yourself a drink, find a quiet place amidst the wrapping paper and….
Have a happy and nostalgic Christmas. Jan