British traditions may well start and end this day, but as I write on, you will see that we certainly go "off road" in between. We begin with an English breakfast of fried bacon, sausages, eggs & mushrooms, then calls are made and received from family and friends back home exchanging greetings for a Merry Christmas. Over coffee we make plans for our day, we look forward to this as we know from past experience it will be somewhat of a different day to the one we`d be spending if we were back home. Our son and daughter in law are very much the adventurous outdoor type, so we are not surprised when a picnic lunch is suggested on the banks of the river Rhine. After about an hour`s drive we arrive at a little clearing in a wooded area, the mighty Rhine runs close by, looking extremely cold and grey. In the clearing are two benches with tables, a ring of stones has already been constructed by someone who has previously had a fire here. Our first job is to go collecting wood. John and I find a good supply on a little stoney beach beside the river. With their expertise, its not long before we have a good fire blazing. Daughter in law is soon inside the landrover which is well equiped with cooking facilities, making hot mulled wine. We sit around the fire, eating, drinking and talking of close family in England and Poland and the traditions they will be following right now, as we sit in the open air under a canopy of trees on this Christmas day. There are an unusual number of swans on the river, they appear to glide down on the strong current, then fly back up to where we are, their wings just skim the surface, making a powerful sound like a train. The riverside beach provides us with a good pathway to walk along and observe the swans and other birds, a little wren appeares to desire our company as he flits in and out of the river bank following us along.
This evening British traditions resume as we enjoy our Christmas dinner of roast turkey with all the trimmings, this is followed by a Christmas pudding bought from home. A lovely time to be together, we talk of old times and childhood memories are recalled, it is a mellow evening when peace and love is shared amongst us.
Reflection Through The Seasons
I live in a small Welsh village which is situated in the southern tip of the Snowdonia National Park. Its an area of true outstanding natural beauty. We have the Cambrian mountains to the east of us and the coast of Cardigan Bay out to the west. My husband and I moved to Wales from The Cotswolds in England 19 years ago. We bought the old village Police Station, which we have worked tirelessly renovating ever since. You could say its a real labour of love. I have retired after working many years in the travel business, this now leaves me free to pursue the many things in life that I enjoy.