We managed to find
the Christmas decorations and lights in the black hole under Bryn’s bunk. Beth
and Bryn busied themselves with school Christmas parties and making origami
penguin Christmas cards (with googly eyes) to distribute to their friends and
around the marina.
The CAPE Christmas
The plan was for the
blokes to put on an International Buffet on Christmas Eve. Bryn busied himself
making Welsh cakes and David got stuck in with chicken liver pâté with Cointreau
and orange. Bethany and I got dressed up and retired to TASMAN for drinks with
the girlies while the Club room was decorated and the food laid
Bryn making Welsh
David potting up his
Bethany getting ready
The Club house looked
stunning when we walked in with subtle lighting, festive music and an amazing
range of food including marinated salmon, onion bahjees, curry, scouse, stuffed
chicken roll, chicken satay, coquille St Jacques, fruit tartlets, berry compote
with vanilla sauce, and of course, pâté, and Welsh cakes. The subtle lighting
included tiny oil lamps made of satsuma halves with the segments removed, but
with the central pith stem left as a wick!
Fantastic food and
The blokes (...who
let Bryn have a bottle of beer?).
After the food, we
partied on until we got to the Conga stage of the
The Conga stage of
Christmas Day kicked
off early when Bethany got Bryn up at 06:00 (and then again at 07:00). At 08:00
we gave in and had a pressie opening session on our bed over a cup of tea.
Breakfast was the traditional chocolates with Bucks Fizz, followed by Christmas
cricket. David was captain of one team, Colin (TASMAN) was captain of the other,
and Andy (GRAND SLAM) was umpire. I took the distinguished honour of the only
person to hit the ball in the water, but luckily Christian and Evelyn (TRIBAL
KAT) had a handy scoop device (margarine tub wired onto a boat hook) for fishing
for cricket balls, so play wasn’t stopped for long. Colin’s team won (sorry,
can’t remember the score...is it important?).
Retrieving the ball
from the water.
The women were in
charge of lunch, which started at 4 pm. 23 of us sat down to Waldorf salad and
fish terrine for starters, roast turkey and lamb with every imaginable trimming
for the main course, followed by Christmas pud, other puds, mince pies, cheese,
fruit, port... We even managed to track down sprouts – apparently shipped in by
Lidl as a ‘foreign’ Christmas specialty vegetable, as we hadn’t seen them before
Christmas week – and we haven’t seen them since! We
were on turkey, chestnut sauce and chocolate pudding duty (never let on that you
have a large boat oven).
After lunch, Russ
(AQUA DOMUS) played Santa and – with his little helper, Bryn – distributed
Secret Santa presents to everyone.
Russ getting into the
swing of playing Santa.
Boxing Day was shorts
and T-shirt weather – perfect for messing about in boats.
Defensive tactics in
the canoe racing.
Later on we gathered
in the Club house for leftovers and silly games.
New Year’s Eve was
another sunny day and we picnicked on the pontoon before a
Special Greek ‘New
Picnicking on the
In the evening we
gathered at about 9 pm for a bit of a jam and dancing, and a BBQ before seeing
the New Year in – not just once, but three times:
Greek time (22:00 UK time, toasted with ouzo)
00:00 French time (01:00 Greek time, toasted with French
00:00 UK time (02:00 Greek time, toasted with whiskey).
a long lie in on Jan 1!
A bit more
Hilary and Beth doing
‘YMCA’ up the stairs.
Why do men always
gather around a BBQ?
We’ve been watching
the snowy and icy winter weather in the UK and hope that you all survived and
that nothing important dropped off due to frostbite. While we haven’t had any of
the UK weather here in Messolonghi, the mountains around us are definitely
dusted with snow and the weather has been really cold, wet and windy since New
Year’s Eve. Honest! We’ve had night-time temperatures of about 5°C – although no
freezing temperatures down here at sea level – yet. I know your hearts are
bleeding for us, but we just aren’t used to cold anymore! We went for a bracing
bike ride to the beach at Tourlida to blow the cobwebs away – it was just like
January in Aber!
With the bikes at
Beth caught a little
geko – he was so cold he couldn’t move when she tried to put him back onto the
6 is big here in Greece, and is officially when people give presents (to
coincide with the coming of the Wise Men with their gifts after the birth of
Jesus). There was a church service, then a procession through the town with a
marching band and soldiers, followed by the church elders chucking a cross into
the harbour. 'Young men' then have to leap in the tide to retrieve the cross.
Poor sods, they were standing there in just their swimming trunks when we
arrived at about 10:45, and the cross didn't get thrown until about 11:30!
Freezing ‘young men’
waiting for the procession to arrive.
The arrival of the
priests and the procession.
Diving for the
Back to work and
came back to normal with a bump when the children went back to school on January
8. David (with half the blokes in the marina helping) tried to get the repaired
fuel tank back into position in the engine room. It was very tight getting it
out but at least they could crowbar against the bulkhead. Going back in there
are only delicate bits of the engine to crowbar against and it just wasn’t going
to go (three failed attempts, each taking about 4 hours). The fuel tank went off
to have the top 6 inches taken off and the top welded back on. Why are these
jobs never simple?
flew to Paris to attend a meeting for work. It sounds glamorous I know, but I
flew out Friday, worked all day Saturday and Sunday, and flew back Monday,
seeing Paris from the taxi to and from the airport and only leaving the hotel
for dinner in the evenings. OK, so it was a really nice hotel with a view of the
Eiffel Tower, and the food was fab, and the people were great fun... and I had a
BATH!!!! Baths are things that we liveaboards don’t come across very often – the
last bath I had was when we stayed with the Liddy Gang in Llandrillo when we
visited the UK in February 2008. (I must point out that I have showered in
between...) David had arranged for the children to go to Hilary and Paul (PAX
NOSTRUM) for lunch after school, and Caryn and Svein (C’EST LA VIE) for tea so
that he could pick me up from the airport. On the way back we had a call from
Caryn to warn us that Bryn had fallen and broken his front teeth. We got back to
find that he’d managed to snap one clean in half and take a large chip out of
the other. Poor Caryn and Svein were mortified that it had happened while they
were in charge! (Never get roped into looking after other people’s pets or
kids...) Luckily the dentist here was able to patch up the chip and put a
temporary crown on the other, but he'll need permanent
crowns on both eventually. Don’t worry, he
still has his cheeky grin!