Friday 26 December 2014

White Christmas

No sign of snow back home, so we flew to Norway (actually it was all arranged weeks ago). The differences are subtle. Lots of good food – but the whole thing a touch more formal.

Not a pair of jeans in sight! The Christmas Eve menu in this household is one of the traditions from the west coast. "Stick-meat" is the literal translation – steamed lamb ribs with mashed potato, swede and loganberry jam. It would actually have been a poor family's Christmas treat. Dessert was "Rice cream" – like a very rich rice pudding served cold with blackcurrant sauce.

After that we joined hands (all 15 of us) and walked round the Christmas tree singing various Christmas songs, before finally opening the presents. Children in bed by 10 p.m. In Brazil they had to wait for the presents until after midnight.

Christmas Day in Norway is usually a day for getting out and walking off the previous evening's input, but in our case it is also oldest grandchild's birthday. So exactly the same group met at the other grandparents'  house and did more of the same, though with a dash less formality.

The view from the room was stunning – the lights in the photo are due to my reticence at stepping out onto the balcony to get the photo when it was 10˚ under outside!

This is the part of Oslofjord where a famous incident from WWII occurred – the sinking of a battleship that enabled the Norwegian king, the Norwegian government and Norway's gold to escape from use the eyes of the enemy. Or so I am informed by my grandchildren's other grandfather…

The food was equally delicious, but from a different section of Norwegian cuisine, pork ribs / steaks with delicious crackling. Not many vegetarians in Norway!

Kompis the puppy got in on the delicacies by a slightly unorthodox ruse.

Then, today, we did get out for our walk, down to a frozen lake about 10 minutes away.

 The children had great fun in the snow, in the woods and on the ice,

on their own,

and with their uncle.

We just avoided frostbite, and are back in the warm for tea.

Erin Mae's getting snowed on, we think, but it's not like this!


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