My personal Rudolf!
1) An extra day off from work
Normally, Boxing Day isn’t a holiday in Belgium. But because Christmas Day was a Sunday, the majority of working people are having the day off today. Our offices are closed too, like many other companies and government services. My friendly butcher is closed too, but our local supermarket will be open this afternoon. I don’t need to go out though, as I did all my shopping on Friday and Saturday. And although there are no leftovers from Christmas Day lunch, there is ample food in the house to keep me happy and fed for two or three days.
2) A simple but pretty Christmas table and a delicious Christmas Day lunch
Although I didn’t do much cooking – I left that to the professional chefs from Rob Gourmet Market’s caterer counter – we had a glorious meal of Champagne with stuffed puff pastry zakouskis, oven grilled scallops in an creamy Champagne sauce, hare fillet with a light ‘grand veneur’ sauce and a dark glossy gravy, apples and pears with cranberry stuffing and a bottle of red Menetou Salon and finally a traditional ‘bûche de Noël’ with coffee.
3) An intriguing book by Belgium’s best known war journalist
I admit that a book about the 10 years since 9/11 does not really fit in with the Christmas spirit. However, ever since I heard an interview with Rudi Vranckx and saw a documentary on him and his work in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Israel and most recently in Egypt, I’m really intrigued by this man and the way he copes with the horrors he sees every day. He has a master degree in modern history and has been working with our national television channel since the fall of the Rumanian horror regime. He became really popular during the recent crisis in Egypt, where he was one of the last Western journalists to leave the country.
4) A surprise telephone call from the US
At half past seven last night, my mobile phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number – which was much longer than our Belgian 9 digit telephone numbers. Imagine my surprise when I heard Bob’s and Pat’s voice. My blog friends were calling from Georgia in the US to wish me a Merry Christmas. A lovely and thoughtful gesture! Thank you Bob and Pat!!
This afternoon I’m going to plunge into that book and write some more Greeting cards while I listen to the All Time Top 1000 on the radio. Fantastic music that will bring back many happy and emotional memories of years and events gone by. It’ll be on every day of the coming week. As I have the week off from work, I will be able to enjoy all 1000 songs!
What did Santa bring you and what are your plans on Boxing Day?