Monday, 21 December 2009

First mince pies of the season

Although we've been stuffing ourselves with turron and pannetoni, we didn't manage our first mince pies until Saturday, when Juanmi, Kirsty and Emily invited us to their Christmas party in Rivas.
We were late arriving, having had to work until 2.40pm, so there was a fair crowd clustered round the food when we arrived. It was like a meeting of Expats Anonymous, or rather, Anglo-Spaniard Couples Anonymous, for as well as our hosts our friends Fermin and Rebecca were there and everybody else we spoke too seemed to be in mixed Spanglish relationship. Just a run down of the names (Tracy & Ignacio, Manuela & James, Jason & Dolores) makes it pretty clear! I was worried I wasn't going to get a chance to practice my Spanish at all, but luckily we managed to find about the only other linguistically homogeneous couple there, Nani and Jose Ramon, who grew up in our barrio to chat to. It was a lovely afternoon, with plenty of recent or soon-to-be mums for Kate to compare hospitals and midwives with, plus some carols round the piano.

We nipped off earlyish in order to do some shopping in Carre Four on the way home, where we encountered the most impressive Belen (nativity scene) yet. The Spanish go for their Bethlehem scenes the way a certain type of English male goes for model train sets, and this one, with its functioning water wheels and hand-painted miniatures, was really quite something. For childless couples only though, methinks.

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