It’s grey, rainy and dark these day, but it’s the last week of November and Christmas is around the corner. And thank God for it! I totally get why people try to escape to warmer places this time of the year and although I was just home for a week in the beginning of October and we’re going to Marrakech just after Christmas, I’d roam the country in a second, if I could.
Yesterday we invited some friends over for a cosy dinner, to laugh away a dark November Sunday. I made boeuf bourguignon and served it with with red wine, French baguette and butter, in my grandma´s china. Now that´s big for me, since I normally can´t even remember to buy napkins, so everybody´s used to gifting me that every once in a while, or else I present them for a big fat roll of toilet paper. 😉 So there was a festive atmosphere, candle light, “magic bubble water” (we finally got ourselves one of these bubbly water machines), wine and beef stew. Throw in a couple of loud friends, a lovable crew the lot of them, Sam at our feet and Beo stealing our seat as soon as it was left unattended for 5 seconds, and you´ve got the perfect recipe for a long night with lots of fun!
November started with a pang: I´ve attended two conferences already, I´ve got a lot to do at work and our social arena has been stuffed with birthdays, gatherings and such. And it´s only a matter of time before all those Christmas party invitations start rolling in. At the same time, my body responds later and later, it´s getting dark early and light- late and I´d sleep most of my days off, if only I could. 😉 😦
Living abroad means seeing less of the ones we love. I meet with my family 1-3 times a year. This year I was in Romania for a week in February (when my father was mostly in the hospital for a minor intervention) and 2 days in June (we were in Belgrade for a friend´s wedding ), when I didn´t get to see my brother since he was working and we didn’t have time to travel all the way to Bucharest.
A couple of weeks ago I started feeling seriously homesick. I´m in the middle of a trial now and I´ll need a couple of weeks after that to do my accountancy and put my affairs in order, so it wasn´t the best time to travel. Besides, I didn´t feel like leaving V alone with Sammy for a week since the dog needs his walks and he´s a full-time job if you have him alone. Thus I decided to ask mom if she wanted to come visit. After persuading pops that he would make a wonderful nanny for my niece for a couple of days, I bought the tickets and started counting days. 😉 You see, mom is babysitting my two-year old niece while my brother and his wife are at work; you have to be three in order to be accepted at a regular kindergarten in Romania.
Friday was my day off so I woke up early with V in order to tidy up a bit and prepare the apartment for my mother´s arrival. 😉 I then worked for an hour, bought a nice bouquet of flowers and went to the airport to pick her up. She hasn´t travelled a lot on her own, my father usually leads on, so I didn´t want her to find this journey any more stressful than necessary. 😉 We found each other and, overwhelmed with joy, took the train back to Oslo, going straight home to unpack and unwind. She brought us wine, smoked ham and cheese (cascaval), baked eggplants (ready to turn into a salad by adding mayo and stuff), pretzels (my fave!) and some pufuleti (snacks made out of maize flour). I was so happy I started dancing the moment I put Aretha Franklin on the turntable. 😉
It´s already November, so winter is practically knocking at our door. And since I love Christmas, boy am I looking forward to it?! I´ll be done with the 6 weeks´ trial in just 2 weeks, leaving me lots of time to put my accountancy in order, do some Christmas shopping and make my traditional biscotti and lemon curd. And because I´m a slave of all things pretty, this is my wish list for Santa: 😉
1. Max Mara dress