Christmas is almost over for another year, and it was definitely the hardest one I've ever had. There was the obvious homesickness and sadness as I imagined all of my family sitting around in the sun on the deck sipping champagne and spitting cherry stones at a certain someone who cannot be named (the annual Hard Family tradition), coupled with significant lethargy from waking up late and going to bed early and not really doing anything in between. Plus, the boys are on their Christmas break now and are rowdy and loud about 90% of the time. And then of course, there was the nervousness about meeting the Italian Family - those who I've heard such stories about, and who my mother feared enough to buy and sew me a whole new outfit to wear to Christmas dinner, just so that they wouldn't be offended by my idea of a fancy outfit. Oh, and the snow didn't come.
I do realise that all of this negativity makes it sound like a really rubbish few days, but in reality it has ben really nice and definitely a new experience. Yesterday (Christmas Eve) we went to visit some friends of Meredith and Amedeo who had a three year old girl, and five year old boy, and a fifteen year old girl. They were all lovely people, and when the time came to exchange gifts for the kids, one was whipped out for me by Innis, the mother, so that I wouldn't feel left out. The fifteen year old, whose name I've done a blank on, did her best to speak english (which ended up being more of a mash of italian and english) and showed me her Facebook page (just about the only thing that she and I had in common) and pointed out her friends in photos, telling me how one of them had a new boyfriend every week but that this week's one was a goodie. We had panetone (italian christmas cake) and then zoomed off home to get ready for the big family dinner.
And so, at 8:30pm (when we would be usually on the way to bed) we were off to Amedeo's sister's house - everyone was in jeans and sneakers or boots and jumpers except me, because I feel like Christms is one of the few times of year where you should be dressed up, so I wore the newly bought 'must impress the family' outfit which it transpired was entirely unnecessary but still was nice to wear and because the skirt was high waisted it stopped me from eating too much!
Dinner was immense. Antipasti (which I ate a lot of, not realising what was to come), then lasagne, then roast which I didn't eat because it was roast, and then fruit, and then tiramisu (I was in heaven) and THEN more panetone. We ate and ate and ate until about 11:00pm, and then everyone sat around recovering for an hour until midnight when traditionally (in their family anyway) it was time for the kids to open gifts. We finally made it home at about 1:30am and everyone fell into bed while I filled my hottie and curled up in my room with my Titanic DVD playing quietly as I went to sleep. Bliss.
I woke up with my alarm at 9:15 this morning, and dashed downstairs for a long skype session with my family (including extended family from Auckland) which was lovely. It was probably good that neither webcam felt in the mood to function correctly, because there were welling eyes more than once in that half hour. Then at 1pm we were back off to the relative's house to eat some more - the exact same as last night, except with cannelloni instead of lasagne.
It's 5:40pm now, and we only got home from lunch at about 5pm. The boys are fighting again, CSI New York is playing (in english even!) and I am in my blobbing outfit. On Tuesday it's back down to Rome again for a night at La Controra before the Topdeck tour starts (YAY!) and then three weeks of general fabulousness will be happening, filled with absinthe shots and long bus rides and lots of layers of wool and thermals.
Also, fot those who are trying to text me, I think my phone is refusing to accept messages - Sue, Mum, and Dad have apparently been texting me over the weekend but I haven't received anything (although Sue actually called me which was lovely and that worked). So if you text me and don't get a reply, I am not dead and I do love you so don't go thinking otherwise. Hopefully it's all just Christmas clog and the messages will soon be flooding in!
Buon Natale everyone!