Hope you had a nice Christmas

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas wherever you are and whatever you did.

Our Christmas was very low-key which is how we like it. Most of the morning was spent cooking Christmas Dinner. We fancied being a little extravagant and so had some gammon to supplement the turkey as well as the required sausages wrapped in bacon, stuffing, yorkshire pud and about 6 types of roasted vegetables. It was delicious and the left-overs were delicious again yesterday and with a few additions, will be again today I imagine!

Some friends bought us a really nice Cheeseboard with various implements which is something I always wanted. I didn’t tell them I wanted it, I guess cheese-lovers think alike! So a few hours after finishing dinner we then had a selection of cheese, crackers and grapes.

It has to be said that afterwards we resembled an anaconda that had just eaten a cow though. It must be a nice life being an anaconda, that’s all I can say.

Unusually, there are still presents under our Christmas tree as its my birthday tomorrow so I leave one or two for three days. I received a small number of really nice books for Christmas. Most of them history or travel related.

We haven’t yet left the house since about 23rd December. It’s been stormy every day except for Christmas itself and almost every day the house is being shaken by extremely strong winds. Sometimes you can feel the house almost move when it gets hit by a strong gust of wind. So far there has been no damage and I guess all our tallest trees blew down in one of the October storms.

We’ve watched quite a bit of television. Lots of movies and specials. Dr Who was fun though in parts unintelligible as they so often are. Downton Abbey was good, no-one got killed this year and the fact I slept through 15 minutes in the middle made it more tricky to keep up with than usual. My favourite show so far featured ex SAS man Bear Grylls taking Stephen Fry through the Dolomites, rock climbing, snow trekking and eating wild animals and berries. None were as good as our turkey though.

Bear and Stephen

Bon Appetit!

The TV news shows all the shopping centres packed out with people shopping in the sales. I don’t know where they have come from but no-one in our street has moved off the sofa in the last 4 days. I myself have saved several hundred pounds in the sales by not buying anything.

It’s been so nice, no buses going down the street, no teenagers racing around on motorbikes or old cars and not even any planes. I can open my window and not hear a thing!

All these new travel books have got me thinking of where to go on holiday this summer. We do this every year and normally plan 2 holidays. One is a dream holiday that we plan in great detail but never go on. Apparently planning holidays is one of the 9 keys to a healthy marriage regardless of whether you actually go on the holiday. It seems to work for us. As well as the dream holiday we also plan a holiday that we are much more likely to go on.

Map of The Trans Siberian Express (Seat61.com)

Map of The Trans Siberian Express (Seat61.com)

At the moment we are thinking big and considering going by train from London to Hong Kong via the Trans-Siberian Express and stopping off at a few places such as Moscow, Tashkent and Mongolia. The alternative is going by train to Central Asia and really doing an in-depth tour. We’ve always done very low budget holidays and lots of people we know spend what we’d consider a fortune just to go within the U.K. or to Spain or Florida. For the same money we could leave London by train and be in Moscow after 2 days, Tashkent after 4 days, Beijing after 6 days and even Tokyo after 8 or 9. It all sounds too good to be true and so we’ll probably rent out a shed in Devon for a week instead.

Whereas much of the world has now gone back to work, most of us in the U.K. are not even half way through the Christmas holiday. It’s tough work, I can tell you.

If you’ve done anything or nothing this Christmas let me know!

About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including several #1 sellers. I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. I run my private tours company with one tour stated by the leading travel website as being with the #1 authentic London Experience. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
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10 Responses to Hope you had a nice Christmas

  1. Merry Christmas, Stephen! I think you did yours right, eating and laying around. Very nice. Ours was pretty low key for us too, visiting with family. Happy Birthday!


  2. Rosemarie says:

    Very low key. I have been practicing with my DSLR camera, great fun. Every once in while I get a superb photo. An errand to the hazardous waste facility yesterday took me to a part of St. Louis I had not frequented since the late 1960’s. It was an adventure. Happy birthday!


  3. JF says:

    Six types of roasted vegetables! I envy you! But …there were no strong winds in Hollywood, Florida. After we felt like anacondas we went to the boardwalk and walked along the beach. Happy New Year!


  4. Malla Duncan says:

    Christmas in Cape Town was like a complete mirror image of yours – except in the sun. We ate Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve, a wonderful brunch on Christmas Day – after which the only movement was a creep to the swimming pool in the stunning sun, then a creep back to a prone position in the shade. Sigh.


  5. Christmas in Australia…around the pool, with hardly a hot dish in sight. Prawns, mangoes, salads…and yes, a few lamb chops on the barbecue. Pavlova with raspberries and cream for dessert (bit of a disaster with the hot Christmas pudding). Loved your idea of planning the dream trip that you never take! Happy holidays!


    • Christmas in Australia sounds great. I’ve always wondered what it must be like to have Christmas in the middle of the summer. I’d love to try it at least once. I’m glad that you had fun in the sun!


  6. Boyer Writes says:

    Yes, our Christmas here in the USA was a wonderful one. My husband is an Episcopal priest (Anglican to you Brits) so there were many services…and singing Christmas Carols which is really special to do once a year. You mentioned your proposed trips for 2014. I went to Mongolia twice and it is definitely a place that you should put on your itinerary. Best of everything in 2014. I will certainly continue to look for your blog.s Nancy


    • I bet your husband has had a busy few weeks then. I always wondered what an Episcopal was exactly and in a way I guess I am one myself! You’re luck to have got to Mongolia at all, let alone twice! I’ve always been attracted to empty places on maps and they don’t come much bigger than Mongolia!

      Thanks Nancy, Happy New Year to you.


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