We seem to have lots to do today and get up at 8.30. Ali goes up the road and gets the days supply of bread and milk. Yesterday we made sandwiches for lunch and all really enjoyed some homemade food so we will do that again today.

We have decided that we are going to leave Goa before New Year. Aruna has been doing her best to persuade us to stay and it is very tempting but if we don’t leave here until January we would be very pushed for time to make our way to Kerala and then across to Chennai ( Madras) where we catch our flight to Singapore on the 11th.

Subsequently we have to go to Panjim today and try to book our train tickets, because it is the holiday season we want to get them in advance and will also start looking for accommodation in Kerala. We figure that New Year will be celebrated everywhere and neither of us are too bothered about it anyway. Having a good Christmas day is much more important. We are going to try and get a Christmas tree and also want to buy the kids some presents and get some decorations for the apartment.

I could hear Bing Crosby’s White Christmas yesterday as I sat by the pool. This was fairly surreal, as the temperature monitor next to me said 34.4; I reckon the odds on a white Christmas here are about a billion to one. I haven’t spent Christmas day away from home before so it will be strange, but we did have Christmas day at mums the weekend before we came away. My brother Will, Tarl and Hope were there and as we had presents, Christmas dinner and went down the pub as usual I don’t feel like we are missing out.

Simon gets the kids going on some maths this morning, Maisie is doing long divisions which are a complete mystery to me and Ali is doing shapes and areas .They are both really bright and are thriving on one to one tuition. Ali is in the top sets at school but despite this they are lacking knowledge in some basic areas for example Ali didn’t know all the months of the year and Maisie struggles with telling the time.
We have been surprised that they have put up no resistance to schooling and in fact have asked to do extra which is nothing short of miraculous.

I also want to write some Christmas emails today. Christmas is always a massive stress for me as I can never think what to buy anyone. I don’t mind wrapping presents or writing cards but as I don’t like shopping much anyway I have got myself into a complete mess previously by putting it off and leaving all the shopping until Christmas Eve. I reckon I have got off scott free this year and I’m so pleased about this and feel very lucky.

Just got back from Panjim, we can’t get the train to Kerala as the tickets are already sold so are going to catch the sleeper bus to Mangalore on the 29th.
We bought some Christmas deckies and managed to get a tree, baubles and lights for under a tenner, a bit of a change from last year when I spent nearly 50 quid on a tree alone.
We went and checked our emails, Shirley’s made me laugh, she was complaining that I hadn’t written anything for a few days but internet access isn’t always easily available to upload it. She tells me that I should think of all the poor bastards left behind who are hanging onto my words- somehow I doubt that!! But we will try and update it as regularly as possible. If I was at home or stuck at work I probably would be glued to a site like ours. So I do see her point!!

We got back to the apartment and made mulled wine, we bought red wine, brandy, oranges, cinnamon sticks and apple juice. Traditionally I always decorate the tree and we get pissed on mulled wine whilst listening to my cheesy Christmas album that I have had since about 1997 and this year is no exception. Actually the only difference is that I have my bikini on, I’ve just had a mango ice lolly and am about to light the mosquito coils.

My favourite Fairy Tale of New York has just been on; I’ll probably be blubbing by the end of the evening!! Feeling surprisingly Christmassy now, every one has their deckies up around here. I’m getting really excited, don’t know why, we won’t be having any pressies but I’m a sucker for Christmas and I can’t wait!

Just got in, we have been for a Chinese and I telephoned home. Simon and Ali have gone to find internet access and Maisie and I have come back to the apartment. I am feeling tired and the mulled wine has kicked in so I’m off to bed. We have planned to spend the day at the beach tomorrow so I need a bit of sleep as we will be getting up early. Oh the hardship of lying around all day on a sun lounger – how jammy are we!