Christmas Eve

Today we have decided to stay in for the morning and get the place tidied up a bit. It is very windy although still boiling and I can’t face putting sun cream on my bites and going to the beach as I think it will irritate them more.
Simon does an hour or so of maths with the kids, I have told them they can have tomorrow off and they said I’m tight!

In the afternoon we catch the bus to Panjim, I have decided that Maisie and I need to look smart for tomorrow’s dinner and I want to buy myself a dress and us both some shoes.

Before we reach the clothes market we have to go through the fish and meat market. The women are sat on slightly raised platforms with piles of fish in front on them. I watch as they sprinkle water with their hands on the fish to keep them wet looking. There are lots of different types of fish, squid and prawns.
In this heat the smell is unreal; I have my hand clamped over my nose and try desperately to breathe through my mouth. The flies are everywhere crawling all over the fish and the women don’t make much attempt to swat them away, I think that this can’t get any more horrible until we reach “The Lucky Mutton Store” – and there suspended from hooks are 3 sheep’s heads chopped off at the neck and dripping blood.

Not very lucky for them.

At this point Ali starts heaving and we rush away I don’t want him throwing up everywhere. Maisie surprises me again, I would have thought she would have hated it but all she said on the matter was- “Some of those fish looked nice didn’t they Mom?”

I buy a dress and shoes for us both for under a tenner, not the most classy outfit ,as I realise when I try it on at home that it is quite see through at the back but I solve that problem by wrapping my sarong around my hips underneath like an underskirt.

We walk through the park after buying an ice lolly, by now it is red hot, the temperature has rocketed up again and it must be over 35 degrees it certainly feels hotter than at any other time since we arrived in India. We skip from one shady bit to another and decide to make our way back to Dona Paula as it is too hot to wander about.

I want to phone my best friends and we get the auto rickshaw to drop us by the telephone, I manage to speak to Shirley and Nicky for ages, which is lovely listening to what they have been up to. Christmas Eve is my favourite day of the year, I love the anticipation of what’s to come and we have missed out on that this year. Speaking to my mates does bring that home a bit and it’s a shame that I miss Lou. I manage to have a quick word with her mum though and she says she will pass on my message.

We then check emails and we have one from Dad and Pauline. Pauline describes a dinner she has cooked for my brother and Tarl and for the first time I get really strong cravings for some English food .I’m not sure what to expect from tomorrows meal but I don’t suppose it will be roast turkey and all the trimmings.

We get back to our apartment and try and decide where to go for dinner. I am a bit reluctant to go out anywhere as I don’t want to put insect repellent on my hands and arms.
My vision of looking good on Christmas day with a sexy tan has disappeared as I look like I have some horrible tropical disease!

In the end we decide on take out Chinese, Simon goes of to get it and the power goes off. Needless to say it doesn’t come back on for about 3 hours. We sit in the dark eating Chinese and drinking beer by candlelight, playing charades and listening to Christmas songs we have a laugh and I’m sure we won’t forget tonight in a hurry.