Christmas Memories

Twenty-five years ago, when Capt G and I were a couple of fit young whippersnappers, we spent three months on pushbikes cycling through France, Spain and Italy in the depths of winter. We were poor as church mice with a budget of eleven pounds per day per person which had to pay for accommodation and food. Needless to say we spent a lot of time in youth hostels and boarding houses, eating fresh bread and cheese, and drinking espresso to stay warm – such a hardship.

By the time Christmas came around we were in Spain trying to understand which days were public holidays. Between us we had about one hundred Spanish words and a couple of handy phrases that usually involved asking for a double bed with a shower for a night or something to eat or drink. Public holidays didn’t come into it. We missed the closing time of the major supermarkets by an hour so for Christmas dinner we blew our budget and ended up with Roscon, an incredibly expensive but delicious bread that’s a delicacy in northern Spain, a roasted chicken and a bottle of Freixenet Champagne (because in those days the French didn’t have a monopoly on the term Champagne…).

On a cold night in Barcelona chicken never tasted so good and the bubbles were divine. It was a very different Christmas to anything I’d experienced before and I’m sure I’ll remember it when I’m sat in my recliner chair in another fifty years.

Tonight, for old times sake, we’re cracking another bottle of Freixenet. (I’m hoping it doesn’t turn out to be better in the memory than in the bottle!) We’ll raise a glass to all our absent family and friends scattered around Australia and the world. May your Christmas and Boxing Day be full of good memories that will last a lifetime.

Lots of love

Helene, Capt G and Zeus.


8 thoughts on “Christmas Memories

  1. Thanks for being part of my writing family for the last few years, Brenda. It’s very special to have you along for the journey! Hope 2014 brings more good books your way 🙂

  2. Loved your memories, Helene. Thanks so much for sharing 🙂 Hoping you, Capt G and Zeus had a wonderful Christmas and New

  3. Now that’s a special memory, Natasha, and how wonderful that you’re still together and able to share it some more!!

    It was lovely to meet you in person this years and thanks for being part of my blog and FB family 🙂

  4. Thanks, Gabrielle, Capt G reckons cycle touring was the most expensive way to see the world as we didn’t travel much more than 100 miles a day. I still think it was the most amazing three months of my life!!

    Thanks for joining our cyber family this year – you and your boys are a very welcome addition!!

  5. Fantastic memories Helene – I don’t have any Christmas memories to complete with yours – mine would be New Years Eve 1969 – laying on the beach as a 16yo, holding hands with the 18yo guy I’d met at 12.30, 27th December that year, watching a continuous shower of shooting stars, simply knowing that our lives would follow the same path, together

  6. Well that is one special story … Thanks for sharing it Helene, quite touching.

    How nice is it eh – to be able to say:

    “Love, we’ll always have Spain and Freixenet”

    Charge your glass and have a damn fine one – that lot of you



  7. That’s very true, Susanne! It was a far cry from yesterday’s overloaded table with my family!! And happy New Year to you – it’s going to be a stellar year 🙂

    Thanks for being part of my blog family this year. Your visits are very much appreciated.

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