Thursday, 9 January 2014

Simply a Wonderful Christmastime

I’ve been back in Germany for a few days now and it feels almost as if I was never away. The Christmas holidays? They were months ago, right? It’s exactly the same feeling everyone gets at the end of the first day back at school after weeks at home, and I know you all know how that feels.

But I had a really very wonderful couple of weeks back at home, seeing as much of my family and friends as possible, and making sure to get my British culture fix for a few more months – multiple trips to Waitrose occurred. Obviously.

Just like most people, Christmas day was a family day, just the way we like it. When it’s just you and your family you don’t have to worry about being on your best behaviour and can just enjoy yourself.

Every year we go for late morning Christmas drinks and nibbles at a family friends’ house nearby, and it’s always absolutely delightful (plus it gives us a reason to get dressed!) Naturally, I had my best sparkles on, from necklace to eyeliner and nail varnish. I was also wearing my new wannabe-Burberry heart-print shirt from New Look which I absolutely LOVE (not just because Harry Styles has one, honest!)

Sparkly sisters
Unsurprisingly, we changed into comfy lounge pants and cosy Christmas jumpers as the afternoon wore on.

And of course, a massive traditional British Christmas lunch of turkey and all the trimmings was masterfully whipped up by Mama Hosie. I’m sure ours looks exactly the same as the rest of the UK’s, but for the sake of any international readers, here are a few snaps for ya. (Warning: these may make you drool on to your keyboards…)

Roast potatoes - crispy on the outside, fluffy inside - and Brussels sprouts
Sausages, stuffing, roast carrots and parsnips

Well now I just want to eat all that again.

And, naturally, our very long and very delicious lunch ended with the ‘children’ on the floor in food comas, being attacked by excitable dogs, before moving to the sofa by the fireside to watch some Christmas TV with a few (or a lot of) Quality Street. Yes, I may have watched Love Actually for the third time in as many weeks, but you’ve got to over the festive period, haven’t you?

OH AND HOW COULD I FORGET PRESENTS!? We Hosies like to spread our presents out over the course of the day, and I was a little bit spoilt. Let me tell you, Kate Spade was a recurring theme in my presents, which, of course, went down a treat!

There was this mug, which I'm not sure could be more perfect for me (and as you can see, I duly obeyed.)

And my generous siblings clubbed together to get me a very thoughtful present - two sets of Kate Spade earrings which I can wear all at once (as modeled below) Aren't they smart!?

And I got the Kate Spade perfume I'd asked for YAY! Thanks everyone. I think hope all the presents I'd brought home from Germany went down well too...

Just a little selection of the German prezzies I took home
So it was a down-right delightful Christmastime. There were very tense Monopoly games with my siblings...

Sunny country walks with the dogs followed either by mum's legendary Boxing Day leftovers fry-up or an amazing treat of a snazzy gastropub lunch (at The Olive Branch in Clipsham, Rutland - could not recommend it more!)

I do love the British countryside, so it was just delightful to get back to it.

That said, I also love me some city life, and I couldn't come home and not got down to London now, could I? Just for the day, I whizzed down to the capital for a few hours of catching up with friends, sales shopping and froyo eating. What fun it was!

And I suppose the rest of the holiday passed in a blur of socialising, present-wrapping, eating, hanging out with the fam, relaxing, eating, drinking, baking (including spiced mince pie cupcakes and my ultimate chocolate orange cake!), eating and playing with my too-cute-for-words-but-occasionally-annoying dogs. Gratuitous cute animal pics? Oh, go on then...

Tippy the puppy
Peppa the dog
Yeah. Peppa? Well, she's meant to be the grown-up dog, yet she managed to eat my uncle's Christmas present from under the tree - wrapping paper, packaging and a whole packet of snazzy biscotti. What a cheeky monkey!

Dog dramas aside, Christmas came and went, and so did the turn of the year. I went to a lovely girly NYE party followed by a New Year's Day party, and before I knew it, it was time to travel back to D-land!

I've now got less than two months left to improve my German and see as much of Germany as possible, and I know it's going to absolutely fly by. Unsurprisingly, I had mixed emotions about coming back, but I think that's always the case after getting used to your home comforts again. 

When I stepped off the plane and started hearing and seeing German everywhere again, I was a happy bunny. I also realised this meant I had to try and remember how to speak German again, but that's coming back, thank goodness. And as I whizzed through the Bavarian countryside, I realised how much I'd missed it: tree-covered mountains with slanty-rooved houses perching on the sides and rivers winding through the towns and villages.

And before I know it, I'll be off for the French-speaking half of my year abroad (AKA the best year ever.)

Hope you all simply had wonderful Christmastimes too!

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