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Published: December 28th 2020
We had planned staying in London in 2020 – it was the first time in 20 years while I have been living in the UK. Having heard that all the shops will be closed on the Christmas Day and some shops will be closed for a few days around Christmas, I carefully planned shopping and meals between 20th
Mark finished his work at home just after 5 o’clock on Christmas Eve. He has been working at home since the end of March and is having an annual leave between Christmas and New Year.
We decided to have ‘sushi’ takeaway for Christmas Eve’s dinner and listened to Cambridge King’s College’s Carol while having sushi rolls. Because of Covid 19, there was no congregation, just a choir of singers were singing and selected people did the Christmas Service Reading – it was different, but very atmospheric.
I’d also checked the weather forecast for festive period. As it was meant to turn out sunny weather on Christmas morning, we went out for a walk on Alexandra Park. As expected, there were a fewer numbers of traffic and all the shops were shut, except the Afro-Caribbean shop,
which has been newly started trading; we thought the owner wanted to take advantage of doing trading whilst rest of the shops being shut on Christmas Day.
There were quite a few local people and dogs walking on Alexandra Park on the Christmas morning. The ground was pretty wet, so we weren’t able to walk much on the grass and followed the pavement. We also walked through the Avenue Gardens along Park Avenue and reached Bounds Green Road where No.221 bus runs every day – no buses were running on Christmas Day.
As promised, I cooked fried chicken in Japanese style and salad for Christmas dinner. As a special occasion, I marinated chicken with garlic and leek. He liked my friend chicken and enjoyed Japanese style Christmas meal. We had a slice of a twelfth night cake.
After doing washing up dishes, we started opening up presents and cards. We received various presents – accessories, clothes, CDs, and books from my parents, brother- and sister-in law, their son and my mother-in-law.
On Boxing Day, we got up just around 9 o’clock. Like previous day, after cleaning the house, we went to Alexandra Park. We
decided to walk up to Alexandra Palace. It was rather cloudy, but we were able to see modern flats in Haringey and neighboring boroughs and skyscrapers including Shards and the TV Tower in Crystal Garden beyond.
I usually cook meals in the evening. However, there were several programmes I wanted to watch on the Christmas, Boxing, and New Year’s Day, I decided to serve cook meals in the lunch time and snack in the evening.
I found 500g of ‘turkey mince’ at Morrisons and decided to use half for Boxing Day’s dinner and half for 28th
December. I had planned cooking ‘cottage pie’ for Boxing Day. As for cottage/shepherd pie, I’m cooking slightly differently from traditional British cooking, but feel obliged to tell you that my ways of cooking is much quicker and healthier. I chopped up potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, sprouts, onions and garlic and stirred them with mince with gravy sauce, and sprinkled oat on top of the mixture and baked it on the oven for 5-10 minutes. We had ‘turkey mince pie’ with salad for Boxing Day meal. As usual, Mark enjoyed my Christmas meals, as well as ones cooked by his mother.
For the past 19 years we always spent our Christmas time with John & Mary at Lark Rise. They often invited her former work colleague Doris. Sadly, both Doris and John passed away recently. Because of the pandemic, my mother-in-law Mary has been spending her Christmas on her own, as well as a lot of people in Britain. Doris always showed a strong passion and respectfulness towards the Royal family and I often bought gifts containing Royal Members portraits for Christmas presents. She indeed showed eagerness to watch the Queen’s Message on Christmas Day. On the other hand, my father-in-law, John, called himself ‘Republican’ and didn’t have much interest in British monarchy and patriotism. He didn’t approve of that she was to watch the Queen’s Message on his big TV at his home and when she talked about the Queen at the dinner table on the Christmas Day, he used to say, ‘Doris, it’s only 1.45, don’t talk about the queen at my house; it’s rude!’ Their arguments looked entertaining, real and profound to me – almost all the Japanese people show high level of respectfulness to the royal family, and more importantly, they don’t feel that they are able
to make personal comments about the royal family in their everyday conversation: relationship between the royal family and commoners is very distant in Japan.
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