Ah I’ve let the blog slip a little, the last one being back in December. We’ve had some great winter weather since then, only just breaking down in the last few weeks into more unsettled conditions.
Christmas & New Year
In the run up to Christmas a weekly Sunday advent party was held. On one of the advents we joined the Swedes and Danes in celebrating their version of Santa Lucia – as well as being the patron saint of Syracuse, she is also celebrated is Scandanavia for bringing light. We watched a ceremony streamed from Sweden and attempted to sing along to a song whilst enjoying warming mulled wine and scrummy biscuits.
The weather was marvellous up to Christmas with mostly blue skies and temperatures in the low 20’s (centigrade not Fahrenheit). Although it became a little more unsettled towards New Year, we were able to leave the wellies and woolly hats behind on the night unlike last year.
We saw the new year in with music and Prosecco in the Stella Bar, Colin played a few songs during the evening. At midnight there were fireworks set off in the road (fun for us, maybe not for the car driving by at the time) followed by a few drunken verses of Olde Lang Syne. We continued into the early hours with more dancing and even more Prosecco, until we drank the bar dry. As we were readying to leave just before 4am, a crowd of 40 Italians arrived all dressed in their finest party gear, aged from small tots to grandma and grandpa, and tucked into pastry products. Far classier than chips and kebab but I think they’re missing out.
After all that festive partying it was time for a rest as we went into 2016. No resolutions for us, however I have set myself two challenges this year. The first is to complete 1000 miles in 2016; these can be ran or walked and to date I’m on track. Fairly easy to complete at the moment with it being easy to get on and off the boat. Probably harder in the summer in the scorching heat.
The second challenge is to finish the knitted blanket I started way back in 2012. I need to make 156 15cm squares. So far I’m almost a 1/3 there. Guest squares are very welcome with a nautical colour or theme 🙂
Burns Night falls on the 25th January and celebrates the life of Scotland’s favourite son Robert Burns. It doesn’t take much excuse for the MdR liveaboards to organise a party and despite there being no Scots in residence this year, Burns Night was too good an opportunity to miss. After al, it had been at least three weeks since the last party!
I’d brought back a can of haggis back on my last visit to the UK as did some others, and along with another couple of tins bought off Amazon and posted at eye watering cost we would have enough to at least give everyone a taste. I have to admit that when I first tipped the haggis from the can it didn’t look or smell very appealing with an aroma of dog food, but once all the lovely fats and spices were warmed through it looked and tasted just like it should. On the night everyone chipped in pot-luck style with tatties, carrots, puddings and biscuits as well as a homemade haggis and a veggie one and there was more than enough to go round. There was even a small portion of swede to go with the tatties. So the traditional food challenge of haggis, neeps and tatties was met.
Only one person in the marina had a proper kilt so the others got creative with teatowels, tablecloths and blankets to make kilts; the sporans were even more imaginative with a paintbrush being my favourite but also included handbags. I used a left over piece of Rona tartan to make myself a scarf and pinny.
As the tinned haggis was already skinned (not in it’s bag), Nick and Jay on Bonaventure made a homemade version that could be paraded around and presented during the toast to haggis. Gerard gave the grace, Ned the toast to the lassies and I was honoured to give the ‘toast to the laddies’.
Afterwards we had a bit of Gay Gordons, a bit tricky in the small space available followed by an Olde Lang Syne singalong as well as a few other Scottish songs.
The party continued the next day with it being Australia Day. One of the things I love about MdR is the mix of nationalities and of course the opportunities to help those nationalities celebrate their national day.
The sun was shining, the sky was blue, not quite as hot as Australia but not bad for January in Europe. A vollyball court was set up on the beach and a fun afternoon was had flinging ourselves around on the sand for “Rest of World vs The Aussies” whilst tunes from down under played away and tinnies were downed.
I am pleased to report that unlike last winter’s Ultimate Frisbee game there were no injuries reported despite plenty of dramatic leaps and a few collisions.