For the last two weeks we’ve spent a wonderful time with Heike, Angela’s sister-in-law. We don’t get to spend much time together and even though Brian couldn’t be with us over Christmas, this festive season has been brilliant.
We arrived on 20th December to an amazing welcome from the dogs, who we absolutely adore. They are Tessa, Murphy and Piper – three completely different personalities, and all under the command of the cat, Oskar!
Poor old Murphy was seriously ill the week before, but he has made a full recovery…thanks to an extremely expensive diet going forward!
Heike had to work another day before her holiday began, but after Friday we started preparing for Christmas in earnest. Over the next few days we bought all the food needed, especially the salmon for the day itself and lots of bubbles. Heike and Dean went and bought a tree that we dressed on Christmas Eve, plus we visited Luneburg to see the market while Heike did some last minute shopping.
Whilst in Luneburg we also went to an ‘English’ tea room called Johnson’s where we had some delicious scones and a pot of tea. It was lovely and warm in there as well which was such a treat as it was so cold outside.
The Sunday before Christmas we visited an hotel in Bispingen called Schmucke Witwe, where they serve an amazing breakfast buffet. You could choose from all sorts of cereals, bacon, sausages, eggs in all variations, salmon, herring, as many different types of bread rolls you can think of and lots of salads stuffs.
As it was so full we were at one of the tables situated in the gift shop area, which only served to encourage us to buy things!
Christmas Eve was spent shopping for the fresh items we needed food wise, dressing the tree and taking the dogs on a very misty walk on the heath. Dinner consisted of a cold buffet, stuffed jacket potatoes and mini italian style filo pastries. We had a few games of cards, opened our presents then cracked open the bubbles and settled to watch a movie.
Christmas Day was even more relaxed – heaven! After a bottle of bubbly and breakfast Heike and I went for a very long walk with the dogs, while Dean chilled out at home.
Dinner started with Portobello mushrooms stuffed with blue cheese and tomatoes, followed a few hours later by a massive fillet of salmon, crusted with walnuts, garlic, lemon juice, parsley, sage and parmesan on a bed of roasted vegetables.
Late evening, after further card games Heike make crème brulees that perfectly rounded off a wonderful, relaxed day.
The period between Christmas and New Year was equally relaxing, spending time with Heike and the doggies. Heike had a couple of days away with Piper at an agility tournament where she came 2nd (Piper, not Heike!) so we made ourselves useful and painted the front room.
During our time there, Brian was able to join us for a few days and arrived back home on 31st December. Despite suffering from jetlag he managed to last (on and off) until midnight.
Dinner was a Raclette with both meat and vegetable options, alongside loads of delicious sides. We also watched ‘Dinner for One’, a German tradition apparently which was very silly but very funny. Same procedure as next year…?
When midnight came, oh my goodness! The German’s attitude to fireworks is nothing short of mental – every house must have spent hundreds of pounds on fireworks, that they left off in the street immediately outside their houses!
The spectacle lasted well over an hour and to be honest it was nerve wracking for us as our van was literally a couple of metres away from fireworks. We’d love to view the displays again, but no way will our van be anywhere near them next year…Brian and Heike are still not sure why we were so anxious!
Once we were sure the van wasn’t going to go up in flames, we relaxed and had a few bottles of bubbles to celebrate the arrival of 2019 along with some retro music until about 3am!
The day before we left, the four of us went out for dinner to Landhaus Höpen. Mother had given us some money to put towards a meal which was lovely, as we do not often get together.
We were all a little bit subdued to be honest, as it has truly been a wonderful couple of weeks together. The fact that we’ve all been so relaxed and chilled has been a delight and we cannot wait to see them in the summer, hopefully even in England…?!
Dog Walking Pictures