My Last Xmas in Ireland

Front Door

This door was the front door in my last home in Ireland. It was a town house – meaning it had no front garden just a patch for a back garden which at the time suited me perfectly as I was fed up of all the work that having a garden involves! This house came with a whole army of gardeners who did all the work for the gardens shared by all. Handy.

Many different nationalities passed through this door; the same happened in all of the front doors in my homes, the diverse nations wondered in and out in huge numbers. That is exactly what we liked and loved to do. No other way is it more enjoyable and, also, enlightening to meet the foreigners than right at your own front room. Sure, it asks an awful lot of one’s stamina, personality and character. In return it gives so much more than it takes so that it is not a hard task, rather the privilege.

My last Xmas – that turned out to be that – was spent in Ireland in the company of a diverse international bunch of people in this house. I had said to my ‘gang’ of students that they were welcome to my house to celebrate and if they knew any other orphans to take them with them. So it was. We were 22 (!) of which 19 stayed overnight!! It was fascinating to see just how differently each nationality celebrates this festival and some that do not at all – like the Chinese girls that came whom I had never met before.

Each nationality brought their own speciality foods and they were shared by all. I made several dishes of something typically Finnish – like the Roasted Ham and Swedish – the Glögg, the Mulled Wine, that is the most typical to me of the Swedish tradition. The Chinese girls brought their specially made Chinese home cooked food. Needless to say, it disappeared in an instant! The Italians brought many things but one that I hadn’t tasted before which was the Panettone.

The following morning while some continued to sleep – the fourteen awake ones of the gang sat together for a tasty breakfast – for the late risers, like myself – cum lunch for the early risers! This time of togetherness in my house stands still as one of my fondest memories of this house and of Ireland in general.

Tis for now until the next posting. Riihele xx.

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