Having reluctantly decided not to spend Christmas in the UK, we had some work to do. The following morning, Wednesday, I got onto the websites.
Boots had sent our day two PCR tests out, so we couldn't get that refunded. Trainline made it very easy to cancel our return tickets from Stansted to Norwich. There was a button to click. We had booked return lateral flow tests with a lab at Stansted. They were easily cancelled, too.
Ryanair - I was reconciled to losing the price of our tickets - expensive ones given the hold baggage we added, and sure enough, we were not allowed to cancel our trip. However, we COULD change our flights for a "small fee". We discussed dates with our people in the UK and changed the dates. It meant the tickets now were really very expensive indeed - were we throwing good money after bad? - but it gives us a date to visit the Norwich part of the tribe.
So now we were staying, but how to make it festive? Well on Wednesday we contacted people quickly to find out who was staying in Bordeaux for Christmas and had no plans. We thus collected a couple of folks to add to our merry group. We'd be six for Christmas.
Thursday morning found me meeting up to plan our preaching from January on. We met at our habitual café which is a short walk from the biggest city centre hypermarket, so once we had plumped for the plan I hoofed it off to Auchan.
We had discussed the possibility of buying a rotisserie chicken - wee can do these in our oven, but we'd need all the space we could for roasting vegetables of every description. I found a nice one that would do six people, but then thought it would be worth seeing what fresh birds there were. A handsome free-range bird (raised respectfully)caught my attention and made it into the basket. It was 10 euros, but it's worth paying extra for a happy bird for Christmas. Nevertheless I scanned the ducklings, guinea-fowl and other fowl, too.
Wow! Look at those turkeys! About 2 to 3 kg and very reasonably priced. For 7 euros I found a much bigger bird, and look! They were still raised respectfully in the rolling hills of the Lot et Garonne. I put back the chickens. The vegetables would just have to fit in somehow.
No Crackers. We still have a pud, but Froim and Catrin undertook to bring a dessert. We had two unopened jars of cranberry sauce in the fried that we cannot account for (spoiler alert - we still do). We were underway.
And all went well. The turkey proved difficult to secure to the spit, so in the end it roasted suspended but not rotating. The vegetables - carrots, parsnips, sweet potato, potato - fitted around easily. Stuffing was pre-prepared. We had no gravy granules, nor could any be found, so a traditional roux with stock had to do. Sprouts steamed for hours on the hob. We moved the table out to improve access. We played a stupid game. We watched the queen. We discussed dispensationalism. The things you do at Christmas.
Christmas Day being Saturday and many people being away visiting family, we moved the service to our home with the intention of consuming leftovers. Of course, there were no leftovers whatsoever, but we did have some pastry, some cheese and some ham, together with lots of onions, so I followed an idea from an Italian woman who demonstrates easy Italian recipes and made two tree-shaped cheese and ham, and cheese and onion pies. It was a simple idea, more origami than cooking, but it all went and people wanted the recipe.
Meanwhile Sylvain undertook to preach on Boxing Day and lined up Jean-Samuel to do the 2nd of January. I am being given a break. I'm not complaining!