Christmas time. That is me in the pool by the way - 27 December 2008

A new kind of Christmas: 30 degrees, in a swimming pool, in Africa. Time to start new traditions!


Christmas 2004 . 2005 . 2006 . 2007 . Read the stories. Get the trend. I started this site only in 2004, after my long trip to America, so you can only take my word when I say that Christmas 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003 were pretty much more of the same.

In 2007 I had the nice addition of the bachelor party which, due to the nature of the celebration, is technically allowed only once in your lifetime.

Everything else was pretty much the same: exchange gift with Rob in London, land in Italy, celebrate Giuseppe's birthday, then Christmas, then meet up with long lost friends, maybe travel to visit some more, and then celebrate even more by drinking a lot of beers, cocktails and grappas in the usual places (mostly the Texas Pub in Legnano, Italy).

So i had doubts. I got married, and the decision was to alternate our christmases: one in South Africa, one in Italy and so on until God knows when.

2009 was South African's time. Did I say I had doubts? You see, for ages Christmas for me was about spending my cold nights in the comfort of friends (and family, for 2 days) at the pub. Buy drink, celebrate, get drunk, wake up, waste time and repeat for 7-8 days. Then fly back to London to celebrate New Year's eve with Rob, on our sofa, watching a selection of classic films and getting very drunk in the comfort of our small flat.

I like traditions. When I make new ones, I like to keep them for long. South African for me was a totally new experience. Where is the cold weather? Where are the pubs? Where the friends?

Yes, it was different, but it was a return of some old values and traditions that I was so keen to celebrate when I was a kid, before alcohol, London, etc...
Some parts of it were quite stressfull (Christmas shopping for your family? How many people did you say? How MANY?) who took 3-4 days of endless walking and searching through departments' stores scattered around our area.

Everything else was, well, warm. Lindsey's family took over my house to prepare a Christmas day for around twenty people. I was never so happy to be left in the background of the operations. All I had to do was buy drinks, mix drinks, serve drinks and some other small stuff. Their family was a well-oiled war machine who could prepare, deploy and clean up in very effective way.

Everyone had a great time. I guess with 30 degrees outside and a pool to soak your Christmas wish in it would be difficult not to, but for me it was fantastic. Yes, I missed my family. Sure, I missed my friends and phoning all of them wasn't enough. But what could I do? I decided to celebrate with my new family and hope that the next year, when Lindsey comes to cold Europe, she would have as much fun as I had.

I got fantastic gifts by the way. Watchmen, the comic book, some new clothes and one of those floating armchairs, which obviously became soon the best gift of them all.

Here is some picture. As you might have noticed, most of them are from flickr , which I've been using more and more to archive my personal pictures...

This is christmas in South Africa!

Olaf and Lindsey in the new olympic sport

The Olafmeister relaxes