23rd December 2001
I lay awake for hours last night as it was rough and my mind was racing. I spent all of my wages and imaged so many scenarios of the day that we get to port, one of them is bound to play out in reality and I’ll experience a vivid sense of déjà vu. I’m quite sure that at least two of the scenarios, involving a troop of circus dancers and a private jet won’t come to pass, but I live in hope.
I finally dozed off at about half past four or at least the last time I looked at the clock was four o’clock. One good thing came from my restless slumber; I was mulling over the fact that the fax didn’t get sent when it occurred to me that I hadn’t taken off the 0 when I added the country code. Today I put my theory to the test and the fax sent successfully! Hopefully Dave will get it and I’m not too late to reserve myself a spot on the dive club’s Red Sea trip in February.
I asked Miguel what we are having for dinner tomorrow because in Portugal the main celebration of Christmas is Christmas Eve.
‘We are have the especial Christmas meal of Portugal.’ He said.
My ears pricked up, envisioning roast turkey or goose, golden roast potatoes and heaps of fresh vegetables. I wondered if the Cook could possibly rustle up a few pigs in blankets – that would go down lovely with a spoonful of cranberry sauce and some stuffing. And maybe even a Yorkshire pudding – I know that should go with beef but since it’s Christmas you can have all the trimmings, even cauliflower cheese. I decided that Yorkshire puddings were unlikely, but could cope with their absence as long as pigs in blankets were on the menu. Would the carrots be sliced or julienne? Honey-glazed or plain?
‘What is the traditional Portuguese Christmas dinner?’ I said.
‘Boiled salt cod, boiled potatoes and if the cook can find cabbages who isn’t a very rotten, he’ll boil some of them too.’
We looked at each other knowing full well that the cabbage was wishful thinking, we had run out of fresh provisions ages ago.
And so it was, that there was a large disparity between what I hoped for, and what were going to get. Hopefully my imagined homecoming scenarios will be more accurate.