Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Oman: Christmas Eve

The mountains looked stunning against the clear blue sky as we drove to Tiwi to celebrate Christmas on the beach. There was a slight smell of wet Golden Retriever in the air and the sea was the colour of beef stock from the red tide which refuses to leave these northern shores. There may have been a hint of concern on Al’s face, but we assured the chaps (from experience) that the smell would not last.

The tents were up in no time and the car breathed a sigh of relief as it was slowly released from the burden of carrying the entire contents of the house, extra barbequing equipment and Christmas paraphernalia. Flossie decorated our luxurious Carrefour Christmas tree with red and gold stock cubes, topped with a teddy bear with a crusty left ear after being washed by one of the cats.

In accordance with our highly detailed programme for the next three days, the men collected sufficient wood for at least three fires and we began construction of the fire pits for the meat which will be cooked in the ground using a combination of Omani shuwa, American pit-roast and the latest making-it-up-on-the-spot techniques.

Late in the afternoon, Christmas tunes rang out from Al’s iPod as the sun set over the silver-coloured sea. Mother prepared racing driver’s ears (also known as stuffed pasta) and the citronella candles flickered festively under the Christmas tree.

Plans for tomorrow were finalised around a toasty fire radiating from one of the two pits. Flossie was sad that there wasn’t going to be any Christmas Eve snow like we used to get in Washington. That soon passed. We were all very excited.

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