Read the first chapter….
Sitting on her flight back to London Pippa was glad having kind of survived the family Christmas celebrations which had turned out in a more stressful event running from one Christmas party to the next all within three days.
The Christmas day had started with a lunch with the neighbors followed by a late afternoon celebration at her brother’s house and with the third destination at the Christmas dinner party at her father’s girlfriend’s house including the girlfriend’s daughter Bea which Pippa had not met within sixteen years. Contrary to descriptions from Pippa’s brother that Bea was a kind of irritating person, which was no surprise with that kind of a mother, she would not have any other chance.
Actually, Bea had turned out to be a really nice, witty and very sympathetic woman. She was joined by her once lover but now ex-boyfriend and a good friend who seemed also to be a very charming, likable guy. Next to Pippa was sitting Izabella her brother’s girlfriend’s daughter who had also arrived from London only four days ago by surprise, joined by her mother. On the opposite side, Pippa’s brother, her father and his girlfriend had taken a seat at the table and a little Whity underneath the table, one of those little terrier mix dogs who Bea and her then lover and now good friend had found on a Sicily holiday as a lost dog and had brought the little animal over.
They all had enjoyed a very delicious Christmas goose as the main course and closing with a variety of desserts and sweets from cinnamon parfait with a hot plum mouse, coco pudding with mango sauce to an untraditional Christmas pudding made with Jameson Whiskey. They all had spent a joyful evening with festive cheer in its own way but very different from the Christmas Pippa once knew from her childhood. She remembered a Christmas when they still were the picture-perfect portrait family. Her Grandmother who had spent the year before Christmas Eve with one of Pippa’s ants, one of her mother’s sisters with a quite chaotic Christmas party experience, where the tree had caught fire and the Christmas night had turned out into one of their typical family fights where none of the family members would talk to each other for at least a week.
That year grandma had been sitting on one of the black leather Ray&Charles Eames chairs in her typical flower dresses that she used to wear. The one for Christmas differed only in the color as this one was black with golden and white flowers, unlike her usual flower dresses that showed painful color combinations of lilac, blue, yellow and turquoise. In addition, she was wearing some black flat ankle boots that came together with some skin-color knee-high socks. In her grandma-style, she was commenting the Christmas night with her little sarcastic bits and bites. While the family was singing Christmas songs in the shimmering light next to the Christmas tree which was lighted with real candles: “Oh, that Christmas tree, a noble fire and the blond Pippa on the piano, this is a Christmas,” and she added cynically “so typical German.”
The next day Pippa had visited her neighbor who had their Christmas party with a three-year-old, the grandchild and a single mother who had the trouble with the kid’s Dad where the communication was only possible through the courtroom. They had reported one triumph but would have the next battle about more holidays sharing with the kid.
Pippa made a quick visit to her brother’s wife before she had another dinner with the family. Her brother and his girlfriend would head off to Cannes, the girlfriend’s daughter had a flight to Moscow, her father’s girlfriend’s daughter with the good friend would take off to Bangkok.