because it’s Christmas time – I repost the first Chapter of the book Blend 37 – Pippa Bow
Sitting on her flight back to London, Pippa was glad to have kind of survived the family Christmas celebrations, which had turned out to be 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 being the Christmas dinner party at her father’s girlfriend’s house, including the girlfriend’s daughter Bea, whom Pippa had not met within sixteen years. Contrary to Pippa’s brother’s description of Bea as an annoying person, which was unsurprising given her mother, she would have no other choice. Actually, Bea had turned out to be a really nice, witty and sympathetic woman. She was joined by her once lover but now ex-boyfriend and a good friend who seemed to also be a very charming, likable guy. Next to Pippa was 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 was 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 had all spent a joyful evening filled with festive cheer in their own way, but it was nothing like the Christmas Pippa remembered from her childhood.
She remembered a Christmas when they were still were the picture-perfect portrait family. Her grandmother, who had spent the year before Christmas Eve with one of Pippa’s aunts, 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 to be 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 visited her neighbor, who was having a Christmas party with a three-year-old, the grandchild, and a single mother who was having trouble with the kid’s dad and where 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 good friend would take off to Bangkok.