Are you ready for Christmas?
PUBLISHED: 15:00 17 December 2019
Picture: Caitlin Dormer
Guest columnist Roger Bourgein is taking a relaxed approach to Christmas this year.
Greetings citizens and visitors to Exmouth, this jewel set midst Devon's red cliffs, green hills and silver seas!
To me, the end of each year always brings a scientific miracle - time itself changes! I mean it becomes a moveable feast!
I know who my family and friends are, who I want to share my love with, who I want to show empathy and affection to.
So why is it that every Christmas I say to myself, "This year you're gonna have all the time in the world for writing and posting cards and for buying and wrapping presents", but I always run out of that fixed constant in our lives - time!!
Those last few weeks of December magically evaporate, leaving that last fortnight, then, no panic, Rog, that last week!!
For by then, instead of that lovely feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction, and that can border on smugness, I am reduced to worry, anxiety and guilt!
So, my answer this year? Say yes to an invitation to spend the first two weeks of December with my friend Aline in north western Holland.
This is a land of huge forested sand dunes, polite and courteous people and bicycles - lots of bicycles!
There are differences.
Before I left home I discovered waiting time for a doctor's appointment was up to two weeks.
Here in Holland, having discovered I'd left a blood pressure pill behind, Aline rang her surgery at 9am Monday and I was seen by a doctor at 3pm that afternoon, went downstairs to the pharmacy and walked home, clutching my pills!
The food is different; supper was five smoked eel, each a foot long! To eat: hold in both hands, snap off the head then run your thumbs down the belly slit sliding off the slippery oily thick skin, revealing a pristine whiteness of eel flesh, moist oily deliciousness that melts in your mouth!
I'll be home mid December but I ain't worried, not one little bit!!