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Bon Journal

Home is where the heart is

A home hardly feels like home if your heart is elsewhere. So if Mohammed can't come to the mountain, the mountain comes to Mohammed.

On this day, London public transport was closed, and the minicabs were king. For the fortunate guests, there were two stops to make today: Yasmin's for Christmas lunch and Lilian's for drinks.

The career woman turned gourmet chef Yasmin got up early to prepare an authentic Asian meal on this quiet day. Her mother supervised and rescued the chicken curry which was on the verge of tasting unauthentic. The minced pork patties were the most difficult to make, if not for a food processor. Arriving midway through the preparations, I was finally convinced that Yasmin did know how to cook.

Christmas is no longer for Christians only. It is one for families and family values. Ironically, New Year is an occasion to be single and flighty.

After years of travelling and being a guest at Christmas, I have learned to appreciate those hosts who bring out the heart in me, making their home feel like my own. Today I experienced all elements of a good Christmas: delicious home-made feast, laughter, conversation, and music.

25 December 2001 Tuesday

Christmas 2001 diary
21 Dec: shopping for Chinese dumpling ingredients in China town
22 Dec:
morning: shopping for cookie ingredients in local supermarket
afternoon: clean house
evening: chop Chinese leaf, mix dumpling filling
23 Dec: make dumplings, welcome guests from Netherlands, Birmingham, and Hanwell
24 Dec: make Christmas cookies
25 Dec: visit Holland Park and Highgate
26 Dec: make music
27 Dec: visit Uniqlo for winter sales, dim sum with friends from Colombia and California; visit music stores, see musical production
28 Dec: entertain new neighbours
29 Dec: revisit Uniqlo, prepare for Sunday
30 Dec: entertain friends from St Petersburg, London, and Dorking
31 Dec: prepare for New Year's Eve.