Are you sick of hearing how perfect everyone’s life is at Christmas time? Then you need a card from me.
I add a “blooper” to my Christmas letter, to make our family news a touch more real. Following a list of happy highlights of our year I put one lowlight. I suspect some readers go straight for that. Here’s what I wrote for the last two years:
2011- Anchored in Pirate’s Cove on a sunny, July day, life seemed perfect. At least twenty boats were moored, enjoying the peace and serenity of Decourcey Island. We were returning from a paddle around the cove. To get back into the sailboat, all I had to do was step out of the dinghy. I’ll just transfer my weight, I told myself, stretching one foot on board the big boat, while one remained on the little one. The two boats parted ways, leaving me attempting the splits in the middle. I fell into the murky chuck. This would not have been such a bad thing except that: 1) swimming in this small cove is like swimming in a toilet bowl, 2) every mariner in the cove was watching and laughing, and 3) it was cold. I scrambled up the slimy rocks on the shore with the agility of a beached whale, and proceeded to walk with as much dignity as I could muster picking seaweed off my clothes.
2012 – Okay, I was stupid. But I was mad. And really it was the mosquitoes fault. Our apartment in Florence filled up with them at night, silent deadly beasts with voracious appetites that ate us alive as soon as we closed our eyes. So Piet bought a citronella dispenser. It cleared the bugs out of the rooms with an acrid smell that burned the inside of my nose and made me nauseous, but didn’t bother Piet. I made it through the night, but by morning I’d had enough. I muttered to my half asleep dearly beloved, who I wanted to strangle, that I was leaving. I thought I’d grab a cappuccino in a restaurant But then I decided to go a bit further…then further still…until three hours and several miles later I had to admit I was truly lost. No map. No Italian. No bus. Lost. Meanwhile, Piet was stuck in the flat with the only set of keys, and a broken cell phone. (The full story is on the blog. It gets much worse before it gets better. Not an adventure I plan on repeating.) …But at least I didn’t end up covered in seaweed in Pirate’s Cove this time.
Today, I’m writing this years story. My biggest problem is choosing which embarrassing stupid thing I did. There are so many. I think I’ll go with July in New York City.
How about you? What do you include in your Christmas news letter to friends and family?
And now for something completely different, here is a video of a flash mob in Holland. It’s really worth watching.
The Night Watch by Rembrandt (1642) is probably the most famous painting in the Rikjsmuseum which is re-opening in April.