I am so blessed to have the wonderful Saint Vicky of Urmston & Horwich and her long suffering partner Jumbo with me just now.
Right from the moment I declared my intention to move 6,000 miles across the world back in May of this year, Vicky promised me that I wouldn’t be alone at Christmas because she was coming out to see me and true to her word, here she is.
Just like when mum and Auntie Yvonne were here in November and Alex before that, it’s an absolute joy to see the people I love in what is for now my home.
It’s been fabulous to spend Christmas day laughing at how our cheery Merry Christmases are met with stoney silence and faces that could curdle milk by sour puss foreigners riding the bamboo train.
Great having someone to share stories with, to chat with over breakfast or a brew (and the odd beer or two).
Wonderful to share my knowledge (or make up blatant lies when I don’t have the knowledge) with people who are genuinely interested in the culture and customs here.
Priceless watching Jumbo who was slowly getting his head around Cambodian road rules (or the lack there of) having same head blown wide open by Phnom Penh traffic.
Immense fun being with people who ‘get me’. Who allow me to be me with all my flaws and foibles and love me in spite of them.
But the ultimate joy of this visit so far has been having the opportunity to sample what must officially be the world’s worst alcoholic beverage – Cambodian red wine – with one of my two ultimate drinking buddies (Susan Baxter you were missed!). We ultimately settled on a description of the fragrance as being a cross between petrol and boot polish, but when it came to the taste we were flawed. Even my usual potty mouth couldn’t find an expletive strong enough to describe the shock to the system that occurred as the odd sour, bitter monstrosity slid (or more accurately burnt) down our throats.
However, I’m sure it will come as no surprise to those of you who know me and Vic to hear that in spite of the above we did, of course, down the whole glass. Well, all alcohol is good alcohol after all!