Christmas Day food galore & the Boxing Day Hunt

My first English Christmas was unfortunately not a white one, but a jolly one all the same! It began Christmas Eve with the annual pub gathering of all within Dans family who drink alcohol, this consisted of Matthew, Alex (grandpa), and me & Dan. We went to a Samuel Smith pub which is an independently owned brewery, purely organic and cheap! Had a few pints, me of Cider, Dan of Stout and the other two who started a few hours earlier of Taddy Lager- all brewed in Tadcaster. As the pub got more and more packed with families making their way in for their Christmas Eve drink, we left, some stumbling more than others, and we collectively went back to Lynnes for some pizza and an early night. Christmas morning was a leisurely 7.30am start (makes a change to my usual 6.30 excitement waking me) and we opened up all our pressies. Lots of awesome goodies, including a wonderful food hamper from Lynne, and cozy warming clothing for this chilly 1 degree weather. Our hampers for Dans family were a hit with handmade goodies galore.
Christmas dinner was at 2pm, it consisted of Roast beef, turkey, Brussels sprouts, carrots, leeks, stuffing, Yorkshire puds, gravy, roast potatoes cooked in goose fat! Mashed potatoes and pigs in blankets! Followed by my extremely alcoholic trifle which turned everyone who dared try it a funny red colour, malteaser cake and crunchie pudding. (crunchie bars mashed into cream and meringues) A nap was in order after this feast. Followed by a lazy afternoon of slothing around and some knitting lessons from Pauline(nan.)
On Boxing Day Pauline (nan) and Alex ( grandpa) took me and Dan out to Easingwold a 20 minute drive from York to see the Annual Boxing Day Hunt. It was fabulous!! Seeing the 60 or so horses all done up, shaven to extenuate their muscles, plaited tails and the riders in their fancy coats, velvet hats and shiny boots. When we arrived the master who is in the red jacket was in a ring with the 20 or so fox hounds who were excitedly waiting the sound of the horn. All the other riders and their horses gather round the town square while they have a glass of port and some cigarettes! The master then blows the horn which controls the hounds and they parade round the small town centre twice, stopping at the elderly home to show those that can’t come out. As they trot round town, the dogs leading followed by the master in red and the other 59 riders, everyone claps. Another horn sound and off they went into the country side for a 4-5 or so hour hunt! Hunting is illegal in England however now they don’t use foxes, just the scent of one on a ‘runner’ therefore it’s still able to be practised. However there are often hunts that are cancelled due to the discovery of the masters ‘bagging foxes’ and using the real-deal with is punishable with prison! It was wonderful to watch.
Back to Selby tonight, work tomorrow then time to pack and get all prepared to leave for Manchester on Monday the 30th then to fly out on the 31st morning to Berlin.

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