One of those mom tales … Christmas

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We had a rather eventual Christmas. Of all things, we had to be busy with the septic tank. The tank is full and the sewage pipe was blocked. Dirty water (from the toilet and shower and kitchen sink) seeped into our shower cabin.

I had to look for someone to clear the pipe and empty the tank in the middle of the night, at 11 o’clock, on 23rd. The guy we used to get for the job said he was fully booked. Desperate me suddenly remembered seeing some posters with phone nummber at the back lane. I went out to look for them and I really found some.

This new guy said his schedule for emptying the tank was also full. But he could come and do some initial clearing of the pipe. And with that, hopefully the matter could be esaed. The tank could be emptied on Christmas Day. An angel.

We felt relieved for the night, knowing someone would come on the next day. The guy did come and did some clearing, but alas to no avail. So, not that much peace at heart on Christmas Eve. And with high expectation we waited for Christmas Day.

The septic tank is at our neighbour’s backyard, five houses away, where the steps come down. And they are having a garden party today. The poor house owner was very much disappointed that it had to be done on the day of his party. I told him I had considered not using the bathroom and cleaning up the back lane (where the dirt flows out) for another day and ask the cleaning agent to come tomorrow (26th) . But then I am afraid we might have to take the risk of the tank overflowing in the middle of the merry-making..

A good thing he is a reasonable man. To pacify him, I gave them a Panettone meant for our Christmas celebration, with a note to explain the cleaner was coming not at noon but at 1:30.

The cleaning team arrived puctually at 1:30. Yes, quite extraordinary for HK standard. Yesterday he even called to say he would be one hour late.

At around 2:30 pm, we handed the backyard back to our neighbour. He was happy. So were we.

No merry Christmas as such, but yes, a happy one. 🎄

A Christmas with a functioning bathroom and toilet! What luxury!

Wish All a Happy Christmas!



A Little Christmas Carol for Natasha_08_Sword-Bridge

2017.12.17 A Little Christmas Carol for Natasha_08_Sword-Bridge_F.png


膽 琴心 邀新歲
頭 柳鬢 迎青舟

sword-bile harp-heart invite New Year
bridge-head willow-sideburn welcome green boat

On Monmon entering Cambridge (sword-bridge 劍橋)

A Little Christmas Carol for Natasha_05_The Story of Two (ii)

The Story of Two (ii)

Düsseldorf, Tuesday, 12.10.1999, 10:02 pm

Cont’d from (i)

After teaching Toshie, I rushed to the supermarket to get glucose and castor sugar for the syrup. REWE was closed already. I drove to OTTO MESS. It was still open. Got my stuff and dashed home to my chestnuts.

What a wonderful picture! All these naked chestnuts of different shapes and sizes. I began to put them into the big pot, taking very much care not to break them and feeling very proud of myself that out of so many I had only broken seven or eight.

On one hotplate simmered the chestnuts, on another I prepared dinner. A big Kohlrabi for only 39 Pfennig, plus the rest of the brown mushrooms I bought for our never-appearing guests last week. To make it a fine dish, I added some sour cream. Macaroni fried in olive oil and chives. A nutritious and economical dinner. All ready in 20 minutes.

Now, Otmar the non-vegetarian could not do without meat.

I looked into the big pot. Some chestnuts were breaking up. I turned off the fire, wanted to pour out the water but decided to warm up some minced meat for Otamr instead. The chestnuts could wait, or so I thought.

Dinner lasted only two minutes. But even then it was already too late. The chestnuts looked as if they had gone through an earthquake. Only two survived!

I refused to give up, digging out whatever that could be saved and put these pieces into the syrup as planned.

The rest was made into ‘chestnut chutney a la maison’. Instead of vinegar, I put in some red wine and cherry brandy. To make it something special I chopped up my last piece of ginger and mixed it with the chestnut and syrup.

Otmar was tasting my chutney when I asked him what his daily happy incident was today. We have started doing that for some days now. I think it fun to look at the half-full part of the glass of Life together. A few days ago he told me how he was eating a folded up pizza in the sun; and another day: he got praised by his boss and his colleagues. I was thinking today he might say: trying out this hard-earned product of mine made from the chestnuts we picked together.

Well, today his happy incident was eating out with this colleague whose wife gave birth to triplets some time ago. He got treated to a yum yum curry chicken sandwich by the proud father.

He did not ask me what my happy incident was. Probably he was thinking that with me feeling so sad about all the chestnuts being kaput, I might not have anything happy to tell…

But if he had asked me, I would have told him that my happy incident for today was that I found two whole chestnuts among the debris.

:):) 🙂 :))::):): ): ):):): ):):) 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 :):) 🙂 :):) 🙂 :):):):):): :):):)

2017.12.12 A Little Christmas Carol for Natasha_04_The Story of Two