I’ll be Home for Christmas

My final Saturday evening in Vigo of 2016 was much the same as every other one I’ve had. I watched Strictly Come Dancing with Katie and Leyre and drank some wine before heading to bed as no one wanted to go out in the end.

I woke up on Sunday and spent much of the day watching clips of Christmas specials of British sitcoms to try and find one that would be suitable to show in class on Monday. The problem was I couldn’t find any with subtitles so when I eventually showed them a 10 minute clip of Vicar of Dibley – when she ends up eating 4 Christmas dinners – I don’t think they understood much of what was said. On Sunday evening we went ice skating at a place that has popped up near the beach for the holiday season. We got there earlier than a few other girls so we walked along the promenade and watched the sunset which was absolutely glorious.


When everyone was there we got ourselves booted up and hit the ice. The last time I went ice skating was 2008 and the only skating I didn’t do holding onto the edge was when I was pulled around by other people. This time was slightly better in that I did manage to do a few laps solo but my legs were tense for the entire 45 minutes and there were quite a few children who felt the need to skate very quickly around without inspiring any confidence in others which was far from ideal.


It was lovely though and hopefully we’ll manage to get back before it shuts down in January. We then finished the evening with a fresh waffle and Nutella which was absolutely perfect.

My last few days at school were mostly just me watching the students practice plays for a festival they were having on Wednesday which mostly went off without a hitch. There was singing, adaptations of A Christmas Carol, flute playing, dancing and improv acting so an excellent range of acts.


The one thing I couldn’t understand was the amount of parents talking through the performances which just never would have happened at any of the school plays we had at St Pat’s – mostly because Mrs Clark, the head teacher, would have flipped her lid. We had hoped to still do crepe-nesday as Sofia, Katie and I were still all in Vigo but with time constraints – Katie and Sofia both had dinners to go to – we decided to leave it rather than having a 30 minute rushed crepe-nesday as our final one of 2016. I packed my suitcase while watching The Office – I’m baffled it has taken me this long to start watching it and John Krasinski is an absolute dream in everything – and finishing the wine I’d started on Sunday. I went to bed just after 9 as I had to be up just after 3 on Thursday morning to catch my bus.

I woke up on Thursday at 3.15 and after quickly throwing clothes at myself and putting the last of my things in my suitcase I called a taxi and went to the bus station. The bus was actually a lot better than I expected – it was only half full which meant I could spread my stuff out – but as usual I was unable to sleep and sat for the 2 hours staring out the window into the dark. We arrived in Porto not long after 5 – now GMT which meant I had in theory been up since 2’oclock – and luckily there were a few other teachers there which meant I had someone to chat to while waiting for bag drop to open. We walked slowly through the airport and I picked up a few things in Duty Free – 1l bottle of Bombay Sapphire for €21, yes please – and our flight left swiftly. I napped a little on the flight, played some solitaire and resisted the temptation to start buying drinks. Manchester airport moved quite quickly and before long I was on the other side, finally back in the UK, being hugged by Else – the dream. We caught the train back to her flat where I had a bagel before we quickly cracked on with the wine. Her dad popped in after work to take Henry, her cat, to their house for Christmas where he’ll be staying while Else is up celebrating her first Christmas with us. We continued on the wine and cheeselets until about 6 when he ventured out for some food. We went to Rudy’s – a pizza place – where we each had one of the best pizzas I’ve ever eaten and shared more wine.


The evening ended with me downing a glass and a half of red wine which I’m still just not sure how to feel about – get it together Erin – before we walked home and went to sleep.

I woke up on Friday morning feeling a little hungover but after getting dressed and heading out for breakfast I began to perk up quite quickly. We went to Moose’s – an American/Canadian diner type place – where I had waffles with bacon and maple syrup washed down with some excellent fresh mint tea – an absolutely joyous breakfast.


We spent most of the day wandering around Manchester where we bought a few things including another oversized men’s shirt in a vintage shop and some beautifully smelling body mist – perfect. We then headed back to Else’s flat where we chilled for a little while before packing our bags and having M&S ready meal curries before walking to the train stations. My Dad had been checking on the trains on their website and advised us it might be busy, it wasn’t and we got to enjoy our prosecco on a table without being disturbed.


We were back in Durham just after 10’oclock where my Mam and Dad picked us up and we went home to drink another bottle of fizz while watching Victoria Wood’s Midlife Christmas.

And today it’s Christmas Eve! Roisin is due home this evening and I need to wrap all my presents but other than that I’m not sure of the plans. But for anybody reading this, I hope you have an excellent Christmas surrounded by the people you love most!





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