Picture of the Week

21 December 2016

Week 51: Christmas lunches and winter storm

Filed under: — Administrator @ 07:44

The week was marked by two things: three Christmas lunches, and a continuous weekend of strong wind and rain at the end of the week (and continuing into the following Monday).

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As in most other workplaces, we have a Christmas lunch in the department. But in addition, as we are an international office, the various nationalities also arrange their own celebrations. And since I belong to at least two nationalities at the office, this meant that I attended three Christmas lunches during the week. The first was the Danish lunch on Tuesday, held in our office restaurant:
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Birgit is the highest-ranking Danish person at the office (she is a deputy director of our customer service department), but you wouldn’t know it. She is great fun to be around:
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One of the cooks at the restaurant is Swedish, so he is familiar with Scandinavian food and was able to make us the traditional Danish Christmas lunch food. We did skip the customary large quantities of aquavit, since most of us intended to work in the afternoon:
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Two Danish ladies:
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Poul Søren was one of the instigators of the whole thing, and he also came up with some little games during dessert:
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Sadly, I had to leave early for a meeting, skipping dessert. Which was too bad, since the dessert is in many ways the most traditional part of a Danish Christmas lunch. It is a type of rice pudding, called risalamande, in which an almond is concealed. The person who finds the almond gets a little present, called mandelgaven (literally: “the almond present”):
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When I go cycling after work at this time of the year, the ride finishes after sunset. That makes it a bit less pleasant, but on the other hand I get to see the nice decorations, like here on the church square in El Campello:
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On Wednesday we had our department Christmas lunch:
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This time, the food was regular Spanish stuff (which, objectively speaking, is better than the Scandinavian food even though I have an emotional attachment to the latter):
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My fish:
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Dulces navideños to finish the meal:
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Then, a delightful surprise on Thursday morning. About 10 minutes after I showed up at the office, two delightful Welsh ladies came with a gift of good beer. Katie and Sam wanted to thank me for taking them out for lunch the week before:
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All week, the lobby of the office is transformed into a Christmas market, with various local charities setting up booths and selling stuff to raise funds. I always buy a few items to support the good causes. This is a cat rescue charity from which I bought a wall calendar and a tote bag to hold the purchases from the other booths:
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Asoka el Grande, a dog rescue charity which is indirectly responsible for our Cheeta–one of the ways they rescue dogs is to arrange adoptions by people in countries like Switzerland or Germany where there are no stray dogs. We adopted Cheeta from a shelter in Zurich in 2001, and Asoka was the organisation that got her from Spain to that shelter:
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On Friday evening it started raining, and it continued all weekend. In other parts of the province there was considerable flooding, and a couple of fatalities as well, but on our street it was just wet:
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I did manage to walk Cheeta on Saturday morning during a lull in the rain. The golf course did not look very inviting:
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I was deeply annoyed about not being able to go cycling–the rain was one thing, but coupled with wind gusting up to 80 km/h even a crazy Mamil like me decided to stay off the bike. Instead, I drove to El Campello to take a walk along the beach:
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Not much use for these today:
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No action on the golf course either. This is the view from my kitchen terrace:
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The wind would have made playing golf interesting, to say the least:
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On Saturday, I had the last of the week’s Christmas lunches, the Polish one. It was held at a Basque restaurant, conveniently located 5 minutes’ walk from my home. The person at the end of the table is Michał, a Polish economist on my team:
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Studying the menu:
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My choice, grilled cod:
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My neighbour at the table. I did not know her; in fact, I did not know most of the people beforehand. There are quite a few Polish people working at the office, and I am more part of the (smaller) Danish community than the Polish one:
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