Time to make the Christmas Cake.
I have always found it hard when someone needs help and I am not able to understand them. They must think I'm so rude as I mumble my excuses in English or a very broken take on their language and shrug my shoulders, shake my head, looking around for someone else to help them and then walking on as they stare after me in disbelief.
Having survived the supermarket without any more drama, it was home to soak the fruit in brandy. (As well as testing a little of the brandy ourselves - it would have been awful if the tipple had gone off...ahem...)
Making this year's cake proved much less of a traumatic experience than last year. We had the tin (the expensive tin we had to buy last minute out here), we had all the utensils we needed, and we knew in advance what to by instead of treacle, and that the different, non-English sugar and flour, would work.
Fed and wrapped up securely, it is now sitting in the top shelf of one of the kitchen cupboards. Every time we open the cupboard to get bread or honey, we get a rich whiff of fruit and spices.
Talking of things Christmas, we walked the route we took on Christmas Day.
It looked so different with it's orange tint rather than white blanket.
Once at the top, instead of being greeted by the glorious view and a white dead end, the lack of snow meant we could see a path down the other side, as well as the gates into the Notre-Dame-des-Neiges graveyard being open. Not quite sure where the other path lead, and feeling somewhat tired, we chose the graveyard option. This may sound a little weird, but the graveyards on the side of Mt Royal are - dare I say it without sounding weird - pretty spectacular. Established trees and bushes interspersed the beautifully kept graves, the tarmac lanes cutting through amongst some impressive tombstones and huge crypts.
We were in danger of getting lost amongst the network of un-signed lanes, but thankfully we had our phones on us, and with them access to the internet and maps, so were able to do a circular route both through the NDG graveyard and also through the neighbouring Mt Royal Cemetery.