Cooking and shopping were our priorities at Christmas. We stored enough Italian food the week before and carefully planned the menu and how to prepare the dishes. My daughter made her famous lasagna, enough for three days at least, while my mother and I prepared the fish for Christmas Eve and the duck and sides for Christmas day. For pudding, we bought Pandoro, Panettone and torrone. We went to the Italian mass, of course, where we met the Italian community and sang the traditional Italian Christmas carol, Tu scendi dalle stelle (you come down from the stars), but ended with We wish you a Merry Christmas.
My favourite Christmas meditation was Mary’s song:
“He has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.”
(Mary’s song, Luke 1: 51-53)
I consider it typical disruptive feminine language (technically: écriture féminine), which is what I am studying at the moment. A different view of the world that tries to unsettle the male order. I’m a fan of écriture féminine.
My Christmas motto was on my glittering t-shirt I wore on the day: Ski you later, a pun to state in a casual way that what matters in everyday life are the little things, as the big ones are made of them eventually, and are too abstract and unreachable as a whole, often doomed to failure.
In the evening we watched the Great Gatsby with Leonardo Di Caprio and Carey Mulligan, a masterpiece (both the book, the story, the film, and the other film directed by F.F. Coppola), we discussed and compared the different actors and characters, especially Gatsby and Daisy, alluring as ever.
On Boxing day we ventured in some crazy shopping in Guildford and Camberley looking for more stuff to accumulate for winter, in a shopaholic lethargic mood. We found good bargains: earrings, coats and shoes. Not something we really needed but it was fun, and not so expensive.
My husband came back for New Year’s Eve. My mother and I decided to make homemade tortellini for the occasion. We prepared the dough and the filling (two kinds of meat plus mortadella) and set to wrapping and curling the tortellini one by one. The final result was OK on the whole, not perfect, but genuine, and everybody kindly said it was delicious. We prepared lentils as well (according to tradition they mean prosperity for the new year) and luganega, an Italian sausage.
To end the night, we watched a Japanese film (Like Father, Like Son by Hirokazu Kore-Eda), Jury Prize at the Festival of Cannes 2013. A remarkable story about two sons switched at birth in hospital and raised for six years by their non-biological families. It puzzled me a bit, especially some traits of the Japanese culture and the female characters, so different from western ones. But I should start becoming familiar with it as my daughter is about to do a two-year Master in Tokyo, beginning this April.
Ski you later, alligator.