Skype was invented in Estonia and we certainly made good use of it over our extended Christmas celebrations.
We began on Christmas Eve with a dinner cooked by Bob and Ana in their rented apartment and a Skyped exchange of Christmas carols with Ana’s enormous family in Spain. The need to perform meant that a significant portion of the afternoon was trying out carols to find ones we all found acceptably easy to sing and with words that made any sense at all. We then Skyped Australia for a chat with the grandparents down under – given it was the crack of dawn for them, there were no carols there. There was however live Skyping with Julia being chansed around the table by Declan carrying the computer with the camera on it.
Christmas morning dawned cold and clear with snow still sitting thick on the ground. Certainly thick enough for some serious snowball battles before a wander around the town. Then the ambulatory group went off for their third ice-skating session, while Julia and I continued to explore Tallinn. Declan can now skate without support and Jennifer is getting to that point. Callum has taken a couple of hard falls and was only persuaded to continue through the threat that if his bruises were really that bad then he should let his doctor-aunt take a look. After some quick teenage consideration he decided that ice-skating with bruises was better than having his aunt look at his bruised bum.
In the meantime Julia went to sleep in the stroller which allowed me to make a stop and buy some Glogg – the local spiced wine – from the Christmas Market. It must be said that there’s something particularly fine about standing freezing in a medieval town square warming your hands on a cup of spiced wine – it gives the distinct feeling that people have been doing the exact same thing for centuries. Once the wine runs out though you are left with the freezing bit and so we quickly retreated to the modern centrally-heated, double-glazed warmth of our apartment to watch Pingu.
In the mid-afternoon we all repaired to the Balthazar garlic restaurant for a lunch / dinner feast. It was a really lovely meal sitting under exposed beams in a room that is centuries old and looking out over the Christmas tree in the square. The food was great, and Declan had caviar on blinis for the first time. We did, however, discover that garlic ice-cream is a really, really terrible idea. Just don’t go there.