Saturday, December 26, 2009
So what did I do on Christmas day? Well, it wasn’t the UK story of snow and ice and a red peaked northerner pulling a sleigh. It wasn’t holly and mistletoe and carols at the door. Here in Ghana there are black-skinned red peaked equivalents who are sleigh-less as far as I can gather and there are no chimneys for them to climb down. But I had little to do with them, either. It is the winter solstice period but that still means that temperatures are around 32 degrees. There is a national holiday for most and, taking advantage of this, we are staying three hours away from Accra on a beach. The chalet is simple but air conditioned and the seascape is rural and undeveloped with sheep outside the door, coconut palms a few metres further on and the breakers rolling in beyond that. Vultures the size of geese seem to like our roof, eyeing egrets hopping behind the sheep and picking up their droppings. Walking on the beach, we meet eight year olds who shimmy thirty feet up the palms to bring me coconuts which they prepare for me to drink. As I mentioned many blogs ago, coconut water can be used as an alternative to blood plasma, it being sterile and containing a large array of vital traces minerals.
Eating in the beach bar is simple, too. A fully grown and challenging lobster costs around five pounds. This was my alternative to turkey.
So there we are, an exotic Christmas break befitting one who finds most organised religion hypocritical and a travesty of human endeavour. But that’s just me. I hope you and your gods get on well this next year and make peace a priority. And the same goes for the godless among you!