The Greek God(zilla) woke up at Yiayia’s house on Boxing Day with
a raging hangover and flu-like symptoms and loss of voice.
This often happens when there is a long drive ahead of us and the car needs to be packed. However, some turkey leftovers and a cup of Yiayia’s special tea from Crete did the trick, and by midday he felt well enough to get up and embark on the 2-hour journey to visit my Mum’s side of the family in Colchester, Essex.
The Boxing Day party is a family tradition on my side, that has been going on for many years. I have attended this family get together for as long as I can remember (my teenage ‘dark years’ excluded and
forgiven never spoken of).
My mum is one of six children. They have all gone on to get married and most have had children of their own. The first batch of offspring have in turn, gone on to get married and have children of their own. The next batch are teenagers, or approaching so, and it will not be long before they are also bringing partners home to meet the rest of the family.
All in all, there are over 30 of us in attendance these days, spanning four generations.
The format for the day has remained the same over the years. It is hosted at the house of one of the six siblings every year. Booze and food is plentiful and one of my uncles will dress up as Father Christmas to hand out the presents.
This year it was the turn of Uncle Pete. Married to my mum’s sister, Linda, also our hosts for the day.
Dan and John are their children. Dan is married to Louise, she makes the best cupcakes, ever. This is a fact. The Greek God(zilla) likes her a lot because she is pretty and laughs at all his jokes. Dan & Lou have an 18-month old daughter, Isabelle.
John is recently engaged to Marie.
Not to be confused with Marie, married to my Mum’s brother, Mick. Or with Maria, married to my cousin Robert. Or even with the other Mick, who is married to my Aunt Jackie.
There is a lot to remember and I am impressed when he matches all the couples with their children, their siblings and their jobs correctly.
I could not even tell you what Uncle John (not to be mistaken with cousin John) does for a living. I think it is something to do with money and he tells me he is quite good at it. Uncle John is married to Jennie and they have 3 children – Jessica, Phoebe and Callum, the youngest of my first cousins.
‘I made your favourite cupcakes’ said Louise to the Greek God(zilla) when we arrived. His face lit up.
While he scanned the room to locate the exact whereabouts of the cupcakes, Zachy was similarly scanning the room for his favourite playmate, Grandad.
And, that was the last we saw of Zachy for a few hours.
Sue & Cliff arrived after us, armed with a trifle. They have two boys – Robert and David. Rob is married to Maria and they have a little boy, James. David is married to Kelly and they have 3-year old twin girls, who I think must be my second cousins and Zachy’s third? I am not sure how it all works out, so let’s just say they are cousins.
I hardly recognised my cousin Katie, who arrived with her parents Jackie & Mick. Last year she was young girl and this year, an Amazonian Goddess. Just beautiful. She has a sister, Sophie, who I still think of as being 12 years old, but she is probably closer to 18 now. They have a brother, Luke, who I am certain was a baby the last time I saw him, yet he looks about 11 now. It is scary.
At the helm of this family, is my Nan. She has 6 children, 14 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren and she manages to get us all together, in the same room, every year.
She also hand knitted scarves for every single one of us girls. Here we all are wearing them.
What a legend.
We quickly dosed the Greek God(zilla) up with Lemsip, before leaving to start our drive back home with a boot full of presents and a traveling cupcake.
‘Much better than yours, love’ remarked the Greek God(zilla) between mouthfuls of sponge and fresh cream.
They really are delicious, I must get the recipe.