Thursday, November 25, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving!

It seems very strange to be celebrating Thanksgiving this year in a country that doesn't celebrate the holiday at all. But then I suppose the first pilgrims to New England were escaping from the UK and so it is no surprise that the last Thursday in November is just another working day here in England. When I ordered the turkey the butcher seemed quite surprised - no doubt he was thinking "that's a bit early for Christmas".

Thanksgiving is not only an important US holiday, it also very neatly defines the start of the Christmas season. Here in England the build up to Christmas has already been in full swing for weeks but until Thanksgiving is over there is very little impetus for Christmas until tomorrow - when it really starts in earnest!

We will celebrate on Saturday with a turkey and most of the usual trimmings. Then we will raise a glass to friends with whom we have shared Thanksgiving in recent years, in particular Richard and Bunny Becker, the wine makers, in their San Antonio, Texas home. Two years ago we drove to San Antonio and stayed at the Menger Hotel, arriving at the Becker home at noon and leaving at nine in the evening. Topics of conversation were as varied and as lively as the fine wines we consumed, some from Texas, others from around the world. A memorable occasion.