A Surprise Christmas

Having spent Christmas 2008 in China it seemed a bit of a pity to miss out on the festivities for a second year running so I decided to make a last-minute surprise visit home without telling anyone I was coming.


After nearly 20 hours of travelling, I flew into Norwich via Amsterdam from Hong Kong on the morning of Christmas Eve and turned up on my parent’s doorstep shortly before midday. To say people were surprised would be an understatement (luckily none of my family has heart conditions!).

Tree + Sarah

It felt rather weird to be thrust directly into the Christmas spirit without the usual months of buildup which usually proceed it in the UK. It was however much nicer to experience it in person rather than through a Skype webcam session as was last year (however novel it may have been).

Christmas Turkey

Of course, food is a big part of Christmas and the traditional turkey is a must. While looking like a big chicken the taste is markedly stronger and more flavourful. As ever my mum excelled herself – the 8,000-mile trip was almost worth it just for this! I often wonder why people only eat turkey once a year…

Marsh View

Coming from the relatively warm south of China to the freezing south-east of the UK was a bit of a shock to the system but being a hardy Brit my body soon adjusted and a few nice walks outside in near-zero degree conditions were had. Although there was a bit of snow when I first arrived most of it had thawed after a couple of days.


I have a terrible memory but was happy to find that after nearly a year of not driving that the old skills hadn’t disappeared. I always find it’s weird how your brain is able to learn and retain certain complex things as if they were second nature but for other simpler things it’s near impossible (for me anyway).


I’ll be heading back to China on January 4th so get to enjoy jet lag twice in so many weeks. Hopefully, someone will invent a teleportation device before too long!

David avatar

4 responses

  1. Stevo avatar

    Great stuff.

    I’ve always wanted to do that: A big surprise. I haven’t been home for Christmas in 5 years.

    Tasty Buffet at Coast City mall does cook a hellva turkey.

    1. 5 years! Sounds like a trip home is way overdue!

  2. Hi David, chanced upon your blog and I’m lucky I did. Your pictures look terrific, especially for a point & shoot. Did you happen to photoshop them or is the panasonic DMC-LX3 a terrific buy? Accompanied with your photography skills, of course… But I’m finding the colours extremely sharp for a p&s so i was just wondering…

    1. Thanks for your kind words! The LX3 is as awesome camera which takes great pics without needing much adjustment – most of the time I shoot on full auto. I do tweak things a little in iPhoto but nothing substantial. Check out my review here –


      I have a feeling their bringing out a new version soon. May be worth checking out.


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