Today the weather was bright but very cold, and Maheena's birthday too! At 2.00 Oktay, as planned, picked us up and then drove off to pick up his niece and nephew as well. We arrived safely at Cheshunt where we were greeted by Monika who said that Milan had hardly been able to wait for all of us to arrive.
Monika had laid the table which looked beautiful; she said it was the best one she had done. It was at this point I found I had forgotten to bring my camera! There were eleven of us, and Monika made a splendid Czech meal for all (last year she made a Turkish meal), that consisted of lots of different courses and many colourful platters of food, including one with lots of different small sweets that had been home made in a traditional way.
We spent a long time eating and talking, and had a large shot of gluvine made from plum brandy before we started; for medicinal purposes of course. Afterwards, some of the more stalwart of us went for a walk in the snow with the children, looking at the splendid decorations that were displayed by some of the people in the neighbourhood. It is amazing how easily Monika's mother Olga and I can communicate, neither of us having a word of the other's language.
We sat around talking and eating more than we should while the children played upstairs. Little Milan and a friend's daughter decided that they would get married when they grew up (they are presently only five years old). When it was time to go home Oktay took his nephew and niece home, and then drove back to Edgware with us, luckily there was not much traffic on the roads. We arrived home about 1.30am, only to find that the cat had almost finished packing his bags as he thought we had left home for good as we had been out so long. We then went tiredly to bed. It had been another nice day though!