Liverpudlian is what they call the residents of husband’s hometown. It’s a pleasing word to say, what with its five syllables and internal alliteration, not to mention the hint of the whimsical that comes with sounding like Lilliputian. It’s hard to think of a better thing to be called. Unless of course you are from Hamburg, which makes you a Hamburger.

We’ve just returned from a weekend trip there, our only one away from Drovers Cottage this year other than our farewell trip to Paris in the spring. It was husband’s birthday present. Like any good port city it’s known for it’s red light district, but husband swears he picked it out of nostalgia for the business trips he took here often during our first year in London (which could be one and the same thing) and, at this time of year, the Christmas markets for which Germany is famous.

We visited several, but my favorite was the one in front of that overblown gothic marvel that is the Rathaus. It had four rows of stalls, the central aisle of which had a toy electric train running overhead, serving all manner of strudel and roasted chestnuts and pfaffen-something or other. Several bars kept the crowds well-supplied with gluhwein, despite which there was not a hint of the aggression or binge drinking I would expect in a similar environment in London. We drank gluhwein and rum grog and apfel punsch mit calvados. Having had a Dutch grandmother we grandchildren called Oma, I was practically obligated to sample Oma’s Einchpunsch, which turned out to be a potent eggnog. We ate well too – potato pancakes and lox, bratwurst, a raclette. It was more Christmasey than Christmas, which is just as well seeing as we’ll be spending it amongst palm trees with my parents in Florida.

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