Tatas and Captain Caveman were having coffees by the time I was ready to leave the house on Monday 21st December. I was a bit hungover and so I had sausages and beans for breakfast, Tatas had peanut butter on toast while Captain Caveman had the infamous eggs benedict at Phong Nha Farmstay. I finally got my visa extension through and it was renewed until 9th January, but now it was too late to go anywhere in Vietnam for an anniversary or Christmas holiday so we abandoned that idea. I had been hoping we might go to Hoi An or Danang instead but money was tight and we needed what we did have so that I could go to Dong Hoi for the never ending physio! I couldn’t be bothered to make myself anything to eat for lunch so I made popcorn in my room and ate that. We decided to go to the Farmstay for a quick drink before deciding to have a (rare) night at home. Captain Caveman had made a delicious Coq Au Vin for dinner with the rest of the wine we hadn’t finished. Tomorrow was a special day but we still hadn’t decided if we were doing anything to celebrate.

It was 9 years since Captain Caveman and I met, on Tuesday 22nd December, the legendary ‘Cheese Night’. In the past we have celebrated our anniversary with trips away but of course, because of Corona, we weren’t going anywhere. Even to fly to Hanoi or Saigon I would need my passport and although I had got my visa extension stamp I didn’t have my passport back in my possession yet. Captain Caveman made me a brunch of bacon, mushrooms and toast which I had with jasmine tea. We had a walk and I completed it 1 minute quicker than last time but 12 minutes to walk 500 metres isn’t great!
The evening consisted of us celebrating our anniversary at the Farmstay with some Lindeman’s sparkling wine, by the fire, and chicken quesadillas to share. The highlight of the evening was a shepherd’s pie each at a table with other Farmstay guests. The shepherd’s pie was pretty tasty and I’m sure they improve each week!

On Wednesday 23rd December I was looking forward to spending some time with Captain Caveman as he had a day off and I had moved my physio for a Thursday appointment this week. However, it wasn’t what Captain Caveman was thinking as he planned to go on a 10km exploration walk with Veronika, Bich and Matty. We went to the Farmstay for breakfast and I had pho bo (my favourite) while the route and finer details of the walk were discussed. Back home I set about getting on with some tasks and immersed myself in my To Do List, I had buttered toast for lunch and I should have gone to meet the walkers at the Pub with Cold Beer but there was some confusion when Captain Caveman called me and I didn’t go. I had a message from Melissa who was on her way back to Phong Nha, from Hue, for Christmas with her family, at the Farmstay.
When Captain Caveman got home later that afternoon they had walked almost double the amount he had planned and he was so full of delicious BBQ chicken, pork, spring rolls and rice with peanut sauce that he decided we were staying in for dinner. He made spaghetti with salami, green peppers, mushrooms and parmesan (no sauce) which we had with a bottle of fizz.

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