Haibun – Christmas, 1980

After college, I spent a few years traveling around Europe, picking up work here and there. In one such adventure, I worked in a shelter for homeless East End London youths. This was back when Docklands still had bombed out buildings from the Blitz and Cockney was what you heard in the streets.

I volunteered for the Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day shifts. It would just be me and about a dozen teenagers who were runaways or who had been tossed out by their parents. They had been living under bridges or worse, and the shelter gave them a place to stay until we could “get them sorted.”

Breakfast and dinner both were beans and toast. Every day, day after day. There was one smallish gas oven/stove, and one pan to heat the beans. You can guess where this is going… Correct!  With no cooking experience whatsoever, I went out and bought a huge turkey and all the fixings so I could make the kids a proper Christmas dinner.

My ability to grossly underestimate a situation is a hallmark of my life, and one of the things my friends and family say makes me so endearing.

Dinner a bit late
Turkey rolling on the floor –
Hilarious stuff



For Frank’s Haikai Challenge

14 thoughts on “Haibun – Christmas, 1980

  1. I believe the saying is ‘generous to a fault’ –
    A wonderful memory – thanks for sharing.
    Reminds me of the first time I made a certain dumpling type soup and didn’t quite follow the direction and had wall to wall huge ‘cannon balls’ when I opened the pot lid. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha. I’m not the best cook either but we dare to try! Baking a chicken tomorrow. Fingers crossed no fire extinguishers will be involved 😉 Where did you travel in Europe? Lovely writing as always.


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