It was my first Christmas in Majorca and on Christmas Eve it looked as if it was going to be one to forget. We had just arrived on the island and Majorca in 1975 was a far cry to the island as it is now. I remember my mother being told that if she wanted Bisto gravy or stuffing she had better get the next flight back to Britain. Anyhow, it was Christmas, which is extra special if you are five years old, and the Moore family had been invited out for Christmas lunch, which meant that Bisto, stuffing or even a turkey was not an issue - much to the delight of my parents.
But fate intervened and the carefully planned Christmas lunch was cancelled at the last moment. You can imagine the scene: a British family just arrived in Spain with no traditional Christmas lunch. My brother wanted to go back home and my mother in no uncertain terms demanded to know from my father why he had brought us all the way from England to a country which didn't know what Bisto or Christmas crackers were. I remember Christmas morning vividly; you could hear a pin drop in the Moore household. To be quite honest I was quite content because I had my presents but the rest of the family were in a pretty bad mood (to say the least).
All of a sudden the doorbell rang and a British friend of my parents arrived with half a turkey and all the trimmings. Moments later another friend arrived with crackers and a Christmas pud and, just when we thought it was all too much for us, another kind friend arrived with Bisto gravy and all the other Christmas essentials. It was glorious. Christmas had arrived just on time thanks to the British community who had rallied round to help their fellow countrymen in need.
To this day that Christmas in 1975 is known as the Dunkirk-spirit Christmas. The best turkey I have ever eaten Happy Christmas to you all.