2004-12-25 : Then one soggy Christmas Eve, etc.
Well that was fun ! My first Christmas away from home.
I was going to say “it's the little differences”, but let's face it – the differences were pretty bloody substantial. For starters, I didn't wake up feeling seedy on the floor in Jono & Julia's living room. There ends a slightly less than glorious tradition, but hey.
Another thing was that it was weird to be away from my family – as it was, I spent it with Charlie, Charlie's Mum & Grandma, and Steve… not that many of you will know who any of them are. But it was really cool, and I *almost* did as well on the kooky present front as usual (although I've got to say it – last year's 2 deckchairs and a hammer drill will really take something special to beat). We had a fantastic roast – probably far more food than we needed, but still awesome – watched The Queen's Christmas Message (although we had to catch the 6pm replay, because we'd ducked out to the Jolly Cooper for a quick pint and missed the 3pm broadcast), and even played a game of Scrabble. It's been ages since I've played Scrabble, and I fear that my bullshittery skills aren't what they used to be ! Certainly nowhere apporaching Steves “Oh, it's a medieval 6 stringed instrument”, or “That's a Chinese unit of measurement”. I managed to win, with some less than imaginative uses of the X, J and Z – I think I managed one word above 4 letters in the entire game !
Moving swiftly on, another key difference between Christmas this year and home is the temperature. Finally, it makes sense ! I don't think the others quite got it yesterday that I found it a complete novelty to be a bit chilly on Christmas Day – it wasn't a White Christmas in London, although it did manage to snow in several places around England, a fact whick many bookies aren't exactly over the moon about (according to the news story I just linked to, they've had to pay out £50,000 or so in bets !). But yes, anyway, it was… weird. When Steve & I got in the car to leave we had to wait about 10 minutes for the sheet of frost to disassemble from the windscreen. Adelaide, meanwhile, seems to be up around the 30 degree mark.
I did manage to enjoy a couple of the perks of home – as part of our great swag-o-booze I'd procured 6 bottles of Little Creatures, which went down rather well around the room. AND last night I got a call from Kristen in Canada, which was a totally excellent way to finish off the day.
I've got pretty much next week off, apart from Wednesday, so my intention is to try to call a few people (one really crappy thing about this time difference bizzo is that first thing in the morning I've never got time to call people, late in the evening I'm too tired to do so, and on weekends I just sleep in !) and catch up. Maybe get to and see a couple of the tourist attractions I've not yet managed to tackle, such as the Tower of London.
Finally, and fairly irrelevantly, I've got some GMail invites if anyone needs one – just send me a feedback message or something.