post christmas roundup 2012

oh christmas tree 2012
Ahhh... Christmas... 24 hours that it takes (at least) a month to prepare for... not even 24 hours in fact... in essence it boils down to maybe the hours between about 9am and possibly about 3pm...

Not that that's necessarily bad, it's just something that I tend to notice more and more the older I get. And possibly the longer the Christmases that Ma and I have are pretty much the same with little variation, the more I notice it.

And again, not that I don't like our very simple Christmas routine... I'm just, you know, thinking out loud... call it post-gluttony reflection.

Anyway, as I was saying, some of the minor details to our Christmases vary from year to year, but for the most part it's all the same.

I woke up super early for some reason (around 5am) but didn't really jump out of bed in a hurry or anything... I did kind of what I would normally do in the mornings, lay in bed fiddling with my phone, easing into the day gradually.

As I'd done pretty much all of the organising I needed to do last night before I went to bed, I only really needed to shower and get dressed. Which I did eventually...

I always try and make sure that I have an entirely new set of clothes for Christmas... I like being able to put on something that I've never worn before on a special day. I think it's probably a holdover from when I was a kid when we always had new clothes for Christmas. Sometimes they were presents, sometimes they were just the new clothes for the day.

And in line with the day, my new top was a very Christmas red. Hohoho, etc.

Once I was finished with making myself pretty I sent a suitably esoteric Christmas morning message to Ma and after loading up the car (although I forgot to bring my tripod... there's always something... so if the photos are a tiny bit blurry that's why) it was just before 7am when I was in the car and away.

It was also nice to have the boys from The Talking Poofy Poofcast keeping me company on the drive up the road... as I tweeted when I got to Ma's I do love a laboured fingering/Narnia metaphor on Christmas morning. It's all about subverting the seasonal genre or something.

Anyway... Ma wasn't really in any stage of readiness when I got to her place... other than having a couple of batches of ham hearts and mince tarts making their way out of the oven as I arrived.

That did mean that the first fifteen minutes or so were more about getting things organised than a general feeling of Christmas... weirdly both of the other times I've been down to Ma's place this month she's probably been more organised than she was on the actual day.

But whadyagunnado...

Eventually we sat down for breakfast, which was our usual repast of croissants (it's not fancy, but it's a treat) and iced coffee.

Then, because we had some time before we were due at La Cousina's place Ma went out and organised the BBQ while I gathered together everything to set the table for lunch.

Once we were done with that it was time to pack up the stuff for La Cousina and Co and head down the road.

Oddly enough, sometimes you put something out in the universe and it kind of ends up circling back to you... a week or so ago at work I was chatting with one of the girls from our extended team and happened to mention the fact that I never sit down when we're at La Cousina's at Christmas... and while I don't know that I had ever actually verbalised the reason before, I said to her that I think it's because I don't really want to hang around for that long, so I don't want to "make myself comfortable". And I happened to mention this to Ma in passing at breakfast.

Then once we got to La Cousina's and we'd move past the "hello" stage there was talk of getting chairs and whatnot and La Cousina herself actually said that I never sit down at Christmas. Fortunately I was able to invoke the "I have a bad back" card and divert the topic of conversation on to the fact that my back still isn't right... so that was useful.

I also got to meet Princess T's boyfriend for the first time... he's a little bit Generic Straight Gen-Y Boy, but he seems like, you know, a person. And he's a little bit cute in that aformationed generic fashion. He does happen to share my birthday too... which gives him a whole slew of extra bonus points. Because, clearly, March Babies rock... but March 14 Babies... awesome!

I don't think we actually stayed as long as we usually have in the past, partly because Princess T and GSGYB (yeah, pretty sure he's not going to feature enough to get a unique nickname) had to head off, so we made our own excuses and headed back to Ma's place.

Since I'd said to Ma that I'd kind of like to be eating lunch some time before 2pm (you know, I'm strange like that... to want to eat lunch at, well, lunchtime), once we got back we set the BBQ going (which always takes a while until the coals are ready), so then it was time for presents!

This will sound slightly materialistic, but didn't get a whole bunch of presents this year, and some of it was stuff that I'd bought for myself but put away for Christmas (the stuff with the asterisks after it just so that I remember later)... but I'm okay with that, as I've said a few times to people recently, there really isn't very much stuff that I want, or more importantly, need... anything that I do need I can buy myself, and my growing art collection not-withstanding, I really don't have a lot of room for other random stuff.

So this year's haul includes:
  • Lego Star Wars R2D2 *
  • Lego Minifigure Case *
  • Lego Star Wars Twin-Pod Cloud Car & Bespin
  • Hallmark Catwoman ornament
  • For the Love of Bali 2013 Bel Ami/Howard Roffman calendar *
  • Avengers box set (The Avengers and all five "prequel" movies)
  • Futurama Season 7 box set *
  • Kick Ass 2 graphic novel *
  • Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett
  • Snuff by Terry Pratchett
  • Kiehl's Facial Fuel moisturiser (plus free samples all in a pretty box)
  • Lunartik vinyl toys (I bought four of these and ended up with Apple Bubble Tea and Wild Shroom... Ma got Emperor and Jasmin) *
  • Cash (some from La Cousina, the rest from Ma)
  • Christmas M&M pack and tube
  • Melt Essentials iPhone case base (just like the one I got Ma) *

Weirdly, even though I'm sure I've bought her more stuff in the past, Ma seemed to think she was particularly spoiled this year... which is nice, if not necessarily accurate.

presents presents presents 2012ye olde christmas feaste 2012

Towards the end of presents we stopped to put the turkey and sausage meat in the BBQ, and then when we were all done I let Ma tidy up the living room while I put the vegetables together to go in the BBQ.

Left alone with Ma's kitchen at my disposal and little foil parcels of veg to prepare I did experiment a little... I half made Smashed Broccoli but didn't put enough water in it to stop it being a little burned on the bottom, but I had more success with adding a hearty squirt of lemon juice to the green beans (they were very lemony, which was nice although I may have slightly overdone it) and some stuff with honey and Australian native herbs to the carrots. I was trying for a kind of sweet honey carrot thing, which I didn't quite get, but they didn't come out too badly overall.

And I blitzed the potatoes in the microwave before coating them in oil and adding them to the BBQ which meant they came out a little bit overdone on the outside, but wonderfully fluffy and soft on the inside.

You know, it's a little bit sad when you can't really remember what order you did things in only a few hours after the fact... so I'm not completely sure what we did while waiting for the veg to cook and whatnot. I know that at some point I made up the table properly and took the photos of my presents... and there might have been some fluffing around with iPhone covers (it seems that while the case that Ma bought herself a while back came in what seemed like legit packaging, it may not have been a really real version because the really real end pieces that I bought for both of us fits my cover perfectly, but not hers... dodgy!).

Anyway eventually... Lunch!

I said to Ma afterwards that we may have to rethink the whole concept of "sides" for Christmas dinner. I hardly ever have the kind of "roast veggies" we tend to make at Christmas... I mean I know it's easier because the BBQ is already going, but yeah... it's all a bit m'eh... even with all the tweaking I did this year.

Whether I get around to figuring out something more interesting or not will be the key... I like the meat portion, it's just the sides. Although maybe it's time to rethink the whole meal... I'm not really up for the seafood alternative, but there has to be some other version than just turkey and veg or prawns...

But it was all nice enough... the turkey was particularly moist and tasty this year. Ma's decision to go from the big buffet turkey we used to have to the small turkey rolls was a good one. Partly because it doesn't require anywhere near as much cooking, but it just seems like the turkey comes out nicer.

So, yeah... the meal that all this hullabaloo leads up to and it was over pretty much in the same length of time as any other meal.

And then I kinda crashed a little... I think it was just the post turkey digestion plus the fact I wasn't really doing anything (Ma was looking through the book I got her), but I got a little sleepy.

To counteract that I decided to fire up my laptop (which I brought with me from pretty much that purpose), and after showing Ma a couple of videos I pulled down from YouTube specifically to show her (since she's lacking in the internetz), I started fiddling with images and writing this post while Ma did her own thing on her laptop.

Eventually it was time for Doctor Who At The Proms (which is pretty much the same as the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular we went to see in February) which I half watched while typing.

The rest of the evening was pretty uneventful... we picked at a little bit of leftover food for dinner, I packed up my presents, Ma packed me up a hamper of food to bring home, we watched the end of Wallace and Gromit and I packed up the car and came home.

As the song goes... "so, this is Christmas"... it's not bad but it is what it is...

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