A whole bloody week, and what’s more, one in which I had some, a great deal even of free time.
Honestly. You all will start thinking I have dropped off the ends of the earth.
Not many during the week; boss out most of it, back only Thursday. The First Army Division East Christmas Social was that evening, but I didn’t go. I just never seem to fit in in those kinds of things, and sort of sit, awkwardly, without knowing what to say. Plus it was pot-luck and volunteers to clean up afterwards were sought. Not my idea of a jolly evening. The next day was very quiet around the office, as everyone was out, except me and one co-worker, who left at noon. I got some work done, generally in preparation for my micromanaging boss tomorrow.
Now, C’s work involves irregular hours and he’d been late (11:30 pm) on Wednesday, and early (out the door before seven) on Thursday, and late Thursday too, so by Friday I was really dragging…we decided not to go out with the chums that evening, and I was in bed by seven and out like a light by seven oh five. Oh my. Saturday we did some errands, including stopping off by my parents house. My dad is ‘downsizing’ and was giving me an old camera – a Pentax ME Super, with three lenses and all sorts of extras (no flash though; bummer). I love digital photography but there’s something so appealing about the mechanical goodness, the whirrs and thunks and gearing and chunkiness of an old-fashioned honest machine like a 35-mm SLR. Heck I still love that 1957 Voightlander for its heft, as much as I love my pocket Olympus digital for its convenience. Yes waiting for the films back from the shop is murder but there you go. Sometimes, anachronism must be embraced, don’t you think?
After that we zipped across the bay bridge to K&D’s house for their Christmas party. It was lovely, even if we did wind up staying until three in the morning. Eeep! We didn’t bring our presents to exchange which may have been a mistake in the end; we got such lovely things from our friends. KW’s brother and sister in law even gave us a set of toasting flutes for our wedding present, engraved with our names and everything. I was quite touched and taken aback by their kindness; by everyone’s kindness. KW hand crocheted us matching blankets for our Christmas and K&D gave us a Bodum borosilicate glass insulated caraffe – I love the Bodum line – the double layers insulate everything so well, that you don’t have to preheat for hot liquids or chill for cold. And the glass is so smooth to the touch. Our friend CK gave us a wonderful coffee press, timer and coffee set which is great as press coffee is really the best flavour for non-expresso coffee. Somehow the flavour of the beans gets really nicely extracted in a press. Yummy. And my Godson gave me a Kitkat bar. See, when he was a babe in arms, I bought him a kitkat bar and for the longest time that was all he would eat. 🙂 Awwww. He’s a good kid. Mostly.
Well, Christmas is coming up, that’s clear. I wish I could feel about it now the way I did when I was a young ‘un. I used to have such trouble dropping off to sleep Christmas Eve. It seemed as if all in the world that was new and exciting and fun was about to burst forth and it was so frustrating that I had to sleep and wait for it. Wait? Sleep? When Santa Claus was going to come into my house, when we were to have a brush with magic and dreams – my parents wanted me to sleep??!!?? Then, when I was old enough, I’d wake up so early, before dawn, and go downstairs to where the tree was, miraculously surrounded by all these presents, in shiny wrapping, so perfect, so still, so pregnant with all the goodies and secrets that were about to burst forth as soon as they were opened. I’d turn on the tree lights and sit, so still that I could hear the little switches at the base of each bulb make it’s delicate tiny almost inaudible sound as it illuminated or extinguished its light above, dancing from burst to bust as if by a secret choreography that served only to highlight the restrained perfection of all that life, all that magic, held inside by sheets of paper. Everything was perfect at that point for me and I’d sit, hushed, awed, at the sight. Of course, once you opened the present, you had the toy to play with, or the book to read, or the cassette (yes!) to listen to, but before the paper was ripped aside, there could be anything there, and that anticipation, that cataloguing of all the possibilities, that quivering just before the knowledge that would open one door and shut all the others, was something I always wanted to hold on to, just quietly, just by myself.
Now I know how the presents get there, how the decisions about what to buy are made according to an internal budget, sometimes in rushed frustration, sometimes, better, in considered thoughtfulness, but when you know, there’s no mystery. I know how they are wrapped, and that on one, terribly grown up level, it’s pointless for me to give C a gift as our money is pooled and he could probably find something better himself, that it’s silly to wrap something Christmas eve when it’s just going to be ripped apart in a few hours, I know all that, and I am glad to be grown up and able to give, rather than receive presents, able to decide, rather than wait to see what was decided, but still…the best gift would be to be five or six again, and hear perfection in the muted chink of electric lights and see a million futures in the reflections in the wrapping paper and ribbons.
That would be the best gift. But if you want to see my amazon gift list, there are some good consolation prizes you could give me. Tee hee!
Speaking of Unwrapping
Our obsession Chris here is half-unwrapped (in a shot from ‘The Fantastic Four’); who’d like to finish the job? Meanwhile, these shots of Rafael Calomeni, still enjoying a lovely time in warm Brasil, should help those of us in the chilly mid-Atlantic, or the frozen parts of the country, stay toasty.
(Don’t they both heat you up?)