I'm writing this because writing is preferable to shopping, and no, I've not really done any Christmas shopping yet. I bought a present in desperation, having browsed for an hour and not seen anything that clicked. I like getting presents, usually. Or I used to. Buying the perfect gift for someone is an admirable skill. My sister, Suzanna, possesses it. And I used to. But now I stumble from shop-to-shop and stare at bits and bobs and wait for something to leap out and grab me. To shout out "OH MY GOD, BUY ME, I'M PERFECT FOR X,Y or Z".
There's no leaping or grabbing this year. I did have one spectacular idea for someone, but the problem with great gift ideas is that the particular gift has to actually exist. Sadly, it does not. I could attempt to make it, I suppose, but I'm neither a cartographer, book-binder, or 19th century printer. Were I those things, I know what everyone would be getting from me this fucking Christmas.
My Christmas tune this year has been AC/DC's "Mistress for Christmas". It may be my Christmas tune every year from now on, you never know. I've got the house to myself this season and as I'm going to Christmas dinner at a friend's there's been internal debate as to whether I'll bother with a tree. The not bothering side is winning for a couple of reasons, the primary one being general laziness. I might put a wreath on the door. I don't mind privately being a grumpy shit, but it's my folks' house, and the neighbours shouldn't think they're being unseasonal. I may change my mind; I could see myself rushing up to the high road tomorrow, desperate to get the last tree and decorate it before midnight; who knows? But for now my halls remain undecked.
Friday night I cooked for the first time in ages, rediscovering my love for prepping my mis en place. I used to hate it; loathe it, in fact. I'd farm out prep to any unwitting sucker who dared ask if I needed help in the kitchen. On Friday evening I put "Four Days In October" on my iPad and chopped away at shallots, onions, mushrooms and potatoes and the stress of a week of wine-merchant-ing in the lead up to Christmas just disappeared.
Dinner was good, though somehow I managed to lose a bag of scallops between the high road and home. We opened bottle after bottle of wine and stayed up until the wee hours. It was the perfect sort of revelry to kick off a holiday with, capped off with swigging Madeira from the bottle and better than average misbehaviour. Old friends, new friends and friends not seen in far too long all seemed to get along just great.
It meant yesterday, however, was a write off. I spent all of three hours out of my pyjamas, and two of those were at the pub, bathing in the quiet and nursing a restorative pint or three. The bar staff wore Santa hats and sympathised kindly with my state.
That's enough for now. Time to gird my loins and get some shopping done.