Christmas and New Years

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Since Christmas for me is one big roller-coaster ride that starts on Christmas Eve and doesn’t stop until you’re throwing-up a little in your own mouth from all the family get-together’s, work do’s and drinking copious amounts of alcohol in-between just to make the whole experience bearable… I thought it would be soft to let you off lightly.

So here’s a recap of my Christmas… I hope you are sitting down and have a nice cup of coffee handy cause this could take a while.

Ok, the intro to this post was a little unfair. In all honesty, I love each and every one of the families I’m involved with and it’s always good to catch-up with everyone. It just irks me that it all gets squished into a few days of back-to-back activities.

But before I get to that, the couple of weeks leading up to Christmas were really very exciting. We went to see Arj Barker perform at the Powerhouse. As expected, he was awesomely funny, but I didn’t expect that his warm-up act would be equally as funny. So, if you hear of a guy named Joel Osborne touring (and not the one who’s an internet marketer who’s obviously used his online marketing skills to outrank the comedian of the same name), go and see him cause he’s great too. After the show, we bought a couple of Arj’s DVDs which he personally autographed for us.

The following weekend (or maybe two… I’ve lost track now) we had the Kintek Christmas Party. For those of you who don’t know, my web hosting company works closely with a number of web development firms and one that we’ve done a lot of work with over the years (and in the process become close personal friends) is a mob called Kintek.

The party was held at one of our joint clients – a wine bar called Bar Barossa. The food was great, as was the wine and their selection of international beers. After a lot of great conversation (that I’m sure became progressively more entertaining as the night went-on) Kristy and I were honoured to accept an offer from another client of mine – Chester’s Boutique Hotel in the Valley.

I’ve done a lot of stuff with the owner and helped him get a number of his sites online and in return he said that if we were ever in the area and needed a place to stay, just let him know. So the week before the party, I asked if the offer was still available and he hooked us up.

The room was awesome – in fact, the whole place is spectacular. It was once the owners personal residence that he converted into a guest house and now it’s grown to be a fully licensed boutique hotel. It’s quaint with about a dozen rooms which gives it a very warm atmosphere, but at the same time is classier than most hotels I’ve stayed at. Despite our stay only being overnight and still being in the same city that we live, it felt like we were on holidays.

That was the build-up to Christmas… this is when it starts to get hectic.

On Christmas Eve we went to Church with my folks. This year Dad was in the choir and Mum tried to encourage my brother and I to join him. We both politely declined, but Dad did a great job with the singing and I must admit, I do enjoy the Christmas Church service.

Then we grabbed some Macca’s, went home cracked a beer and opened our presents. It was pretty cool – this year I got some Skeleton Keys, Ice Invaders, some new board-shorts, Prototype for the PS3, a cooling base-station thingie for the PS3 and a computer screw-driver set in a novelty grenade casing.

We had a few more drinks, watched some Christmas stuff on TV and went to bed.

Got up early the next morning and headed over to Kristy’s Mum’s place for breakfast. Had some food, chatted, exchanged presents then it was back home to quickly make a salad and grab some wine and then head down to the Gold Coast for lunch with my family (this year it was at my sister’s new place).

Lunch was good and my family are always a very entertaining group of people to be around. Dad jokes, Tom’s new dreadlocks and the Woodford Folk Festival. After eating a little too much and the kids opened their pressies, we headed back home again. More beer.

Next day we went over to Kristy’s Auntie Sue’s place for lunch and then afterwards we caught a bus into town for Kristy’s old school friend – Bexta’s birthday which she was having at The Exchange. They had a deal where you could buy two cocktails for the price of one up until 9pm, so we built a decent stock-pile of mojito’s. Bexta had a great turn-out of people and as it so happens (and I’d like to throw-in a joke how Ipswich being a reasonably small town, it can be a little incestuous… but given Ippy’s reputation, that comment most certainly would be taken the wrong way) I went to primary-school with some of Kristy’s old friends – so it was great catching-up with everyone. Kristy has some great old school mates. Caught a maxi-taxi home with a bunch of them and ended-up drinking some more at Andrea’s place and somewhere during that time I passed-out on her couch.

Kristy woke me at about 5:30ish and we caught a cab home. Had a few hours sleep and then it was off to Kristy’s other good friends (these ones from Dancing) – Trish and Dave’s. Had lunch with them and they gave me a great little book called Twitterature – basically classic literature, as it would possibly be told today using Twitter.

Before I go too much further, I just want to point-out that this simple gift really took me by surprise because (and this may only apply to me… I’m really not sure) but generally when you receive a gift from a friend of your partners, it is most often generic. Something that they think you might like, but often turns-out wrong – like buying a bottle of bourbon for someone that drinks scotch. There’s always good intentions, but they often fail to hit the mark. For this reason, I’m always thankful and grateful for the thought, but expect that I’ll never be able to use the gifts I receive in such instances. But in this case, it was perfect.

So back to lunch – which was good (although I wished I wasn’t quite so hung-over because I’m sure the afternoon would have been more enjoyable if that were the case). I then headed back to the shopping centre bus terminal near Auntie Sue’s where we left my car the day before to go into town for Bexta’s drinkies.

Grabbed the car and then headed straight over to Caleb’s grandparent’s place for dinner. Fortunately, by this stage, I was feeling less hung-over enough to make it through the evening.

Next day it was over to Kristy’s Dad’s for a BBQ. After we ate and the kids exchanged presents, I found a nice comfy spot on the couch and fell asleep. Kristy was out the back chatting with her Dad and the kids were well engrossed with the PlayStation and their new toys, so no one really noticed and it was great to actually have a break for an hour or so.

Went home, drank some more, played some Prototype and then went to bed. Next day was our first day off since Christmas Eve. Enjoyed it by doing absolutely nothing. I think I spent most of the day sleeping in our newly air-conditioned bedroom.

The following day Con came round and we caught-up before Kristy and I had to head over to my brother’s place for dinner. I say this every time we catch-up with my family – I don’t do it enough because we always have such a great time when we’re together, but I suppose the months between visits is part of the reason it’s always so good to catch-up again.

Then the following day was New Years. Kristy had some stabbing stomach pains and despite the fact I give her a hard time, she’s a pretty tough cookie, so when she said that she might need to go to the hospital, I knew it must have been pretty bad. After a short wait in the emergency ward (read: a couple of hours) and a few tests later, they determined that Kristy may have a tiny gallstone.

They couldn’t find it when the doc did the ultrasound, but based on the results from the blood-test and the symptoms, they were convinced that was the cause of the pain. It also made sense that the pain had subsided because it only hurts when the stones move and once settled, you can go for months or even years without them bothering you again. Just in case, he subscribed some pretty hard-core pain killers and suggested Kristy gets a proper stomach x-ray.

Despite feeling a lot better, Kristy wasn’t up to a big night, so Con came around and we spent the night catching-up, talking a lot of shit and drinking a lot. By the time mid-night rolled around, Con decided it was time for his proverbial drunken phone calls and for the first time ever it was fun to be on the sending end and not the receiving. Other highlights of the night included us trying to climb one of the trees in my backyard. Not sure why, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. Fortunately, we were too drunk to get anywhere (despite crafting a primitive pulley out of a rope that Caleb plays, and sometimes swings from the tree with).

So overall, was a quiet night with my closest and best friend filled with ample amounts of beer, moving onto lots of nice scotch, some PS3, failed tree climbing incidents and most likely a hefty phone bill. Which, in my books equates a pretty good way to see-in 2010.

Two days later it was back to work. While I wasn’t looking forward to working again, the backlog of Christmas / New Years work seemed like a quiet walk in the park when compared to the explosion of family and festivities over the previous week.

Since being back at work I’ve set a bunch of goals which include reading more, blogging more regularly (well, the blogging I meant when the goal was set related to work blogs, but if I’m work blogging more, I’ll inevitably blog more personally too) and generally doing more social media stuff.

To help the whole motivational process, I’ve decided to jump onboard with a photo blogging experiment called the 365 project where I have to take a photo every day for a year and upload it… so here goes…

Kristy, George & Pete on 365 Project

So, that was my Christmas / New Years… how was yours?

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