December 21st, 2006


Mmm - baby

Hugh checks what flavour Noah is while Noah checks out a packet of Monster Munch. All of which distracts me handily from the game of Puerto Rico I'm losing.
Thu 21/12/2006 17:46 21122006155


Pre-Christmas Update and Thoughts

Down in Devon, at my parent's place. My two brothers Mike and Hugh are also here, along with their respective girlfriend/wife Tamsin and Meredith, plus of course Nephew du Jour Noah. Oh, and Tara, Alsatian par excellence.

Desperately tired, due to my 9am flight requiring a 6:20am awakening. I got an hour's sleep in on the plane - falling asleep while we were still taxiing and being brought back round by the sound of my ears popping on our descent into Exeter - but frankly my eyes still feel like they have large chunks of grit in them. I'd be in bed right now, except my parent's temporary accomodation (they've yet to sell their house in Kent, having retired to Devon six months ago) only has two spare rooms, one of which has Hugh/Meredith/Noah in it, and the other has Mike/Tam in it, leaving me sleeping on the sofa. Which will be tricky while they're still playing Settlers of Catan at the table behind me.

All of which whining is pretty much besides the point, which is of course that I'm now off work until the 2nd. Well, I'm on call the 28th/29th, in case of production problems, but that just means not leaving Edinburgh or getting drunk during the day - something that won't kill me. My brain hasn't entirely relaxed yet - we've just started a whole bunch of refactoring and redesign and I've got lots of ideas zipping around that I want to discuss/put into action, but I'm slowly moving all of that stuff onto the back burner, and I'm hoping that by turning up three days early for Christmas by the time I get there I'll have managed to reach some kind of relaxation maxima and be able to enjoy it properly.

Speaking of which, something that zarabee said a few days ago has been percolating in the back of my head (the post now seems to be gone, so I'm probably violate LJ ettiquette by mentioning it ever existed, but what the fuck).  Her main reason for not liking Christmas seemed to be related to the fact that there's so much cultural coercion around enjoying Christmas.  You _have_ to enjoy Christmas or there's something wrong with you - it's the celebration of happiness Goddamit, and if you don't enjoy it then you're a bad person.  surliminal was telling me that at a recent party one of her friends accused a different one of being a bad mother because she didn't make a big fuss about Christmas, for goodness sake.

It's therefore not surprising that people rebel against Christmas on a primal level.  Most of you lot detest being told what to do, and will instinctively do the opposite if someone tells you that you have to do something.  You're also largely a bunch of grumpy bastards, so a festival of enforced happiness is pretty much guaranteed to have people marching in the streets, or at least complaining in their journals.  And this was pretty much my position until a couple of years ago, when I realised that being anti-happiness just because some people were over the top about it was letting them rule my life just as much as if I'd had fun because they told me to.  I enjoy seeing my family (intermittently), and having a few days off in the middle of nowhere, exchanging presents with them, and going for long walks with the dog is a good thing.  As a fully paid up adult I don't have to buy into any aspects of Christmas I don't want to, so equally I'm not going to resent those aspects either - they just won't figure into my Christmas at all.  Which leaves me free to enjoy the bits I will naturally like.

I can tell I'm tired because there's at least three points in there that I wants to use a specific word and had to change my sentence because it just wouldn't come.  And I can't think of a way to finish this off neatly, so I'm just going to call a halt at the end of this sentence, right here.