Mid December usually kicks off the Christmas party silly season out here. Given that as far back as October, our coffee room conversations had started to take on a decidedly Christmas-sy bent, it was no surprise that the first event of the season came early this year – a team lunch at the Soul bar on Union Street in November no less. Thanks to the atrocious weather I ended up marooned offshore, restricted to taking to Facebook to moan about missing the free food and a half day off work.
I get my chance to make up for that miss one chilly December evening. The team gathers for drinks at The Monkey House, an event I arrive for a full six minutes late. Between navigating the crowd of early evening revellers in various stages of alcohol induced headiness and striving to zone out the not inconsiderable din, I catch the eye of the Boss who waves me over to the tables where they are already seated. There are a few faces I do not recognize, and after a few introductions and handshakes, he clamps his hand on my arm and drags me to the bar to order a drink. It just so happens that my preferred pub drink – a (supposedly) alcohol free bottle of Becks Blue is not available and I have to go one up to a bottle of regular Becks. I grab the bottle and settle in between my Irish work buddy Si and one of the blokes I do not already know. Between sips of our brews, we make small talk – what we do for fun in town, christmas travel plans and the like. When it is my turn, I mention books – I stress these are of the non-academic variety, football manager on my laptop and a couple of evenings at the Opera House as highlights of my evenings from 2011. It so happens that the man I don’t know is an avid Opera go-er himself – his poshy, self assured manner might have hinted at a more cultured interior if I had taken the time to notice I guess – and he recommends The Battle Proms as something I should definitely add to my 2012 plans.
We wrap up the evening with a meal at the Nazma – one that I have some history with. I have some really chili-hot lamb tikka, a side of rice and a sauce chock full of mushrooms. I am wont to chalk my light-headedness at the end to hallucinogens in the mushrooms, not the mere three bottles of Becks I have downed.
Given the way 2011 started – slouched on a couch in front of the TV watching the ball drop in Times Square – I could be forgiven for expecting that 2011 would be a breeze. The reality of 2011 has been markedly different – breaking up with EJ, getting the two year itch and almost leaving my job twice [having said that, I suspect I’ll still leave in 2012], and a significant amount of disruption to my world view made 2011 interesting, if difficult in bits.
All in all, its been a decent, steady year which ultimately flattered to deceive. The cliff notes version? Shitty in bits but otherwise quotidian. Looking back, I got a few big decisions right when they really mattered and got to celebrate a number of family milestones.
All in all, life happened, but then Life ‘happens’ after all, doesn’t it?
8 thoughts on “Kicking off the Christmas silly season, breaking my beer duck and the 2011 wrap”
books, opera, that's the height of geekism. but i bet there's an element of fun in that too. and well lamb tikka and mushrooms sounds like heaven and yeah life does always happen afterall
Lol.. Not quite heaven.. but something close….. 🙂 Merry Christmas dude!
You go to the Opera?!?! How bourgeois can you get? Lol. I do not believe they serve non-alcoholic drinks in European bars. Prove it or you lie!
Ha, I watched the ball drop from the warm comfort of my bed last year also. This year I shall be house party hopping to usher in the new year.
"Looking back, I got a few big decisions right when they really mattered and got to celebrate a number of family milestones." Sounds like a pretty decent year to me.
Same to you……… And I agree, I ended the year in a relatively good place.. For that I'm thankful..
Merry Christmas Bourgeois Northern Neighbour!
Have a blessed day!
No oo.. I'm still a razz Nigerian boy at heart o…. 🙂
Merry Christmas too.. Hopefully its a less cold one than mine too!
Books, Opera and Indian, i think we would be great friends! On quitting jobs i total feel you, this year i almost quit every month(right from January), finally did in October and i have no regrets. Bonne Annee
I love going to the Opera.
Happy new year