Driving Home from Christmas

Well that’s it. Christmas is done. I went home to my parent’s house in Blackpool for 5 days and now I’m home again. It’s been a bit of a funny festive season for me this year; I just haven’t felt very, well, Christmassy. And even Christmas Day didn’t feel very much like Christmas. I think it’s partly because I’m at university and not working so I didn’t have any of the usual decorations in the office, secret Santa and getting far to drunk on a Christmas night out that I usually have. Added to that, because I was in London for 9 days and then only home for 3 before I went to Blackpool I didn’t bother putting up decorations in my flat – I’ve just got some Christmas cards up and that doesn’t provide much of an atmosphere.

When I got to my parents’ on Wednesday the tree was up and the lights in the porch just like every year but still that Christmas excitement didn’t hit me…maybe this is what being a grown up is all about? My brother and his wife turned up on Christmas Eve and we all went round to some friends of my parents (my godmother and her husband), their kids were home for Christmas too with associated spouses, aunties, uncles and cousins. It was actually really good fun. My Auntie Lesley (godmother; not real auntie) clearly knows us well, because after a lovely buffet of salmon, baked potatoes and various other stuff, she got out the Duplo for us to play with! It was much fun – we made a train track, and then did what you should do with any kind of Lego; see how tall a tower you can build!

After the Duplo fun, me and my brother instigated a game of No More Women, a game created by Mark Watson, Tim Key and Alex Horne for the BBC Comedy blog. I had been trying to get Mark to play it with me for ages and he never would but it went down really well. I recommend you play it with all your friends – at your New Year party perhaps. 

I have a bit of a tradition of being so hungover on Christmas Day that I can’t drink, and my Christmas dinner is usually a bit of a struggle. I didn’t want to let myself down this year, so despite being pleasantly tipsy when we got home from the festivities I decided I should drink another whole bottle of wine. I think I have a bit of a problem with booze…I can go weeks without drinking with no problem at all but when I do drink I just don’t seem to know where the off switch is. I’m not one of these people who can say ‘well, that’s it, I’ve had enough now’. I just carry on until I fall asleep. I did manage to make it to my bed though so that’s always a bonus.

We got up fairly late on Christmas morning and did the present thing (accompanied by fresh baked croissants which were lovely). I didn’t get much, because I hadn’t asked for (or given) much this year, what with not having a job and being a poor student. I did get a slow cooker, which I’d asked for and which surely is something only a middle aged person would want (there goes that being a grown up again). I also got Tim Key’s book, signed no less, which you can get from The Invisible Dot and which I would thoroughly recommend for plenty of giggles. I’d love to get inside Tim Key’s mind, Being John Malcovich style, just to see if he really thinks in such an abstract fashion all the time.

The theme of this Christmas being a bit odd continued on Christmas Day. My brother’s wife, Becca, was with us (they have spent alternate year’s with us and Becca’s parents for the last few years) and as much as Becca is like one of the family now it’s always a bit odd having someone new there when until fairly recently Christmas Day has always been exactly the same in our family. My parents have lived in the same house since I was five so even that has never changed. This year was then doubly odd because for the first time since I can remember we didn’t have at least one grandma present. My Mum’s Mum always used to come for Christmas until she died at the grand old age of 94 about five years ago. For a few years before my Grandma died, and in the years since, my Dad’s Mum has come for Christmas dinner along with my Iranian step-Grandad who is like an Iranian version of Frank Butcher…he’s a Catholic who hasn’t been to Iran for 48 years but still has a really strong accent, and wears enormous sovereign rings. Oh and he has about three stories which he tells every year, one of which involves meeting one of The Supremes (not Diana Ross) at a wedding. Anyway, this year my Grandma and step-Grandad decided they were going to Spain for Christmas. As it turned out they never made it there because of the snow but they went to their neighbours house for Christmas dinner instead. Which made for a very relaxed Christmas day in the Williamson house – with no-one on Grandma entertainment duty we could all just do our own thing. Lovely, but somehow it still didn’t feel like Christmas. 

I did have a traditional afternoon snooze while watching a film, and we watched Dr Who. My brother and Dad were rather excited about this event. I, on the other hand, haven’t watched any of the new Dr Who (apart from the Christmas special that Kylie was in a few years ago). I know I should, I hear it’s very good and I was named after one of Dr Who’s companions after all but it’s just one of those things I’ve never got round to watching and the more I didn’t watch the less motivation I had to watch. Michael Legge, if you are reading this, I’m sorry – I hope this won’t affect my podphile status? Anyway, I quite liked Dr Who, even though I had no idea what was going on. I may well even watch the second part on New Year’s Day.

Christmas Day concluded with a game of Trivial Pursuit. It didn’t even last that long. I nearly won too – me and Mark both had all our pie pieces (or cheeses, or wedges, or whatever you call them in your family) but he made it to the centre and got a question right before me. Bastard.

On Boxing Day we went for a traditional walk along the sea front in Lytham (the posh bit South of Blackpool). Lots of people had the same idea, it was nice but cold and did it’s job of blowing away some cobwebs. As you can see, it was a really clear day and we could see all the way to Southport which was pretty cool.

Boxing Day evening saw us in the pub with some of Mark’s friends (who I have know as long as he has, which almost makes them my friends too). I was delighted to discover the pubs we went to sold my new favourite drink; Kopperberg Mixed Fruits. It tastes just like apple & blackcurrant cordial made with lemonade instead of water. Booze that tastes like juice always wins in my book.

And today I drove home. It was cold and slow, and there’s still quite a lot of snow up here. But I made it. So that’s it. Without it ever really feeling like Christmas, it’s over. Tomorrow I really have to do lots of work on my assignment for university which I have pretty much failed to do any of up to now. And seeing as I’m going to London again on Wednesday (for one night only of London Comedy Improv) I really should get a move on. If only essay writing was as easy as blog writing. But then my blogs are full of crap – and I don’t think that will get me a pass somehow.

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