Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Seasons Greetings

Well Christmas has come and gone.

The picture is an image of my fridge at about midnight on Christmas eve. I've decided I need to post the occasional picture on the blog. As an indication of what I was doing before Christmas, the menu:
  • 2 Pizzas - Mushroom and blue cheese, and Spinach, caramelised onions and feta cheese. (Mum's request given that she'd just spent 8 weeks in India and was missing non-Indian food)
  • Rosemary garlic potatoes.
  • Blanched and then butter fried beans.
  • Bean Salad (straight out of the deli section of the super market).
  • Mesculn Salad with a whole seed mustard vinaigrette.
  • 2 types of chicken - Honey Soy and a grilled Indian chicken.
  • Toasted bread with a chilli, garlic, parsley oil with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
  • Chocolate Mousse.
  • A berry platter (with ice cream or cream this is an easy win for those who don't like chocolate Mousse)
  • Roasted Nuts.
  • Scorched Almonds (straight from the super market).
So Christmas for me... It's one of those things that means more to me than anyone else. I always spent a lot of time cooking but it's a bit of a wild card as to anyone will be around to eat it (it's almost always eaten but then, is it eaten and then people disappear?) In terms of family relations, I hate it.

I once held a Christmas in Hamilton. After a few days of cooking, both of my sisters had stormed off on the day leaving me as a rocking smoking mess. By about 3'ish, everyone had come back to watch Shrek. Animated films have always featured fairly big for Christmas. No one has to talk to each other.

The conflicts are fairly standard I think. A 3 children family. No one is particularly comfortable with their position in the grand scheme of things.

The oldest, was horribly spoilt being the first born. After a while though, she found herself having to grow up quickly in order to look after her two younger siblings.

The middle child was the rebellious child. She'd scream and slam doors. In other words, she was always fighting for attention. She resented the oldest for always keeping an eye on her.

And me, the youngest. I think to a certain extent I became quite accepting. I would get whatever was left over. A classic example is in terms of bedrooms. While I had asthma, I got the smallest room in the side of the house that was never heated. It was terribly damp. This was a direct result of getting last pick for a room. I think I still exhibit some of these attributes. I don't think I've ever really negotiated a pay rate. I'm uncomfortable giving a dollar value. I instead tend to take what's offered. In terms of being spoilt, I think that's true to some extent as well. I guess the parents tend to compensate for the last pick thing to some extent.

I'm not sure I'm doing this justice really. It's hard to step outside of myself and analyse it fully.

This year though, one sister is in Australia (and we stopped speaking to each other a while ago anyway) and the other one was arriving back with mum and just didn't want to spend any time here.

The extended family is about as bad. My aunties tend to get drunk while remembering slights from decades ago. They're not that great at just letting go. As it is, they tend to give us each $50 for Christmas. I don't really care. It's not my bag. I'm not about money. In fact, I'm a little disappointed that they don't take the time out to figure out what I might like and instead go down a really thoughtless route. They always apologise for it being all that they can afford.

I suppose I should say something about that. They tend to apply attributes to me which aren't really me. The money thing for example. If I could go my entire life without having to think about money I would be the happiest guy on the planet. I think it's transference. There's a family trust. When my mother suggested that perhaps she could use a little bit of the money from the trust to help my sister with treatment for her migraines, the defences went up. Suddenly my mother was an irresponsible child who had wasted her life away who didn't deserve any sort of help.

Yep. The possibilities for Christmas...

Given that I hate family Christmas' I decided to have an "Orphan's Christmas" this year. Basically, you invite over those friends who don't have plans for Christmas. Basically the strays or those who just don't like Christmas and you have a meal together, drink a little bit. A stress free day of doing nothing in particular.

So I had invited 5 people who had said they were coming. One ended up having to work. 2 more just didn't show up. So 2 people, myself and my parents. Dad isn't really into Christmas at all and usually ends up working. He stuck around for lunch at the very least this year. That was a touch disheartening. I had a back up plan in case I had a few extra people - some mussels that could quickly be whipped up into mussel fritters.

So with the people who did turn up - we played a bit of a game of not mentioning the dreaded "C" word. The "C" word that describes the day before "fistycuffs" day. I lost. Quite dramatically. We just need to come up with a penalty system. Whether it becomes a drinking game or something that leaves you with a dead arm. Perhaps a count is taken and the 2 who lose end up doing the dishes.

Then we watched a couple of movies while falling asleep. Given that I had been up the night before till around 2am with my prep work and cleaning, and then up at 7 for more cleaning and getting into the cooking, the sleep was much appreciated.

The animated film was a great watch. I'd highly recommend it. It was called "Mary and Max". It's about 2 people on different sides of the world who correspond via mail. Just to think. It was only a few years ago that people were keeping in touch using snail mail. Anyway, the movie was based on a true story and featured aspergers quite a bit. It had a delightful sense of humour to it.

And so we're now on to New Years. I think I've only really truly enjoyed one. My parents were in India so I decided to have a barbeque here. A great day of people coming and going and loads of kids running around. Brilliant day. At around 10 we all went down to the pub for the count down and a few pints.

Last year a group and friends and I were looking to have a quiet drink. Be able to catch up with friends. Of course, loads of people go away for New Years. Auckland isn't really a great place to celebrate New Years. So we found a pub. Unfortunately, because there were only a couple of groups of people having quiet drinks, they decided to shut by 10. So on to the next pub and then an infuriating time on K-Road.

I'm at a complete loss for this year. Given I really don't want to have a drunken time of it, I'm hoping someone decides to hold a quiet little barbeque. Of course, this isn't that likely given that there are no Aucklanders in Auckland during New Years.

Any suggestions greatly appreciated here :/

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