Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Declares War On My Liver

Last year was the first time I hadn't made it back from points abroad to spend Christmas with the family in England. I felt a bit maudlin and sentimental about it, and I expected to feel something similar this year, only worse - after all, last year I was surrounded by friends and loved ones, and now I'm sitting on my balcony, on the other side of the world, drinking tea by myself like the grumpy old bastard I am rapidly becoming. And yet I don't feel the least bit maudlin, I think because Christmas in this stifling heat is entirely different from Christmas in drizzle and damp and doesn't have the same set of emotional associations at all. On that basis, I think I might prefer this version.

Anyway, cloying holiday sentiments have also been driven from my body by that reliable old stalwart: a real bastard of a hangover. Last night was the final reckoning for the world-class pizzeria across the street from me, and for some reason that led to a morose liquor-fuelled attempt to figure out how it is that I have developed this Vibrating Death Palm technique that only works on Italian restaurants. (The owner accepted my apology gracefully, although he did look slightly nonplussed.) I am supposed to be in Annandale watching some cow-punk act play sped-up carols and, I am forced to presume, cover Slade, but I've been operating at forty percent all day and I just can't bring myself to do it. Balcony, books, occasional fireworks detonating in the distance, and the prospect of the beach tomorrow will do very nicely. Compliments of the season to all.