Thursday, December 29, 2011

Xmas '11

Wow, Xmas has sped past us again, in a whoosh of frenetic activity, catching up with people, and a rush to get work done before a handful of days off. Still largely in denial that it was really upon us, I have managed to get through the other side of the silly season.

One of my first catch ups was a trip out to visit Andrea, and see Cooper and Charli. Amazingly, gifts for these soon to be 5 year old twins was the first purchase I made in the lead up to Xmas, actually back in October! Unheard of! I popped out to see them, and hang out for the afternoon on my day off. We exchanged gifts, Andrea and I had coffees and caught up, and we even made fake snow with the kids. Was so great to spend this time with them.

Having boycotted the work Xmas party this year in protest of it's less than original idea, and the lack of accommodation for us Regionally based Consultants, I was keen to ensure I enjoyed the lunch planned for Xmas Eve Eve. Having done all that I could for the week, after having some truly harrowing things happen to my clients in the build up to this tough time for people with a mental illness, our Ballarat office headed out to Pipers By The Lake for our lunch.

Here we also exchanged our Shit Kringle gifts....inspired by something I had read, and replacing that silly idea that you can get anything good for someone as a gift for $10. This was very funny, with random exchanges including Xmas toilet paper, a sex shop goodie bag, a tacky Aussie touristy souvenir, and Post Adelaide Football Club Xmas baubles.

After lunch and many white wines, Michelle and I then requested to be dropped off at the Lake View for a continuation of the Xmas white wine in the sun theme. Eventually some of her mates joined us after their Xmas break up, and we went into town for dinner. Michelle and I ended up sitting in the intimate window table for 2 for amazing pizza and more wine, at The Main Bar. One of my favourite places in Ballarat at the moment!

Next we walked back down into Sturt Street as the sun was fading, and introduced Michelle to the amazing Portico on Sturt, where we sampled more wine, chilled band, and awesome atmosphere. Janelle joined us here before we walked across the road to end the night dancing at Irish Murphy's.

Xmas Eve landing on a Saturday called for an afternoon session, so I had booked a table for lunch for Melanie, Renee, Michelle and little Nisha and I, at Lake View, to get started. After lunch, Mel and Renee and I moved to the front room, and settled in for the mini-Ballarat reunion that is Xmas eve out.

Dinner was a Xmas catch up with Dad with the girls and Heath, across the road at the Boatshed. Back across the road for more drinks and catching up with people, Michelle eventually dropped by and drove me home via Katie's and Dave's Xmas lights display.

After all that, Xmas Day was a more subdued usual, with plans to drive down to Melbourne for the cricket. I joined the girls and Heath at Mum's for a (delayed for me) breakfast and gift exchange. We then enjoyed the traditional Xmas lunch spread, before popping out to our Aunt and Uncle's to catch up with the extended family. Back home in the afternoon, a seafood dinner outside in the fading light of the day in the backyard was a perfect way to finish the silly season!

Hope you had a good one!

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