I finished university work on 18th, and since then I've had the most perfectly wonderful break. Generally I've just been glorying in uninterrupted time with various of my people, in groups and one-on-one, and I'm really happy.
darcydodo was over for a really brief visit, and it was just amazingly wonderful to see her. We had a little lunch party with shreena and quizcustodet and fivemack. Well, not so very little with six of us as well, but lots of fun conversation. In between ghoti hosted one of her amazing dinner parties, with ptc24 and womump. And the children just drifted in and out, helping a bit with the serving, joining in the conversation when they felt like it, and mostly amusing themselves while the adults talked.
Before Christmas itself I managed actual proper dates with both ghoti and cjwatson, time when we could really focus on eachother and it wasn't snatched between deadlines. ghoti helped me with my learning to bake project: we made Lussekatter, saffron-flavoured yeast based buns. I hope I'll still get a chance to document that for livredor, but I've barely been online all week! And my brother Screwy came to visit and spent some time with cjwatson and the two younger kids, who were very taken with him.
And jack and I went for bike rides on my new bike, and a mini-date at Inner Sanctum, our local very good and very geeky gaming shop to buy Christmas presents for eachother and our loved ones. We had Christmas Eve and most of Christmas day properly focused on eachother, ignoring the internet and any external demands, and it was just wonderful. We bought a mushroom pie and made cauliflower cheese and roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings to go with it, and it was a bit challenging figuring out the times for all the components but we had really good tasty food in the end.
Then in the evening we joined ghoti and cjwatson for the tail end of their family Christmas. Which involved starting a new round of exchanging presents. We ended up staying up a bit later than was really ideal playing some of the new games, including lots of Smash Up expansions which I'm especially excited about. Boxing Day was my grandmother's 96th birthday, so jack and I went to my parents' for lunch followed by a teaparty. Both my brothers were there too, so we had good food and good conversation and after Granny went to bed a proper intense discussion about safe space and campus activism and things.
And then yesterday was my birthday; I ended up organizing a party more or less at the last minute, but loads of excellent people turned up and I had a completely awesome time. I was particularly pleased because my parents and Granny joined us for the first bit of the party, and my partners and their younger two had arrived early to help us set up, so that made a really good and hopefully low-pressure opportunity for family-of-birth and family-of-choice to get to know eachother. But anyway, just as I'd hoped various people showed up over the course of the afternoon and evening, and there was loads of good conversation, and I more or less managed to balance my time between talking to my adult friends and paying attention to the children.
I've also done ridiculously well for presents this year. I got Triominos and some dessert wine and a huge box of fudge and some gift tokens for chanukah, plus a visit from my loves so I could have time with them without needing to travel. In spite of that, Andreas insisted on giving me a toy motorbike for Christmas as he felt sorry for me not getting Christmas presents. And for my birthday lots of books from cjwatson and Thuggish Poet, and a nice blank paper book from Mum, and a new owl for my collection from darcydodo, and a really gorgeous owl cushion from ghoti, and chocolate cookies which partners' children made especially for me. Besides which jack and I bought eachother some more games for our collection as Christmas-ish presents, Chrononauts and the Harbor expansion of Machi Koro and a game that jack picked out on a whim, Orcs Orcs Orcs. So far we've only had time to play the Machi Koro expansion, which I like a lot; the marketplace you buy cards from is generated randomly and on the fly, which I think plays better than the base game with a fixed deck. Not to mention my new bike which we're counting as a generally seasonal present.
And time. People are making a special effort to spend time with me because it's the season of my birthday, and it's making me extremely extremely happy.Basically I want this to be my life and not just a special couple of weeks at Christmastime; I mean, I want a job, holidays are only fun for so long, but I would really like to be in Cambridge full-time so I can be with my people and not be constantly pushed for time. I will see if I can make that happen in 2016.
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