On Christmas Eve I looked in Oliver's for Stone's ginger wine, the traditional Christmas tipple (even my resolutely teetotal grandmother used to partake of a drop at Yuletide, apparently persuading herself that it wasn't really alcoholic). Alas, everyone else had apparently had the same thought, since they had sold out, and I had no time to look elsewhere, having already drawn a blank at City Super. Then I made the mistake of popping into Toys"R"Us to get a little something for the nephews - again everyone else had the same idea, since the queue for payment literally stretched the entire length of the shop.
I always envy those organised people who are fully prepared for Christmas by the end of November - I am still sending out late Christmas greetings several days later (I suppose I could pretend to be Russian, since their Christmas is twelve days later) - anyway we were still putting up our decorations on Christmas Eve.
On Christmas morning I eagerly opened my email, expecting more greetings from my loved ones, only to be flooded by the usual crop of spam. The organ extenders seemed to have taken a break (they came out later in the day, having presumably been testing the efficacy of their products late into the night), but the Nigerian business proposals, "replica" (= fake) watches, Canadian medications and the like were all out in force. Perhaps the oddest was a message from one "Holly [how seasonal!] Connelly" saying, "I know that you'll be alone these holidays [wrong], what are you going to do? My advice is gambling. It's lots of fun!" No thanks, especially at an online casino I've never heard of.
Least seasonal, having perhaps dropped through a timewarp, was the spammer who suggested I order 10 special cigars as a gift for Father's Day - which was some time in the summer last time I looked. Since my father died of cancer from smoking (15 years ago yesterday in fact), cigars are just about the last thing I would give anyone for Father's Day - or Christmas for that matter.
Things could only look up from there - until I bit on a staple in my fried rice at lunchtime. Then in the afternoon I went out into the garden, only to find that our little lotus pool (the ceramic type that sits on a stand) had completely dried up. I suspected a leak, but since I refilled it the water has stayed in. It could, I suppose, have been caused by a mini-tornado sucking out all the water, but since there were no reports of any strange weather phenomena over Christmas, my theory is that Santa's reindeer drank all the water the previous night.
After that, the rest of the day was actually quite enjoyable. The 3-year-old nephew was pleased with the toy plane we gave him, until another aunty and uncle gave him a talking toy bus from Japan, when he quickly lost interest in our less sophisticated offering. And the 1-year-old detested his wriggly toy snake and kept throwing it to the floor to get rid of it.
So what sort of Christmas did you have? Anyway, Merry Christmas to my dwindling stock of readers!