For starters, there was a reading and signing by local author Charles Stross. Volume three of the Merchant Princes series, The Clan Corporate, has just been published here in the UK, so Waterstones were hosting a reading. I went along, despite having picked up the US print some time ago, and got a copy scrawled for siggav 's birthday; I win at N+M birds with N stones, where M>1.
Then there was the company meal. In keeping with last year, I freaked people out by wearing a suit all day, and the food was better than expected (I was there last year, but don't remember the food. On the other hand, a stag night there at the beginning of the month was good fun, but the food was dreadful). I vaguely recall spending an hour talking to a collegue explaining how to Fix Our Company. If only I'd written it down. On the bright side, I could have just returned to the office and emailed it directly to our company director, so let's be grateful for small mercies.
Saturday was visiting uts666 and family for their traditional - and awesomely good - xmas bash. Good company, good food, and about twelve hours of booze make a very excellent time. I'll never figure out how they manage to produce such an amazing sit-down spread for fifteeen adults plus assorted children, but they do. Year on year. Humbling. Also, bad for liver.
Then, Sunday, I hit a double-figures birthday. Tradition says that this is where my body should collapse, but if you've been reading this journal, you'll know that happened years ago, so in lieu of that katlinel and I went for a rather delightful tapas lunch (lunch+foreign cuisine = less chance of turkey and trimmings).. Just the two of us. Lovely.
Monday was a fencing night, and alcohol-free, and then we got to Tuesday, which was the academy Christmas meal. Once again, mikeymookeymoo managed to arrange for us an amazing meal at a local, highly rated restaurant. The meal was great. It was the two pubs afterwards that finished me off... I did manage to have an interesting art-related conversation with mikeymookeymoo , though. Not entirely convinced I made sense, though. M announced my handing over the torch of second-in-command to mikeymookeymoo (which happened a while ago, actually, both implicitly and officially, and not before time - he's now a better fencer than I'll ever be, and knows more technique too. And is - IMNSHO - a good teacher too; of which I take credit, and am very proud) and - still with me on this sentence? - I got a bottle of single malt in thanks.
Wednesday and Thursday were normal days, though I did get to see Transporter 3 with siggav , then Friday came along, and we shut the office for the Christmas period. Pub! Several pints later, it wasn't even four in the afternoon...
Then Saturday involved a visit from iainjcoleman andi_smell_shite . K produced some excellent food, and I muddled through a Nigella dessert that everyone claims I've cooked before, but I think they're all in on the conspiracy. On the other hand, we did manage to get the tree up, and the evening was very good, with great company and marvellous presents.
Sunday was just k and I, and we did another jigsaw. Apart from the missing piece. Bah. Monday was another day of rest, and tonight we've had a friend round to help us shout at Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. Mostly in disgust. Lots of fun was had. Not to mention fizzy stuff, red plonk, and port. Hick.
And we're only just getting to Christmas Eve...