Wednesday, December 28, 2011
After 4 days of Christmas haze, spent in a converted barn on a farm in the hills of Swanage, it's the end of another festive Christmas. Mostly.
Twas the kind of scenery that makes you want to buy a combine harvester (totes appropes) and eat full-fat butter. (Gasp! As if?)
The days were punctuated with Disaronno's, flutes and flutes of prosecco (I bought along 5 bottles. One needs to be continuously pissed to survive Christmas indoors in the UK). So in the haze that can only be described as mass over-indulgence, I am now back in London to see friends and my aunt before we head to Amsterdam for a (fucked up?) New Year's.
I'm not very good at [British] Christmas. But then, I really and honestly think it's because I'm South African.
If I whittle it down, it comes down to one thing: climate.
At home we can go outside, run around, go for a swim, chill out in the garden. It's hard to get on top of each other when there's more space. The outdoors is counted as more space.
Here? People are indoors. All day, everyday. The thing is, Brits are used to being inside. They can quite happily sit around, filling the time by pottering around anything that is digestible. Either making food, eating food, or reheating food. And on top of one another. The Brit has been doing this his whole life, and he loves it. I'm the weird foreigner who, at the end of it all, is quite relieved to go home and be alone.
I am also not good at Christmas when I am sick. I've been trying to nail down a throat infection that's turned into a cold for a week now. Being inside with lots of humans - oh dear God - the germs - obviously hasn't helped, and now am sicker than before.
I'm chugging on Lem Sip like a motherfucker. And it still hurts to talk. I feel more subdued than Kim Jong Il's funeral attendees.
To be fair, this year in the run up to Christmas, I was more festive and in the spirit than any other year. I have been drinking mulled wine since November, I sent out 8000 Christmas cards, I sent all my family members presents back home, we got a [midget] tree.
But I really struggle with being cooped up inside with lots and lots of people. I get cabin fever something chronic. So one just gets blotto, riding on a tide of ethanol to get through it all alive.
I ate a small country in food. Had about four food coma's in as many days, where you eat the state of Montana and then pass out on something horizontal, and wake up drooling all over your Christmas jumper.
Anyway. That said, we all had a lovely time. It was as Christmassy as Christmas can be in the UK - family, politics, turkey, Brussel sprouts and passing wind (not me, everyone else. In close proximity. Pooey).
And the thought of January, February and the rest of winter without faerie lights, fizz and mulled wine makes me want to cry. It's cold and yet there's no festive shit anywhere.
Except. Except! This is why I we take our long holiday in February. See? We do have something to look forward to - South Africa! When it's dark, the winter is just dragging on and on, the rain is coming down, everyone's on a diet, or withdrawing from nicotine, basically the worst month in England. And we won't be here for it.
Last year we went to South East Asia, this year we're hitting the hotspots of Saffaland.
Thank God for it. Now back to feeling flat after Christmas.