Monday, 24 December 2012

Deck the Halls

Slimbridge WWT D800 DX  16-12-2012 12-29-13  The countdown to the celebration had begun. The decorations were up early and on every space in the casa. The tree was dressed up beautifully, cards had been posted, pressies sorted, the fridge and freezer bursting, the dinner table groaning and a wreath on the front door made of firs and ivy from the garden. Christmas was on its way and we were getting in the festive mood. I’m looking forward to time off, family time together and of course enjoying all of the Christmas goodies. I think we have most things pretty much sorted all ready.

Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.

~Edith Sitwell~

But first, was the office Xmas lunch at Radclffe. I wore a traditional pink Baju Kurung to brighten up the occasion. I did ask my colleagues to wear something bright or else it would just feel and look like any other ordinary day. I feel that people had forgotten to have fun or make things fun. We didn’t do much work at all as we were looking forward to the lunch. At 12.15 pm, we donned out coats and made our way to the venue.Warwick University S40  18-12-2012 14-15-56

After we were seated, we pulled the crackers, donned the paper hats, showed off our gifts and groaned at each others jokes. We buttered the bread rolls before we made our way to the buffet table. For starters, I loaded my plate with the Spanish-style tapas. A very refreshing start. As usual, we checked out what our colleagues were piling on their plate. It was time for good food, good company and laughter. Then, it was the main meal. I’d the trout and nicked some pasta with the usual trimmings of roast potatoes, carrots, Brussels sprouts and lashings of gravy. Yummy…

After polishing our plates, we queued for our desserts. As usual, very limited choice without gelatine and alcohol. I’d a filled crepe with fruit salad. It was delicious. And then we were ushered into the gallery for coffee and mince pies. We said hello to former and retired colleagues who’d joined us for the lunch. It was lovely seeing them again. It was nearly 3 pm before we (very) slowly made our way back to the office. We just sat in front of our PC digesting  :-).

I took the bus to work on Friday and had a surprise when there were 2 well-dressed drunks sitting at the back of the bus. They stank. Some of us were wondering whether they were on their way to a party or back from a party??? Thankfully, they got down in town and we can finally breathe in. I hoped they made it safely to their destination.

At work, SLA and I started the morning with breakfast. The cafe was having a full cooked English breakfast offer. We’d the Magnificent Seven which comprised of 2 vegetarian sausages, a fried egg, a fried bread, 2 rosties, a stewed tomato with a dollop of baked beans and coffee for only £2.50. The cafe was packed  as the staff took advantage of the offer. What a start to the day.

Then we went back to the freezing office!!! They’d shut down the heating. Why??? There were still people working on the last day of the year. But hey-ho, we plodded on. I was trying to finish the e-books when the Dawson E-platform crashed. Holy s—t!!! I know it was the last day but this was ridiculous. My colleague contacted the appropriate team and it was only sorted after lunch.

At 11.11am, we waited to see if the Mayan prediction was correct. Nothing happened. Life goes on and we continued eating the tons of  chocolates, biscuits  and sweets laying around us. Even the Mayans themselves reject any notion that the world will end. For them, the 21st was for giving thanks and gratitude and the 22nd welcomed the new cycle, a new dawn. Thousands had gathered at Stonehenge to mark the winter solstice and key Mayan sites in Central America to mark the end of the Mayan calendar.

On Saturday, I took the bus into the city centre to check-out the Xmas rush. While waiting for the bus, I noticed the traffic queuing right to where I was standing. What was going on??? When I got up the bus, I realised that that traffic was queuing to get into Gallagher Retail Park which was about half a kilometre away. The rush had begun. The city centre was buzzing. There was a continental market and an ice-rink in Broadgate and a fair along Smithford Way. After snapping a few photographs, I made my way to Deichmann because I was hunting for a pair of leopard ankle boots. But, they didn’t stock any.Coventry D3100  22-12-2012 15-10-57

Then I browsed in M&S but the queue to the till was snaking around the shop. In fact, everywhere I went, it was the same that I decided to go home. I’m glad that I’d completed my Xmas preparations and now looking forward to the long holiday break. Sunday was spent clearing up and vacuuming the spare bedroom. My cousin, NST, who is studying in Kent will be spending Xmas with us. I’m soo looking forward to see her again. The last time I saw her was 2 years ago in Malaysia. 

Christmas is upon us

May you have the gladness of Christmas which is hope;

The spirit of Christmas which is peace;

The heart of Christmas which is love.

~Ada V. Hendricks~

Coventry D7000  07-12-2012 15-52-15

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