This is my favourite moment from Christmas this year, when Laura bought three hats from a passing salesman for the waitresses at the Thai Kitchen. They were genuinely thrilled and surprised that someone had done something nice for them.
After supper, we went on a hunt for iced coffee while we waited for midnight mass. The waiter at the Olive Garden told us as we arrived that they were closing because “we follow the customers” (which made me wonder what we were. Aliens with demands and money?) So off we headed to the Greek corner cafe – remarkably, such a thing still exists – where we bought Magnums and a magazine to read while we sat on the steps at the church and waited.
The Catholics are a lot more committed than the Anglicans, judging by the numbers last night. St Boniface was so packed that people had to sit outside, while St George’s wasn’t even full. The Christmas carols were a bit depressing and I missed my family and the Plett Christmases of my childhood, when the world was new and thrilling and I almost wriggled out of my own skin with excitement.
Three Chinese tourists sat next to me, participating enthusiastically in the “peace be with you” before fleeing when they saw they might have to go up for communion. At least this time I got the order of the wafer and the wine correct.
After the service I waited outside by the car and scrolled through Twitter, as you do. It was a strange sensation to be there in the dark after midnight, a very soft drizzle prickling my skin, a car guard in the shadows for company. For a moment or two I felt unutterably lonely. And then Laura appeared and we drove home, chatting about the blog we’re thinking of starting, one based on the things we say to each other over scrambled eggs and salmon.
We arrived back at the B&B to discover little gifts of soap with Christmas messages from our hosts. The last thing I did before going to sleep, apart from cleaning my teeth, was putting together a Facebook status update for a client. (Typical me.)
Today we’re having Christmas lunch at Pezula, and tomorrow I will have to start trying to lose weight.
New year and resolutions are around the corner, after all.
Merry Christmas, everyone. For real, this time.