First off, there's been the whole office-move thing. Those of you with good memories may recall that I decided to move out of my office as part of the cost-cutting measures that also led to caffeine_fairy's redundancy. Moving on the next quarter-day meant that the lease was up on 24th December. Yup, out on the street for Christmas. What fun.
So the last few weeks have been a blur of packing boxes, making servers do my bidding, and cleaning and painting the office. rotwang, C, and M (neither of the latter two have a LiveJournal) shifted furniture out of the office and into storage the weekend before Christmas. My sister (J) did sterling work redecorating large swathes of office and generally making the place look habitable -- which is more than it did before we moved in, and I have the photographic survey from late 1999 to prove it.
Christmas Eve was, thus, memorable in many ways. It included my blowing up the office vacuum cleaner - one of the industrial types which should be impossible to kill, but I managed it. It included the sudden realisation that we didn't need to stack the rubbish to go to the dump in the storage unit which was, by then, getting rather full. Since we don't have any tenants in the old place at the moment, we have a spare house... with a garage. The garage, then, is full of sacks which will make the final trip to the dump at some point when it is open and we're not otherwise busy.
We returned home from the painting, cleaning and shifting-shit torment at 2350 on Christmas Eve. Oddly enough, those little preparations like putting up the Christmas tree, wrapping one another's presents, putting the finishing touches to the Christmas cake, and making mince pies had to wait until Christmas Day (in the case of icing the Christmas cake, until Boxing Day).
Christmas Day was a relaxing day -- very relaxing in comparison to what had gone before. I cooked the Victorian Stuffed Goose that caffeine_fairy had very kindly gone to collect for us a couple of days previously, roasted anything that didn't move away quickly enough, and the day passed in a haze of eating too much, drinking too much, watching Read or Die, and assembling siege weaponry; rotwang now has a fully-working mangonel and I have a trebuchet. Who could ask for more?
On Boxing Day, as is becoming semi-traditional, we entertained the massed hordes round at our place. rotwang had to go and pick up caffeine_fairy and chomper99 as their car had decided to blow its head gasket on Christmas Eve. Present also were anubisgrrl and her hubby D, thalinoviel, bytepilot, T and S (without LiveJournals). I cooked up a large pot of veggie chilli and one of sausage casserole, expecting to have overcatered hugely; in fact, it all went.
Saturday 27th was the final office day. Yes, I know I said the lease ran out on the 24th but we figured nobody was going to be doing anything much with it on the Saturday after Christmas, so we finished off the cleaning and painting then, and took photos (using J's newly acquired digital camera for the purpose). Finished at 2225, and I shut the door behind me with nary a regret (well, okay, maybe a few... but then again, too few to mention).
By this time we were thoroughly sick of the whole housework thing, as I'm sure you can all imagine. So we started off on the rounds of the family. My parents had come to London on the evening of the 27th for a party, and were staying overnight with us. We took my mother back to the wilds of Somerset on the 28th (my dad was going to football so was coming back separately). We stayed overnight with them, and I completely failed to retain my Scrabble champion title - I was so tired, I lost by about 150 points to my dad. On the 29th we met up with rotwang's dad and stepmother for lunch, and swapped stuff (books; used wrapping paper for dumping into their paper-making batches; things of that nature). After that stop, we headed onwards to Southampton to meet up with rotwang's mother and stepfather.
The next day, the 30th (still reading? blimey, you're brave) was rotwang's folks' silver wedding anniversary. We had lunch out at a local pub, which was a bit unexceptional, not least because things kept disappearing off the menu. Then they had arranged a party in the evening, in the same room where their wedding reception had been held 25 years previously. Lots of people, everyone seemed to have a good time. The photo albums from the wedding were brought out and passed around, and I must say rotwang looked terribly cute aged 10 in his green velvet suit.
That brings us to today, the 31st; we left rotwang's folks about 10.30 to head back home. I had some work to do, some of it time-sensitive (and, annoyingly, the people I needed to liaise with appeared to have buggered off home early... oh well). The rest of the day has been spent doing as little as humanly possible... except for laundry, and making the leftover goose into soup, and watching Raiders of the Lost Ark on newly-acquired DVD. The surround sound's very impressive (not to mention very distracting as I write this ;))
A quiet night in for New Year's Eve, then. Frankly I needed it, and so did rotwang. Hope those of you at the Templars party have fun, and a Happy New Year to anyone who's made it this far!