I WAS recently admiring my Torbay palm trees in the back garden through some lovely (read: driving) English rain and remarking on how they had only just started to recover from the heavy frosts in January (as had I for that matter) when my wife calls out from the kitchen, “where shall we spend Christmas this year luv?”
“Settle down!” I reply hastily.
“Well we’re closer to next Christmas than last luv!” she announces and everything starts to move in slow motion. My brain starts calculating formulas and forecasts, planet alignments and pollen counts. Christmas can only mean one thing! We are heading back into w-w-w-w….I can’t even say it, w-w-w-wint….let’s just call it the ‘darkness’.
I focus on my hand. Put down my beer gently. Look out the window. All the leaves are still on the trees. The trees are still green. False alarm maybe…?
Maybe not. She is right, Christmas is coming. This will be my fifth journey through the ‘darkness’ (back to back no less). Physically it’s demanding, cold, windy, wet, slippery. But mentally, it is soul destroying, scarring, painful. It hurts.
It’s the hardest time of year here in the UK without doubt. No Christmas BBQs. No New Year’s beach parties. No Australia Day sunburn.
But hold on, let’s just analyse this for a minute. As my dad always said: “Son, if ya fail to plan then ya plan to fail”.
So how do I apply this plan here? Can I face another journey through the ‘darkness’? Tasmanians perhaps are hardened to this. But as a Mexican (Victorian), I need a proper plan.
First of all, there’s the general batten down the hatches business. I can move the BBQ closer to the back door and turn off the beer fridge in the shed. Easy stuff.
Next, turn off Facebook. Once I have committed Faceocide, temptation is gone. No more back yard cricket pics from my mates in the sun. Twitter too, it’s time for a free fall out of the nest. Then I gotta stop listening to the ABC Perth traffic report. Actually that’s all just the easy stuff. Wait. What’s that? Is that the wind blowing or did that tree just drop a leaf? I am getting nervous….
I recently discovered my blood group was B positive, so I guess now is the time to live up to it. There’s nothing like Guinness poured into a glass in the snow. Ah snow! Working from home (yeah now we’re talking) and snow fights. Roast turkeys, snow angels, um….. This is harder than I thought.
But it’s a start.
I am going to fight the ‘Lord of the darkness’ with everything I’ve got.
“Traitor,” the Aussies will yell. “When are ya comin back?” they will ask. But I won’t hear them.
I will be busy turning the snags at my snow barbeque and grabbing another beer from out of my snow fridge.
“Bring it on — ‘darkness’!”
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