Tuesday, December 26, 2006

It's the most wonderful time...

of the day.

Three hours left in this quiet, windowless office. The urge to stuff my face with chocolate is pretty strong. Who works on Boxing day? What a load of old bollocks. It's a real come-down after I almost - ALMOST - enjoyed yesterday.

Actually, it was good. We had a nice time. The kids loved their presents and were full of joy and brightness and all the other things that have been slowly sucked from my soul over the years. Christmas lunch was really quite enjoyable. The venue (Courtyard Marriott at Green Community) was pleasantly decorated and they looked after us terrifically. Our waiter - an Indonesian man named Yoyo (I kid you not) - was genuinely pleasant and attentive to our every need.

We were first in, arriving just before 12pm, so had the whole buffet area to ourselves for a bit, until people started filtering in. By 1.30pm the place was full and buzzing with cheerful conversation. We feasted on smoked salmon, turkey, roast ham and Christmas pudding, and it was all really tasty. The only thing missing was stuffing and brussel sprouts.

Outside, the sun shone in a warm blue sky. We could see a swimming pool out of the window and there were people sat out there drinking. Some even went for swim. It was somewhat strange to be sat eating Christmas dinner, pulling crackers and wearing silly paper hats in such a place.

By 3pm, we couldn't force any more food or drink down our gullet, and I was feeling merry enough, so we paid our bill and headed home, weaving through massive queues of lorries and trucks on the Emirates Road. It's almost like just another day here.

We spent the evening playing games and ate a small, late tea of a few sandwiches. Phone calls to relatives and friends were made, and that was the point when me and the WIFE realised what we were missing. We chatted via video-link to my parents on MSN Messenger, as they prepared to eat dinner at my uncle and aunt's house in Scotland. We spoke by phone to the WIFE's parents, and there was obvious emotion in the voices coming down the phone lines. These are the times you that miss your family.

So, this morning, I had to get up for work again, and face the commute through the blowing sand. It seems a bit pointless, as a lot of people are away, and it is soooooo quiet, and the locals are gearing up for the next Eid, which happens at the end of the week. We should get a couple of days off round New Year at least.

But there you go. Christmas is done and dusted for another 12 months. I wonder where we will be next year.

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