griswold and all


Spangles, bangles and sparkles. All kinds of gold. The desk-ridden jammed into their a-little-something-leather and alotta-something-gauche.

Offices begin to spill into the streets at lunch time. To make merry and drink sherry (and whatever else the free bar has to offer) until the wee morning hours.

I left my own a bit later. Sometime after dark. Made my way to Deansgate and forgot all about the Hungarians and their pig in a tent (The lunch hour was spent watching marketeers slice pork from the back of a grinning pig.)

I stepped over a fallen reveler and two of her friends. Covered in drunken jubilation. Laughing. Hysterical. Because everyone knows there’s nothing funnier than a couple of forty-something females who cant hold their liquor and think a trip on the pavement is a good way to cool down until the next round.

Albert Square (c) Holt
Manchester Town Hall

I rolled my eyes and smiled like the pig. Christmas Vacation. Two weeks of nothing but net. And presents. And wine. And a pound of smoked salmon.

I caught a train to Wales because I couldn’t be bothered waiting for my own. It was tattered and dirty the way Welsh trains sometimes are, but it was going in the right direction, and in a round about manner I got home.

The evening was spent with a glass of wine and a fresh faced young man, decorating a blue spruce rather like the one Clark Griswold brought home in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. (Looked much smaller in the forest.) There was sap. There were needles. A little bit of strop. Some chocolates filled with mint.

Plans were to spend Christmas in Shepherds Bush. Boxing Day in Buckinghamshire. Hosted by two lovely sisters. Plans change.

Tomorrow my mother flies from Charlotte to London. She’ll love my tree. She’ll hate my shoes. I’ll tell her to cut her hair. She’ll tell me to mind my own business. We’ll argue over politics. She’ll tell me I’m mean. I’ll shop. She’ll sleep.

There’s nothing like a Griswold Family Christmas.

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