In my old age I have grown to dislike, nay hate Christmas. Everything from Slade and Wizard being played in the stores in October, through to the whole pretence & over the top commercial-ness of the thing. In recent years I have had Christmas' that can only be described as miserable, sad, depressed and difficult. This year's however was the best one I have had for a long, long time.
I will be setting off to Heathrow a bit later - hopefully combining the drive with the commentary of the Southampton match on the radio. I have been back at home for over a week - the longest time I have spent back in the UK since I left in October 2003 and it has been fun.
I arrived last Saturday morning and took in the Hornchurch v Carshalton
match alongside a couple of pints with two mates. Then in the evening I joined a group of friends at their annual Christmas Chinese extravaganza which was let me say rather drunken. 12 hours sleep later and I was ready for the week ahead.
Sunday was a day of shopping and wrapping and in the evening I treated one of my best pals ever (Bakes) and his lovely girlfriend to dinner. My treat - I owe him big time - and I went to bed feeling very pleased with myself & a bit tipsy.
Monday I spent the afternoon in the company of many good friends in the City including an old mucker of mine (Keith) who has been in Thailand for 2 years and then of course I was at the Valley later with my Charlton mates seeing us beat Fulham
Tuesday and Wednesday was probably the highlight of my time with two wonderful nights at One Aldwych
and we owe everything to their superb concierge for getting us into Claridges
on Wednesday night for a truly memorable dinner.
I then had the pleasure to spend two days with my son, who makes me laugh out loud with the things he comes out with. Unlike other parents I will not tell you that he will be the most intelligent kid on the planet, that would be ridiculous because after all I am his Dad but at nearly 5-years old he is exceptionally rounded, confident and outgoing.
We had a mini Christmas Day on Friday with him - my brother refusing to let him win at Operation
- and after taking him home, came back to my parents near Eastbourne and went out for a few pints with my Dad and Brother whilst my Mum cooked, to the local Royal British Legion
Club where my brother, me and my Dad (in that order) were the youngest people in there!
Christmas Day was all about eating, drinking and watching the box of course but I enjoyed to laziness of it all and I can't remember when (if at all) the four of us have been on our own on Christmas Day. It was a very nice day indeed.
So today is Boxing Day
- another tradition that the Yanks have no concept of. To them today is Sunday and that means American Football, eating (well, of course) and getting ready for work the next day as tomorrow is Monday. So Christmas comes to a sudden halt for me. I land later about 7pm Chicago time and will be back at my desk tomorrow but full of some great memories.
I hope you all had great Christmas', happy Boxing Day and enjoy the rest of the 'Christmas break'.