Sunday, 17 December 2006

I'm going to spend my Christmas alone.

Well, what do you know, it's nearly Christmas.

It's nearly the end of the year! Hmm, looking back, I wonder if this was a productive year for me or another annus horribilis. Far be it for me to be so self-assured about my (lack of) accomplishments this past year, I leave this assessment to my colleagues, my folks, and my friends, and perhaps those people (you, yes the 9! of you) who think my photoblog is worth their time.

To kickstart the winter holiday season The Nashman has been attending shindigs not just to eat but to catch up with old friends, forgive enemies, and make up with those who went astray.

Thursday was research group dinner at a French restaurant. My camera skills that night were non-existent as these pictures out of focus...

I had a starter of mussels in garlic! I tried to block the thought that they kinda look like Britney Spears' clits, as plastered all over the internet two weeks ago when she went commando. (In fairness to her, her snatch looks much better than Paris Hilton's.)

I had lamb for the main course. It was very good except that....

Where on earth is the bone marrow!!!!!! It's supposed to be the best part! I think the only explanation for this is there must be another Filipino in the kitchen who got to the good bits first.

Dessert of panna cotta...

Friday involved departmental drinks that started at 3:30pm which was very early for me for anything alcoholic yet I quickly downed two glasses of champagne. I wasn't drunk but I inexplicably tied the end of the string of a helium balloon to a braid of my locks and walked around campus with it. It was my impression of 'thinking aloud'...geddit?

For dinner it was off to my departmental dinner which was always grand.

The best table is always where I'm seated.

My starter was Bambi - venison terrine.

And for the main I got a luscious rare sirloin of beef.

And my dessert was Christmas pudding.

On Saturday, I skipped breakfast and lunch entirely but Alexandra dragged me for a very early Thai dinner at 6pm! This was followed with ice cream at the usual place.

Mine: Turkish delight.

Alexandra's: Raspberry.

On Sunday, I worked till late afternoon before going to Blackwell's for coffee. I got this book 'written' by the alcoholic family dog in Family Guy entitled: Brian Griffin's Guide: to Booze, Broads, and The Lost Art of Being a Man. I think Family Guy is one of those great animated sitcoms on the same level as The Simpsons and South Park. I like the fact that it's edgy and isn't infected with political correctness.

There are a lot of Filipino jokes in Family Guy. I remember one episode where one of the characters thought he'd shagged 5 lovely 'Filipinas' in Manila who later turn out to be 'laydee boys'. Another dog in this sitcom is Brian's friend , the gay mongrel Jasper, who is a brown ricer and has a Filipino boyfriend named Ricardo.

Ashley, it's not you as although you ain't hairy, you ain't pretty.

The mandatory legal stuff....

Being Scottish, I always assumed that Helen was Catholic. Entering the church and not seeing a grotesque crucifix, I realised that she is not your stereotypical lassie. An Anglican in Scotland? Surely not! But she is. She invited me for Carols by Candlelight service which was really good and finally really put me in the festive spirit. The choir was backed by a full orchestra. I didn't know some of the carols and I felt like Mr. Bean, in one of those classic episodes where he enters the wrong church and pretends he knows the songs with disastrous effects.

The church was packed and the priest started his short sermon with not one, not two, but three nativity jokes!

After the service, there were lots of minced pies and traditional mulled wine! I don't go to church much but I think my own Catholic church hardly even serves refreshments after mass. In fact, after the last Catholic service I got dragged into, which was in Stockholm a couple of months ago, you had to pay! 10 kronor for the end of mass refreshments. We can't possibly be that poor a church! Or maybe we are still paying for all that marble and artwork the bad popes commissioned.

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