Winding on down..

I gotta be honest, I don’t entirely understand all this fuzz about Xmas.. Being a student, it kinda seems as if everyhing is over before it even started and still it’s a hugely stressful ordeal because, well, you gotta get that whole shopping for presents thing out of the way, alongside your exams and what else have you, and being a child of a broken home doesn’t help much either because you’ll essentially have two sets of parents and/or grand parents who want to see you, in my case on opposite sides of the country, but eh..

It’s been a weird Xmas, really, I’ve seen some pretty strange things.. I’ve had not only fuck off expensive mineral water spilled all over my kitchen floor, but also grand cru Champagne, leaving me with one of the most expensive floors in history, I’m sure. I’ve also managed to indirectly attribute a few new burn marks to Tina’s arms, I’ve tended to kids, drunk expensive wine, come close to a mental breakdown on the 23rd and spat vintage Port all over my mother’s new boyfriend on Xmas eve itself.. It’s been a busy week!

It all sorta started on the 20th with a bit of a hangover, having celebrated my exam on the night before.. Coincidentally, I didn’t really have time for a hangover as I had Zascha, Emelie, Tina, Christian and myself coming over for dinner that evening and had to get preparations well under way. Luckily, Tina had decided to show up early and lend me some good company and a few helping hands which turned out to come in handy since my attempt of making a roux in the oven turned out to work not too well and as a result, I forced poor Tina to stand around for almost an hour stirring a combination of flour and butter over a low flame, earning herself a few burns in the process but creating a wonderful, rich base for the sauce that evening.. Good show!

A few hours later, Zascha and Emelie arrived, totally disregarding the fact that I hadn’t seen either of them for ages, Zascha especially, just walking in and making themselves at home until I showed up and demanded a proper greeting.. Which I, of course, then got. The party was completed when Christian arrived and I was able to get the roast in the oven while Zascha busied herself spilling water all over my floor and properly chilling, opening and serving up a bottle of Mumm Grand Cru Champagne.. Yum! This was followed by a nice French red, a nice, juicy roast, baked potatoes and the works.. And the surprise of the evening, Johan’s first ever dessert which probably came as a bit of a surprise to everybody.

Of course, there was also the ever so traditional stint of running around, singing and being happy followed by exchange of presents where I scored a couple of premium Belgian beers and a Johnny Cash live CD.. ROCK N ROLL! 😀 More wine was had, too, some decided to have a nap, too, after which Christian and Emelie decided to turn on homebound, leaving Zascha, Tina and I to chat for a while and sip some more wine. I ended up walking Tina home at around 3 AM, stopping at her place for a talk and a beer before heading home and turning in at around 5 AM at which point Zascha was apparently already sleeping happily. At any rate, I didn’t get any noise complaints this time around.

I woke on the morning of the 21st after way too little sleep and found Zascha already up and about, apparently unable to sleep as she was convinced Brian upstairs was taking revenge on us for being noisy the night before by stomping around extra loudly. As I regained some of my senses, I cooked up some quick breakfast and then sent Zascha out the door, called up my dad and made arrangements to pop on over to Nyborg for a few days as I’d promised I would before Xmas. And so, my days between the 21st and the 23rd were spent in Nyborg in a hectic combination of holiday shopping (which thank God went a lot easier than I’d feared), hanging out with the family and a frantic attempt to stir up some Xmas spirit and good moods in my own little mind.

This all went rather well until the night of the 23rd where I crashed completely at the outlook of more hectic days ahead. I was picked on up, though, by a pep talk from Tina and a few understanding comments from my dad, so after a walk in solitude which mainly involved kicking things, I was doing pretty well again and ready for the evening ahead.. All in all, it didn’t go too badly. The food was good, the company was good, noone cried (other than two-year old Izabella, but that sorta was to be expected), the wine was good, and despite not having slept for 48+ hours straight, I like to think I put up a pretty good fight, staying up until everybody had left or gone to bed, then eating a bit of food and downing a few beers in order to wear myself out completely, then crashing and actually managing to sleep for the first time since the 20th.. Good times!

On the morning of the 24th, I caught a ride back to Kolding with Mie who was celebrating Xmas with family just outside of town. I rather enjoyed a few hours in quiet solitude at home before having to get at it again. I was spending Xmas eve with my mom and her new boyfriend, Klaus, a set-up which I kinda had some reservations about since I didn’t know jack shit about the guy and had never met him before. But I figured Xmas was supposed to be a time of openness and all that jazz, and since for the last couple of years, people (read: Zascha’s and Tina’s families respectively) have been kind enough to at least invite me into their homes (knowing fully well that I would probably not accept), I figured I’d extend the same hospitality.

As it turns out, I had nothing to worry about, really, Klaus was a self-taught chef, owner of a wine school and a lover of all things in the area of gourmet food and fine wine.. So it’s not like we really lacked things to talk about, and it’s not like we did not split a bottle of Chateauneuf-du-Pape while preparing dinner and a couple of even better bottles of wine over dinner.. And, just for good measure, a bottle of 11-year old, 97 vintage port during the dessert.. Some of which I managed to spit all over myself, the table and Klaus.. But that’s just how I roll and that’s what he gets for trying to be funny.. The son of a bitch even brought me a present which kinda made me feel bad because I wasn’t expecting it and hadn’t brought anything for him.. That, and I hate being outdone.. But since his present came in the shape of a rare bottle of Italian wine – the only bottle in Denmark, actually – I reluctantly accepted. I ended up leaving my mom’s at around midnight after waiting some 55 minutes for a taxi. In turn I was rewarded with one of the most entertaining cab rides of my life. So entertaining, actually, that I ended up tipping the cabbie out of my own pocket, something that I rarely do, but y’know, it was Xmas and all that, and good service warrants a tip, I reckon.

I ended up arriving home a little after midnight, feeling a little more tipsy than I usually would on an Xmas evening, but maybe that wasn’t such a bad thing after all. At any rate, I spent the most of the night (till around 5 AM) winding down after everything that had happened and getting some much needed quiet reflection.. Xmas seems to be getting easier with each passing year..

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