I love the days after Christmas, when December quietly bleeds into a hot, still January. Things are quiet, time is fluid. It feels like the entire country has turned it down. Meals are leftovers, ham and cheese toasties, Christmas cake and brandy butter. Trips to the shops are for necessities – meat for tonight’s barbecue, orange juice for tomorrow’s breakfast. The cricket’s on. The tennis is around the corner. The only blip on the radar is a little thing called New Years Eve, but even that gets more relaxed the older you get and the better cheese and wine at someone’s place with all the important people sounds. In the quiet, lazy days after Christmas, everything feels good.
This year was a little different. The post-Christmas laze gave two days to the wedding of a dear, dear friend for whom I was fortunate enough to be a bridesmaid. After spending Boxing Day recovering from a 12 hour Christmas bonanza of food and drink, a lot of drink, a two day bonanza of – for a change – food and drink, bright pink manicures, flower arranging, hair, make up, champagne, speeches and an excellently attentive waiter at the reception who never left a glass dry. The day was, as Christmas was this year and my birthday and Australia Day will be next month, infused with a sense of luck and privilege, the understanding that big moments – and tiny ones too, ones – that rituals shared with friends and family are such an enormous part of what all of this is about.
But now, now it’s time for peace, even if it’s just a couple of days of it. We’ll continue our tour of Australia and head up to the Central Coast, home of my favourite beach in the world, Macmasters. New Years will be wine and cheese with the important people. The days to follow will be counted down, asked to go slowly, to at least acknowledge the fact that the faster they go, the closer SG’s departure looms. The closer my departure looms and with it that merry-go-round ride of relocation and life abroad once more. The closer 2013 with its topsy turviness, new cities, new lifestyle, new plans looms. And that’s fine, bring it on, bring it all on. I think I’m ready.
But first, a couple of days of quiet.