catchmyfancy: (happy sun smiley cupcake)
At our Yewni we observe this not infrequently: the gentle and silent subversion of what's supposed to happen (rules and regs and Offishull Traditions and suchlike); and what people actually do, given a certain amount of choice about the matter (or as we like to politely call it: custom-and-practice).

My darling friend Ingrid and I started a little new year's eve tradition some years ago: we go to whoever has the most appropriate house for the weather (stinking hot=Ingrid's as she has awesome egg nitioning; other weather=my house as I do NOT) and/or circumstances (poor Ingy has a broken ankle at present); and we have an evening of pleasing only ourselves.

ie we drink as much or as little as we like; we stay up to midnight or we go to sleep at 10:30pm; we watch DVDs or chat (slurringly or otherwise); and then the next day we drag our hungover selves to brunch and a movie (movie choice is usually "let's see something GOOD"; one year I asked for Twilight so I would not have to read the wretched book my then-cancer-riddled-and-to-be-indulged-at-all-costs friend Elley had pressed upon me and Ingrid still hasn't forgiven me; *sigh*.  This year it was The King's Speech.  WHY HAVEN'T YOU SEEN THIS MOVIE YET?  GO SEE IT.  COLIN FIRTH HAS BEEN HOLDING OUT ON US, HE IS AN ACTING GOD AND HE AND GEOFFREY RUSH ARE MAGIC TOGETHER.  *ahem*)

This year, there were actually seven of us (well, nine if you count two ankle-biters, later spirited off home) and Ingrid had won a turkey in a raffle, and so she determined that we would have roast turkey with all the trimmings; which is something indeed to determine when you have a broken ankle that refuses to heal.  So we put it all together with Ingrid as the Sergeant-Major and us as her willing adjutants and had a wonderful dinner.

Over dinner it emerged that for almost all of us (barring Tim and Janet and their cute little sproglets) this was actually our celebratory Christmas dinner.  We had all dutifully done the family thing: gone to Christmas day (and/or Christmas eve and/or Boxing Day) and it was a Good Thing to have done.....but we had all felt slightly...constrained. 

Also, these were not the people we actually wanted.  I love my parents and siblings and nieces, but I felt like I'd been shoved abruptly into their midst, and that they were exercising some kind of claim for primacy in my loyalties that was not entirely their right, not anymore.

The people I wanted I rang on Christmas night and there was that little note of longing in their voices too, for something less either/or.   But it was unvoiced until last night; and it was such a relief to be able to say it.

So there's the thing one should be doing (rejoicing as one skips back into the family fold); and then there's the thing one actually does (modified rapture with the blood family; full happiness with the lovely friend-family).

It's possible that this is my single 2011 resolution: pay more attention to the naturally-evolving custom-and-practice - especially if it makes me happy; and a lot LOT less to the "I should" programming. 
catchmyfancy: (happy sun smiley cupcake)

So.

Apparently I just did something that I have just now realised Them Upstairs at my work were not entirely sure I would be able to do: on a couple months' notice, with not nearly enough resources (one of my team only got an actual computer of her own instead of hot-desking three weeks ago. let me repeat that: she had no computer unless someone was on leave or sick. neither did she have a landline.  and often she had no clue because she didn't know what to ask and therefore I did not know to tell her), and no time and far FAR too many people in charge, we graduated 6,300 people in 23 ceremonies in 19 days.

For extra fun, one of them was a double-header ceremony of 700 graduands at the Royal Exhibition Buildng right in the middle of the ceremony round.  I hate, loathe and despise off-site ceremonies as you pretty much have to build them from the ground up and they take 47,678 more hours to sort out than ones on-site.  When one finds oneself leading a gaggle of minions back up from the Music Faculty, each of you clutching a music stand in each hand to use them as de-facto sign-posts at the venue (following the cunning deployment of A3 signs and blu-tac), one has to ask oneself the following: What THE?

Since we cleared the last lot of new graduates out of the hall only 36 hours ago, the emails from Them Upstairs have been oozing oilily (what? 'oilily' is totally a word, and I'm in charge and so it is so nyer DO NOT QUESTION ME. QUESTIONS WILL NOT GET STUDENTS GRADUATED) down from on high and the enormity of what we just pulled off with about a 0.02% error margin is beginning to crash down upon me.

Fortunately in about two hours, three nieces will be bouncing about all over and around me, and I can save the shivers for the Month of Kevin.

ie hooooooooly crap.  But now: too much food; my mother nagging me about recording my CD; and hopefully getting presents that keep my luggage allowance under 15kg seeing as I am coming back on Rex airlines, with the teensy tiny planelet.
catchmyfancy: (eeexcellent)
Miss Fi pointed me at this one and I LOVE.IT.

Tim Minchin is so so so wonderfully Australian and he sings all the things lurking in the far corners of my soul. The nasally voice gets to you after a little while; but oh. Who cares when he sings stuff like this?

catchmyfancy: (Default)

Look what I got in my Christmas bon-bon - an adorable little cloisonne birdie.

It's quite heavy and sits very sweetly in the palm of my hand.

According to my mother (who always makes up the bon-bons herself and puts in "little trinkets"(!!) like this along with the obligatory Vile Punning Joke and Malfunctioning Paper Hat) this is my official Bluebird of Happiness.

And indeed, no reason said Bluebird shouldn't come in a Christmas bon-bon and also be a handy-dandy place to keep earrings and similar.

Day Three with the family and no urge to commit violence yet.  Nieces continue adorable.  Woke up to sunshine. 

And when out walking with my sister I saw TWO PLATYPUSES IN A CREEK.  Wow. 

catchmyfancy: (destiny)
1.There is no escape apparently

Went to my singing teacher's today for her usual end-of-year concert-ette.  After the week I've had and all the carry-on in the pub last night, my voice was only at about 65% capacity.  Ooops. 

Anyway, at the little get-together afterwards, I made the mistake of mentioning what I do.

What IS it with this wretched university that there is nowhere its tentacles do not reach?  Two MORE students in their penultimate or final year, simply panting to know when their graduation would be; the mother of a Master degree gradund; and the wife of someone finishing their PhD.  Jesus Mary Joseph and Ethel Merman.  I'm so very popular right now that it might almost go to my head if I didn't know I was pretty much a human FAQ list.

2. Had my first flash of the Christmas spiggot today

Found my christmas ornaments (two glass cherubs with stretgically-placed gold loincloths and instruments, one brass angel, one porcelain angel, one brass star, one glass heart) and hung them up with drawing pins along the top shelf of the mantel.  And now when I look at them, there is a faint hint there of - well - christmas roadkill.  It's definitely a look.

BAD SANTA IS ON THE TELLY!  This is excellent -  (a) I don't have to drag out my own copy (at least not till the 19th of December when I am planning to get very, very drunk); and (b) also means I don't have to get drunk now because it's not my copy.  I think this is the first time ever I've watched this movie and stayed completely sober.  It's my most favourite Christmas movie EVER and I've been giggling all evening.  What's even funnier is that they put it on straight after The Polar Express.  Heh.

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