One of the strangest things about retiring is getting used to Xmas. We’ve had jobs in the food industry where we worked liked navvies until Xmas eve then fell onto a plane utterly exhausted and arrived in Tassie looking like stunned mullets. Then came jobs where everything eased off the closer that we got to Xmas allowing for big boozy champagne breakfasts and office parties. With both types there was always a huge buildup to the big day.
Being retired is somewhat different. It all starts towards the end of November with the Caravan Club Xmas Titanium Knees Up. An event that goes on for days. Then there’s a rush to get back home in time for the Hysterical Library Xmas afternoon, rolling up for the Petanque pub lunch, the Philosophy Group’s break up, which involves far too much analysis and discussion and if I’m lucky there’s ukulele carol singing on street corners to increase the yuletide feeling. Somewhere in the middle of this festive orgy we slot in catch ups with friends, neighbours and Xmas with family and feel thankful if we manage to mail out the Chrissie cards to those still living.
Thus, by Boxing Day once we’ve watched the start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race eating a plate of leftovers in front of the tele we’ve had six weeks of celebration and that first niggle of yearning starts and Woody says “D’ya reckon we could just slip away somewhere quiet?”
But no! The city is empty and caravan parks have doubled their fees and every perfect campground, river and beach is filled with…holidaymakers! Good heavens those young whipper snappers have only had a few days of partying, spare a thought for the poor old seniors who’ve run the Xmas marathon and need to get away.