Well, that's another Christmas done and dusted. It was over far too quickly, in my opinion. Still, it was absolutely wonderful while it lasted. My little brother came up from Toronto for only three days, alas, but it was an awesome three days. He's a great person to chill with, but we're very different... and also very similar. He's much more of a people person than I am, and loves being in busy places with good food and good drink. He reads quite a bit, and loves video games so much he's made a career out of creating them.
I am the same in almost every regard except the whole people thing. I love good food and drink, but being around a bunch of strangers for an extended period of time is not my idea of fun. Thus, in most situations when I am content - quiet evenings with a good book, or with a small group of beloved friends or family - he's usually bored. In situations where he is having a blast, I'm usually cowering in a corner wishing for my bed. And a good book.
Still, we're similar enough that he knows what to get me for Christmas. We both love to read and love to play games. This year, he spoilt me...
I got him the first two books in The Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Steven Erikson. I am still enamoured with that series, and apparently my brother's peers have been gushing about it too. So now he has no excuse not to read them. I'm curious as to what he thinks of them, as the other two people in my circles who has read the first book were not all that fussed. I happen to think it's brilliant, so I push the series on everyone I know. Including my brother.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day saw me spending much loved time with my much loved and lovely family. I met my uncle's boyfriend for the first time, and I have to say, I liked him immediately. He's an absolute riot. I do hope to see more of him. My cousins are all wonderful people and have been doing wonderful things. Another uncle recently got married to his long time partner, and she's now officially part of the family. That made me obscenely happy... not that she wasn't before, but now it's all official.
I have to say, my family is such an awesome group. I look forward to Christmas every year because they all gather and are all so lovely and merry and fun.
Boxing Day saw my brother and I headed to the cinema to watch The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies. He had been told that it wasn't good, so was pleasantly surprised. I was surprised he was surprised. Having seen the other two, I was curious as to what he was expecting.
For my part, there was not enough Bard the Bowman. Bard was my favourite character from the books. No, that had nothing to do with him being a killer archer (read here: it had everything to do with the fact that he is a killer archer). I think Luke Evans did a wonderful job with him and I really wanted to see more of the character than I got. Oh well!
I also have to say that, thanks in large part to Martin Freeman, Thorin's death was far more affecting on screen than it ever was in the book. I cried when Kili and Fili were killed in the book. This time I cried when Thorin died. They were silent stoic tears, however, as my brother was sitting beside me, and for some reason I always feel foolish for crying in front of my siblings.
My brother had to head home that evening so we hung out the rest of the day and I saw him off, feeling a little blue. To the rescue came Jen and Eric, who hosted an epic Lord of the Rings marathon. It was awesome. Good food, good people, great movies. I got to play in Middle Earth a little while longer and it was fabulous. I arrived home late on the 27th feeling awesome.
I spent most of yesterday in bed recovering from the holidays, and now I'm back at work. Like every year, it seems, I have eaten too much for my own good. I feel fat and slobbish and gross. And if I take another bite of something sweet, I'm going to throw up.
The feeling never really lasts all that long. I will go back to training, back to my routine and back to my old eating habits and everything will be good again. I can't wait for this training break to be over. I always get so antsy when I've been away from training for too long.
Right, today I have to write the first eNewsletter of 2015, so I should dash. But first, it's back to my Welsh lessons. Let's see how much I have forgotten!