Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

Urgh. It's Christmas morning and I feel like crap - streaming nose, streaming eyes, the shivers and what feels like a kazoo band playing in my chest ever time I cough. If I suggested at any point last week that Jack McConnell might have been 'at it' by phoning in sick before last week's Trident debate, then I repent entirely!

I suspect last week was the final straw. Out on Tuesday night; 2 receptions - BBC and SNP - on Wednesday night, followed by a late dinner and more beers; the SNP researchers night out on Thursday, with me doing my best Frank Sinatra impression and a 5am finish; and on Friday, an all-day session with my old pals from Scottish Widows, which a protesting body forced me to bail out of around 8pm. I guess I just can't hack it any more...

At least being stuffed full of paracetamol makes it easy for me to be the driver this year. I'll head over to my parent's house in a bit, then we'll meet up with the rest of the family at my cousin Hazel's house. It's perfect for everybody because Hazel 1) has a big house with a big kitchen and 2) with the help of partner Eric and sister Lesley, manages to cook the sort of extravagant, beautiful food that always makes the day really special.

In the eyes of my little cousin Lorimer, I've always in the past had the special role on Christmas Day of being his Lego builder-in-chief. However, he's getting older now, so sadly, this might be the last year that he gets something which he needs the help of his big cousin to build! I'll just need to find more creative ways to avoid the annual horror that is the family game of Pictionary.

It's always men vs. women, and with a father who was an engineer and and an uncle who was a signwriter, you'd think we might actually be quite good. Alas, the perfectionist in both always comes to the fore, as does my Dad's infuriating habit of staring at you as if you're an idiot, just because you can't work out what his painstakingly composed drawing is supposed to be!

Anyway, I'm off now until the 8th, and the chance to do nothing is extremely welcome. I've got a pile of books, which I may or may not get through, but the highlight after today is going to be New Year, where myself and a few friends have booked a log cabin up near Torridon.

It should be idyllic, but rather worryingly, we've just found out that there's no mains electricity and that running the generator for more than 70 hours in a week is Verboten. I guess that means hillwalks during the day, and wind-up radios and candles at night. Just so long as the heating isn't electric too...

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