Merry Christmas from the world of insomnia. It's 7.30am as I write, though I've been up for hours. It's been lovely being back for the last few days, but my bodyclock is still screwed up over my three weeks of nightshift. Hence I passed out in total exhaustion at 9pm last night, woke at midnight before managing about three more hours of patchy sleep.
I took an early morning festive walk through the quiet streets and calm but bitter cold. I wandered to my fourth flat where my cold, dead van is parked, and tried and failed to jumpstart it. Then I bought some muffins, and am now enjoying them with coffee, some whimsical music, and will soon commence on throwing my money away on online poker.
This is my first Christmas home since 2002. The standard, traditional Christmas would be spent home in Dingwall, but on this occasion my mother is up in Aberdeen, and with my sister and grandfather we'll be having Christmas lunch with my mother's cousin and her two daughters (my second cousins?). My great aunt will also be there, which apparently makes the Queen's Speech a compulsory item on the itinery.
So, an actual, proper Christmas for once. Last year was spent in Nigeria, drinking the hotel bar dry of cognac, making our Boxing Day chopper flight less than fun. The three years before were all in Korea, which although cranked up to a neon level over Christmas that has to be seen to be believed, isn't a very festive place. One year I spent rolling around in my dark, one-room apartment, next to an 8-lane road feeling very hungover, another I spent saving orphans before going to a deluxe beach-side hotel, and the other I spent in a revolving restaurant with my then-girlfriend. All were memorable in their own way, but none quite match the feeling of a Christmas at home with family.
It's not to last long though, as tomorrow I'm away again. This time to Trinidad, leaving the evening of Boxing Day.
Anyway, Merry Christmas everyone, and of course, please take some time to remember the real reason for Christmas: to punctuate our bloated existence. Merry Christmas!