Monday, January 05, 2009

Happy New Year!

Yeah, yeah. I know it's a bit late, but it's been a fairly hectic festive period for me. I didn't even start my Christmas shopping until three days before the big day because I had an art job (maybe I should say 'art favour' seeing as I've not received any payment yet) for a computer games company which took far more time than I wanted it to; it started off being five pages but then I received the script, which crammed far too much into its five pages, so I decided to virtually re-write it, making it more reader-friendly (and making it easier to draw!) and so it ended up being nine pages. Still, it was a useful exercise- I now know, should I need to, that I can produce four fully-inked, fully-lettered pages in a week and still do a day job. (Saying that, I did do the last twelve pages of Septic Isle in a week. I didn't go to work or have any sleep, though!) Some of the artwork was quite good, too, even if I say so myself:

Anyway, after that was done, Heather and I spent a weekend down south catching up with her friends and folks and spreading a bit of the Christmas cheer. Now, I don't know if I've mentioned this, but my lovely girlfriend is crazy about Christmas. She absolutely loves it. Normally, I see Christmas as a royal pain in the arse. I hate standing in queues in department stores listening to endless repeats of Slade or that awful one Paul McCartney did that sounds like an intestinal disorder (I'm still wondering why I never heard 'Rock n' Roll Christmas' by Gary Glitter at all this year. Funny how some festive songs go out of fashion, isn't it?) and all the forced jollity (you should know enough about me by now to know that I don't really do 'jolly') and repetitive strain injury from writing out all the Christmas cards for colleagues who probably don't even like me that much.(Although this year, I didn't bother with cards for work. I'm glad we don't do Secret Santa at my work. God knows what I'd receive!).
However, my girlfriend's enthusiasm rubbed off on me a little bit, so we ended up getting a massive tree (eight feet tall! I spent all Saturday sawing the bastard up and putting it into bags. I only had a poxy little hacksaw so now my arms and back are sore. Poor me.) and it did look nice, I suppose.
Christmas itself was a strange one for me, as it was the first Christmas day I've spent without my kids being present (I got them the next day and we had a nice time) but Heather's parents spent Christmas with us and had dinner and a nice day was had by all. Although, Heather was a bit pissed off that her folks had bought me more presents than they did for her! I'm currently working on Heather's dad, trying to make him an Aston Villa fan. I did succeed in getting him to say 'Up the Villa' as a Christmas toast. Sounds great in an American accent. Sounds great in any accent, actually. Especially as the Villa are doing well at the moment. (When I was doing some shopping in Woking, I saw a young lad wearing a Villa shirt, so it looks like we're picking up some of the glory-hunting Southern support. It's a good sign. He was probably an ex-gooner.)
As I said, I got my girls on Boxing Day, so we got to have Christmas all over again, and my brothers and their spouses came over the day after that for a festive drink or three. The highlight of that was when we played 'Who's in the box?' a game where you take pieces of paper out of said box, and have to describe who's written on them to your partner. You have a minute and have to describe as many as possible. This game threw up some great descriptions and answers. My partner was my youngest daughter, and her description of Gandhi as 'some bloke from the past who wore glasses' didn't win me a point. My eldest daughter's description of Jimi Hendrix as a 'left-handed guitarist, brown' got some giggles as well. My youngest got my description of Paris Hilton as 'that slag from America with a dog', which is just as well, because when I read her name all I could think about was the video 'One Night In Paris', and I didn't really want to be describing that to my thirteen year-old daughter. Other descriptions of note were:
'Old Christian singer with a turkey's neck and a colostomy bag,' and 'Rasta frog who ruined Star Wars.'

The main reason Christmas was a good one this year, however, was that I managed to get ten days off work and Heather and I spent them doing nice holiday type stuff like not having to get up, or going to the lovely Electric Cinema ( a restored 1900's cinema here in Brum where you can book a sofa and watch old movies. they also have this great service where you text them what you want from the bar and they bring it to your sofa) and watching It's A Wonderful Life on New Year's Eve. It almost made me want to emulate Jimmy Stewart when I came out of the picture house and run down the street it's on shouting 'Merry Christmas Old Rep theatre! Merry Christmas old Midland Red bus depot! Merry Christmas Adultworld sex shop and porno cinema!' but I managed to keep myself in check. We also went to the Thinktank at the Millenium Point, where I showed Heather the Spitfires built here in Brum at Castle Bromwich, and we learned that most of the guns used in the American Civil War were also manufactured here in Birmingham's Gun Quarter. So, not only is Brum responsible for keeping Hitler at bay, we're also responsible for the freeing of America's slaves. We also went to the planetarium there, where we watched a film about what Ancient Egypt saw when they looked at the night sky. And we watched Villa score a flukey win against Hull in a packed boozer in Moseley, and another flukey win against Gillingham in the same pub. All in all, it was a fantastic Christmas and New Year, and I enjoyed it so much I might even do it next year.
Hope your Christmases and New years were good too.

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