Boxing Day

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Happy Boxing Day morning. Or, as they say in the U.S., uh, nothing.

“You don’t have Boxing Day in the U.S.?” my niece asked me a little while ago as we watched TV.

“No,” I confirmed. “Back to work. The holiday is only Christmas.”

As we discussed that, an ad for the new season of Revenge came on.

“Oh, Revenge is starting here soon,” I observed.

“What’s that?”

I tried to summarize it for her. “It’s an American TV show about disgustingly rich people on Long Island who are involved in all sorts of illegal and nonsense stuff, and a girl is out to get revenge against their family. It’s so over the top it’s ridiculous. But you have to watch it from the very beginning.”

“Ooh, sounds like I’d like that!”

We’ve spent Christmas here in Essex (not far from Stansted Airport) with my brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and our two nephews and niece. The kids are now ages 20, 12, and 17, respectively – not really “kids” any longer. (My niece now even has a boyfriend!) It has been great fun.

Yesterday, shortly after midday, Red River with John Wayne happened to be on some TV channel. As a huge Duke fan, upon stumbling on it my brother-in-law left it on. Lightheartedly he also declared standing the middle of the lounge that we had reached midday and not even opened alcohol: “It’s noon Christmas Day and I’m not drunk yet?”

After he walked out, Red River on, my sister-in-law appeared.

“We must be getting older,” I joked to her. “We’ve forgotten to drink anything so far.”

“I know,” she replied. “I’d love a cup of tea. Sad, isn’t it?”

She noticed Red River. “Oh, don’t tell me….”

“I guess he thinks it’s a Christmas film,” I smiled.

“Change the station, Rob. Don’t let him sit here and watch it,” she laughed. “He’ll get nothing else done today.”

He never did get back to Red River, and we got through Christmas dinner just fine. Afterwards, we FaceTimed my parents in America. “The best invention ever!” my mother exclaimed. Everyone on this side of the Atlantic was happy to see my Dad looking so well.

No one drank too much either. We were indeed all mature and restrained. Later last night, though, after the youngest two had gone to bed, we did have some – not all of the bottle! – Sambuca:

Post-dinner drinks. [Photo by me, 2014.]
Post-dinner drinks. [Photo by me, 2014.]
I feel fine this morning. We had just a bit. We didn’t overdo it. 😉

My mind as I type this is drifting to 2015. The third book needs to be attacked: when it’s all on you, nothing gets done unless you do it. Yet I’m also finding that taking a few weeks’ writing pause has been necessary – like a vacation.

A year ago in January, I was able to jump into what eventually became Frontiers with far more zest than I’m currently able to summon up for the – as of yet unnamed – third book. That funk won’t last I’m sure. I suspect most of the reason is tiredness: I’ve been at this now mostly non-stop for over two years in producing the two novels so far. I think I’ve earned a few weeks’ writing respite.

Have a good Boxing Day. 🙂

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