Sunday It was pouring with rain and surprisingly chilly. Perfect for lounging around watching West Wing (yes, still).
Monday My instax and the Beehive - I was creating a gift tag.
Tuesday I was actually just trying to get a shot of the rain drops on the ivy. Luckily I didn't even notice the huge fucking moth until downloading the photos from my camera. Just thinking about it makes me shudder.
Wednesday Presents all purchased and carefully wrapped. Note the instax gift tags!
Thursday For morning tea on my final day at work I made chocolate cupcakes with peppermint cream cheese icing topped with a piece of candy cane. Luckily noone noticed that the wrappers were covered with chili peppers. I figured they were red and green and white and that was CLOSE ENOUGH.
Friday The family came to Park Place for desserts on Christmas Eve. Charlotte provided gingerbread cookies and little tubes of icing so we could ice our own. I chose the very christmassy Rothko. It made sense at the time.
Saturday More food. I know. But the smoked salmon filoettes my darling mother made were amazing. And the tapenade ones in the background? a pretty contrast.
I am officially on holiday. For a month. I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do with myself. I'm hoping to make a dent in the books-to-read pile which has been teeteringly tall for the better part of the year. I'm hoping to get sand between my toes and salt water in my hair - covered, as always, in 70+ sunscreen (yes, seriously).
Craig and I are headed to Pauanui which I hear is a beach, and then to Hawaii, which I know is a beach. Who am I? This yen for sun and sea is completely unlike me. But I'm not going to argue. It'll make Craig happy.
Before then however there is Christmas.
Tonight the family are massing at Park Place for desserts and Christmas movies. There is chocolate mousse with crushed candy cane topping, chocolate-peppermint cupcakes, and oodles of fresh berries. There is Elf, Love Actually, and While You Were Sleeping.
My favourite time of the day at the moment is just before 7am. I take a moment, before getting dressed, I look in the mirror and, more often than not, I smile.
It’s wholly and completely unlike me. I have always had a realistic sense of self. Or rather, I've always accepted my egotistical self-disinterest as merely one of the many many facets of my shiny personality.
I've always been more intelligent than pretty. Verbose rather than beautiful. Too short, too round*, too pale, too baby-faced. Too prone to pedantry.
I've wielded fashion like a mask, a costume. Camouflaging myself with the generic fashions of my friends, the black and studs of the goth, distracting people with my cleavage, wearing clothes which exposed me and hid me all at once.
But my tattoos? My tattoos are me. I designed them, I chose them, I endured the pain of them. I adore them.
It's taken me far too long to work this out. But every so often I turn to Craig and I say I just love my tattoos. I can't keep it in!
* admittedly, the weight loss of the last two years has probably helped as well.
I have so many things to plan for at the moment. Bits and pieces building up in my head so much that I suspect soon they will start to push my hair. And I LIKE my hair.
My family makes light of my tendency to plan and over plan for everything. But! There's not so much stress, I find. They don't believe me. Horrible people.
It's just ... there is SO much to fit in. So much I want to do. Christmas plans for one. I may have my christmas shopping 90% done* but there is the eve, the morning, and the dinner, and the day after.
And then? The time between Christmas and the New Year. We have a Burke family reunion (of sorts) to attend, a friend visiting from Japan to see, and my darling Katrinka and her Dave visiting from snowy snow Edinburgh. We plan to drink a lot of wine, and I plan to convince her to cut her hair even shorted.
Don't even get me started on Hawaii. I didn't plan at all, really, last time we went because I was pretty certain I would hate it. Of course, I loved it. So we're going back. Only this time there's so much more I want to see and do.
Yes, I want to do a lot of lying on the beach, swimming, and eating terrible/amazing food (The Magnum P.I. Burger! Coldstone Creamery! Yes please) but I also want to shop**, see lava, and go snorkelling with Manta Rays. These things need planning. Because according to my frantic googling? Only the shopping and beaching can be done on Oahu.
So right now? I keep my sanity (mostly) intact? I'm starting with a to do list of things to do. Lest my hair fall out.
* And I've only changed my mind about one of the presents so far. This is the benefit of buying presents that I wouldn't mind myself. ** I've even warned Craig about this. He needs warning before shopping. I mean, it might just be the way I shop, but I suspect that it's just him. Okay, maybe it's mainly me.
Sunday Sunday as Laundry day. I hate having so many things to hand wash.
Monday I also tidied up all my jewellery. This drawer is just filled with the stuff fancy enough to warrant remaining in their boxes. I also have two muji jewellery boxes and the hooks on my wall for long necklaces. In short? I have a lot of jewellery. But I love it all.
Tuesday The last day of Craig's handlebar moustache.
Wednesday Namaste from Bangalore! I donated to the lovely Sarah Von of Yes and Yes and received a little package in return.
Thursday Flowering Flax behind the Beehive.
Friday I spent too long on my hair and couldn't have breakfast at home. So I ate what was essentially a LOT of sugar in the guise of Wishbone Berry and Custard.
Saturday The black and white stripes? An adorable new bathing suit.