The last few days I have been with Nick’s large family about 1000 kilometers to the north of Sydney, in Queensland, the state just above New South Wales. The family originates near a place called St. George and most of them still reside in the state less than a few hours drive from each other. We were staying in a house in Kingsthorpe, near the larger city of Toowoomba with the family, and like most holidays was filled with family, fun, and food. Everyone in Nick’s family who I met was without exception warm and welcoming to me, and I really appreciated being there. The accents are quite a bit stronger up here, and at times I have struggled to understand what people have been saying. One of the funnier moments came when they were discussing a dessert that they would be making, and what a favorite it was. They kept calling it “rumble”, everyone loved “rumble”. Wait til you taste the “rumble”. It contained chocolate and sultanas and coconut and rum. I was excited to try this local Australian treat. And when they gave me one I realized it was the quite familiar “rum ball”.
So Xmas eve was, in fact, a dinner party. And it was mostly, but not exclusively gay. And everyone was dressed as lumberjacks. And Spanish was the main language, although there were hearty doses of English and lesser portions of French thrown in. Most of the people there worked at the UN, and most were interpreters for a living. And in one of the funnier twists to the evening, one of the other guests arrived and started talking to me with a kind of secret complicity, like he knew me, but I could not figure it out. He looked vaguely familiar, but I was sure we had not met before. Finally, he let on that we had been chatting online earlier in the day. Christ, sometimes I can be really dense.
And yesterday, Xmas proper, I met my friend Sian for our traditional Jewish Xmas lunch of Chinese food at Grand Sichuan in Chelsea. Following that, Craig and I had planned to cook dinner and had a few friends over to share the Xmas meal. As the food and most especially wine flowed, our conversation naturally turned (as it seems to among gay men) to bad/funny dating stories.
All in all, a pretty nice Xmas.
This is what I call a craaaazzzzyyy love of Christmas: