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Pre-Christmas Party '03

Good morning everyone! The party last night went well. I think it actually wound up being more pleasant than it would have been with more guests - not that we didn't miss the people who couldn't make it, but it's just one of those things.

Lauren and co. were actually the first to turn up, a fact that surprised Lauren greatly; she's never first to a party. She even offered to go and come back later! Still, she can relax with the satisfaction that she turned up over an hour after the start time. We said it was a bring-a-plate party, but Lauren and Jason (Lauren's squeeze) came with plate, pan and ingredients; although Vickie had been busy in the kitchen before, making salads and cooking turkey (she figured on making some food just in case no-one bought a plate; I think she just wanted to cook), but Lauren and Jason simply took over, making lots of won ton and a bread-and-cheese concoction called a trencher.

With L and J was Christian, a fellow gamer I think I'd met previously at a con somewhere. He was a quiet bloke, but a good guy. I introduced the three of them to octaNe (yes, I weakened and bought the whole thing on Friday), and it seems that it's just what they've been looking for. They asked whether I'd even run a game later on, but by the time things wound down enough to give it a go, I was too tired to try and GM the darned thing. So we played a game of Chez Geek instead. Which was good. Dan won.

Speaking of Dan, he, Lesley and the kids were next to show up. They brought Thai fish cakes and dip, not to mention some champagne and some James Squire India Pale Ale. Our Christmas tree immediately became the centre of attention for the kids, Emily and Gabrielle, who were pretty good all evening!
Mum and Dad were next to arrive, with a bottle of 1994 Cowra Estate Shiraz Cab Sav. Vickie tried some, and she was very impressed. I didn't have any myself, but instead I enjoyed the couple of plates of pastries that they brought. Things were pleasantly social with them, although Dad was getting pretty strident about the situation with the nurses at one point (he?s with the association).

Finally, our mate John Osterberg arrived, and bribed the host with a bottle of '98 Chandon that's going to stay on our wine rack for a special occasion (like maybe Christmas). I was showing Lauren Tron 2.0 at one point, and John liked the look of it so much that I fired it up for him and he sat down to give it a play-through! He?s not got a fast PC at home ? which reminds me, Mum and Dad bought themselves a new PC for home, a nice fast Dell with a 2.8 GHz processor (and a flat screen). They don't know what they want to do with the old one yet, which I think is a 1.5GHz Pentium? I wonder if John would be interested? Or Lauren, for that matter?

We?d already had two invitations to people's places for Christmas (Dan & Lesley, Mum & Dad), and by the time the party was over, we had another from Lauren. Sheesh! Can't we have one, just one, nice, quiet Christmas to ourselves at home?

The answer, I think, is no.

So, as this is the third Christmas we?ve spent going out to spend time with people, here?s our plan for Christmas 2004, and we're getting in nice and early: we're staying home. All you people can come over here. Just remember - we invited you first.

Actually, what's everyone doing for New Year's this year? We're going to be spending it at home, especially as Vickie has to work on New Year's Eve (which means it's not going to be a big raging party, just a get-together; I don't want Vickie getting home from work at ten to midnight to be bowled off her feet).

Anyway, things went nice and smoothly, and pretty much finished up at about two this morning, and after putting the dishwasher on, I crashed; Vickie stayed up until quarter to three to clean the non-dishwashable crystal and the cooking crockery (silly lass wouldn't leave it for me to do in the morning), not to mention re-organising the fridge; we had so much food left over that we could easily host another party with it. (Problem is, a lot of it won't keep until Christmas.) The lesson we?ve learned from this is: the next time we invite Lauren to a "bring-a-plate" party, we simply let her do all the catering.

The only problem with that plan is: What will Vickie, who loves to cook for parties, do?

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