Christmas Week

The Australian
The Australian

I read every single word in “The Australian” today. I read newspapers for a living, of course, although my style of reading is mostly utilitarian. But today I read the paper for pleasure. I enjoyed the article about the American presidential election. I thought the letters to the editor were quite interesting. I loved the story about the death of Hugh Massingberd, the former obituaries writer for London’s “Daily Telegraph”. In a wonderful anecdote, the article describes how he convinced the reluctant former editor that it was sometimes relevant to report the cause of death, something which the paper hardly ever did. The very next day, “The Australian” article states, “someone had died of a penile impact which had imploded”. Ordinarily I would have just skimmed the first paragraph of the story, but today, and this week generally I’ve been able to read newspapers at a more leisurely pace, thanks to the much quieter work environment.

While others flee Sydney in the week between Christmas and New Year I like to remain behind. Sydney becomes a “ghost town”, and as such, you find a change in human behaviour. People are talking to each other in the street, people are polite on buses, and some of the usual evidence of “road rage” and “supermarket rage” has disappeared. At work, there is a wonderful spirit of co-operation, evidenced by the daily cafe run at 7.45am to the nearby Cafe Nine, due to the summer shutdown of our work canteen. I love it.

I’ve even found time to get on top of some of the paperwork that I was behind on. And I’ve been starting early and coming home early. Unlike tens of thousands, however, I haven’t gone to the beach. Instead, I’ve come home most days and have enjoyed a quiet refreshing late afternoon nap. The only things which have bothered this idyllic existence have been the occasional work-related phone call.

And now I’m on holiday for a few days. Aside from lunch tomorrow with a friend, I don’t really have anything planned before returning to work next Thursday. I don’t know, for example, what I’m going to do on NYE, though I would imagine it will involve some sort of “festival of beer”. I’d like to spend some more time surfing the interweb though, as part of my travel planning for later next year. And of course, I’ll write my Year in Review post, which I’ve done annually since 2002.

That’s about it though. What about you? Got anything excited planned?


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