Tuesday, December 18, 2007

So This Is Christmas ...

The morning we left for home we got up in our hotel at Heathrow before 5 in the morning. What with the packing, returning the rental car and getting to the airport, we were down in the lobby before 6. The lobby was full of people who were still drinking, there were beer bottles everywhere and people crashed on the couches. It looked like the party had gone on way too, way too long.

One woman, wearing a dress that was probably beautiful worn in the evening but now, in the harsh morning light, simply looked cheap got up and stumbled over to another table where there was a half full beer bottle. She picked it up and continued drinking.

Even to me, who has been known to party, this seemed on the pathetic side of 'PAR ... ty!!" Others were waiting for the Hotel Hopper that shuttles from hotels to airport as I was waiting for Joe to finish loading the car. I started to chat to a guy who was wearing a Canadian flag on his shoulder and it turned out we were both alumni from the University of Victoria - though he graduated in law and though he gradulated in a different century. I saw his eye caught by a guy who works at the hotel coming out of the staff area. I wondered what his reaction would be, I've seen this guy before - he's got Down Syndrome and he works at keeping the lobby clean.

He takes the job seriously.

He rounded the corner and saw the people sprawled about and the beer bottles littered everywhere. He covered his face with his hands and shook his head. Then he pulled his cart dutifully and as he passed us, I said, "Going to be a busy day."

Looking over at me he smiled and sang, "So This is Christmas ..."

We all burst out laughing.

I thought of all this while we were sitting home last night, in front of the Christmas tree, eating and chatting. Mike was up visiting with baby Ruby and she was having a wale of a time running round the house picking up things, throwing them to the floor. Then, tiring, she crawled up onto the chair and gazed at the lights and listened to us talk and laugh.

And I thought ... "So This is Christmas ..."


Lianna said...

Happy to hear that you're home! I feel for the fella that has to clean up after the "Par...tiers!" I have to admit that I had a few of those days back in the day, and I'm happy they're over. LOL!

Elizabeth McClung said...

Actually I think one of the most disturbing discoveries is that we share universities, at least the one Canadian where one I got a degree (two degrees?). Though since you have such a cheerful disposition, I find the thought of you going to UVic depressing, unless maybe you were stuck in the huts, the old military huts left over for abandoned studies - I saw a guy wearing a t-shirt saying, "University of Victoria entomology Dept." which I commented him on as such a great gag shirt. I mean I racked enough classess by taking courses for 5.5 straight years in 3 disciplines I could get two degrees so I would KNOW if there was such a department. Well, turns out there is, and turns out they are based out of the J huts and rather touchy about the idea (of which I wasn't the first) that a) they don't exist and b) that their "cool" t-shirt with insects on it was a "joke" shirt.

As for parties, in the true british tradition, I joined about 14 societies my first year there so no matter what house with a party I passed, I would ask, which is it, and they would say, "Archeology Club" or "English Studies Literary Reinactment club" and I would root around in the purse and low and behold, I WAS a member - woo hoo!

Jeff said...

So this is Christmas.....way to funny...reminds me of the business party in London while I was working over there. A few blokes had to much cheer for lunch and decided to grab a bottle of Port of the sweet cart.....tried to fight the AMEX charge the next day when the realized they had polished off a 3000 pound bottle.

Merry Christmas Dave.