Christmas in the City

I don’t know how to start. I know the where, but it’s the how that trips me up. Once again stumbling on my own two feet as I feel like I’ve been gone too long and all my words have already taken flight to somewhere sunny far, far away.

They say the hardest part is the starting. The eternal pause before the first word. Hozier’s ‘Take Me to Church’ finishes and now I’m listening to Showoff’s ‘Falling Star’ wondering if this song would end, too, before I even get to begin. Or my entire Spotify playlist, for that matter.

It’s a bit late to be posting about my Christmas in the city. But between the awkwardness of writing about it tonight and the embarrassment of publishing it two years from now when the mood finally hits me, I’ll swallow the first pill. It’ll be just like talking about the weather. Shooting the breeze. Quick chit chats in the workplace kitchen where people ask me how my weekend went and I’d say “Nothing much, really.” when really, something awesome did happen. Maybe not on a grand scale, but, you know, something.

I’m no stranger to awkward small conversations. Maybe that’s the reason I write.

We drove up to the city five days before Christmas. Thought it would be nice to take Raven sight-seeing all the Christmas installations Melbourne had to offer post COVID. Meet up with Cristina and her family as well, as was planned.

The day was nice and sunny. Warm. Thus, the outfit. Melbourne sure had me in the first half. Next minute I just wanted to go home. I was freezing. And with all the crowd, was starting to get a headache, too. Headache that only a suburban silence can cure.

I don’t think I can live in a city. It gets too much.

Or perhaps it was because everyone just wanted to get out of their homes after the longest lockdown in the world to have their photos taken in front of a Christmas tree. A normal human reaction that had us admiring colorful baubles and LED lights while waiting for our turn.

I enjoyed our little photoshoot by the Yarra River, though. The golden hour suddenly turning Jeff into the professional photographer that he was and me the stage mother asking Raven to sit still and smile for that picture perfect shot.

Just milking it while we still could.

Dinner was at Your Thai Restaurant in Swanston Street, our go-to place for my hainanese chicken and whatever it is that Jeff orders. We were supposed to meet up with Cristina and her family after but that never happened. We just could not get our timelines synchronized to allow us to catch up with each other at some point.

So we did the whole touristy thing before calling it a night and I was relieved to finally be in bed.

*Raven at 5 years old

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