Last year, I managed to escape to a delightful Italian lunch with my grandmother, but she's in New Zealand this year so that avenue is closed to me. I am hoping my lack of plans will mean that I will just stay at home and that no-one will try to include me in this needlessly large gathering. Maybe in the next few days, I will come up with some brilliant excuse to justify my failure to appear at anything. This is going to be the great thing about living in Brisbane and subsequently Melbourne - not only will I have the obvious justification of distance to excuse myself from any gatherings here that I don't want to attend, but I also won't be forced by anyone else to celebrate Christmas in a manner not of my choosing. Hopefully, anyway. Personally, I do not associate exorbitantly large gatherings fuelled by alcohol with Christmas. Give me a quiet day with people who are close to me, and make sure there's afternoon cricket.
Maybe, if I'm lucky enough to be left alone on Christmas afternoon, I will head outside and set up the wickets and practice my bowling. Sad to be on my lonesome, true, but my bowling is rusty considering the fact I've barely played any cricket since January 2003. That's when I had a lump removed from my back, and for the rest of the summer holidays, I couldn't play as my bowling action would have probably ripped out the stitches. I only played a little bit of cricket in summer 2003-2004, nothing in summer 2004-2005, and then I finally got a game when I taught the Franklin folk how to play back in June. That revealed just how hopelessly out of practice I was - if I'd been bowling to people who actually played cricket regularly, I would've been smashed all over the park. This certainly needs to be rectified. I've bowled an ex-Queensland state representative before (and got $20 for my troubles); I should practice a bit so my bowling regains that standard of respectability.