I was locking up tonight after doing RSA training. I had everything packed and grabbed my take home pile and, you guessed it, checked my phone. 5 minutes before was a missed call and message from Nanna.
Instead of going straight home I locked myself in and rang her back.
Best decision ever! We talked for 20 minutes about all sorts of stuff. My favourite topic of conversation being the two occasions Nanna got a bit tipsy.
The first story was back when it was 10 o’clock closing and they were at a Lounge bar for a fire brigade do. Before 10pm, as was the norm, everyone stockpiled their drinks. Nan had been drinking squash, but the friend who went to the bar got her gin squash, assuming this was what she’d been drinking all night. When Nan and Pa finally left at 2am she had finished all three stockpiled drinks, not tasting the gin. She was a little unsteady on her feet, as was Pa. They held each other up and made it home safely.
The second story was after golf. They’d won because of Nan (I hope I got this right Nan?) The team persuaded Nanna to have a sherry to celebrate. Before she knew it one of the ladies had grabbed Nan’s hand and pulled her up onto the tables as they were dancing the night away Nan looked over and saw <forgotten his first name> Plum looking over the bar. She’d been caught by a neighbour.
Unfortunately we also talked about grief and sadness. Last week Pa would have turned 90, my uncle has lost a best mate to cancer and one of my best friends lost her sister who had also battled the big C. Pa and her dad were first cousins. Life can be tough when the inevitable happens.
The older I get the more I cherish every single conversation I share with both of my grandmothers. I love that Nan never felt the need to drink to have a good time. She is fun and full of life with a cheeky sense of humour without it.
I wouldn’t even need to teach RSA if the world was full of Nan.
There have been years when the thought of Christmas looming just made me grumpy and anxious.
Working in hospitality meant that by the time Christmas finally got here, the carols, the cleaning up after the bonbons and the people who are not the best behaved under the influence of alcohol had worn on my nerves to the extent that they were like the little popper in the bonbon, just waiting for someone to tug on them before they cracked.
Then there was the pressure of finding pleasure in shopping! I fucking hate dislike shopping. That is all!
This year we have got it sorted. We have taken the stress out of the day. Instead of shopping for shit that will remain in the packaging for years to come, we have opted for a $10 Secret Santa for all the people over the age of High School. Shopping for the small kids was easy as pie. I scheduled a whole day and made a list. It wasn’t fun, but it did not see me sitting in my hot car somewhere breathing into a brown paper bag.
The food is organised. I never stress about cooking as this is the part I love. Our kids are the perfect age for building some excitement in the lead up. I let them decorate the tree by themselves. I did not move one of the baubles to a more appropriate place. It is theirs and it is beautiful xx
Today I finish work for the break and have a couple of days to casually wrap those few gifts we have bought for the little people. I can slowly tidy the house and prepare it for the influx we are expecting on the day. I will collect the food I have ordered and make those last minute purchases of fresh good.
Three more sleeps until a relaxing celebration of family and food.
Merry Christmas my friends xx
Edit: Parent Log: 23/12/16, 8:49pm.My Children are behaving beyond expectation. I am unsure whether to be afraid or proud. For now I choose proud. I have taken them both shopping separately for their sibling and they are both old enough to understand how important it is to keep a secret if it will make the surprise better.
Recently I had the pleasure of facilitating a Responsible Service of Alcohol course to some very experienced hospitality workers. It was an enjoyable day and the knowledge of the participants, and the fact I had worked with each and every one of them, made for a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
We made our way through the content, discussing the key agencies, the impact of alcohol consumption on our community, harm minimisation, signage, the effects of alcohol and strategies to prevent underage drinking and intoxication.
For those who are not aware, the definition of intoxication for the purpose of the liquor laws is- a person is considered to be intoxicated if
the person’s speech, balance, coordination or behaviour is noticeably affected, and
it is reasonable, under the circumstances to believe that the affected speech, balance, coordination or behaviour is the result of the consumption of liquor
As I was reading through the list of examples of behaviour I couldn’t help but begin to smile. Belligerent, argumentative, bad tempered, loud/boisterous, exuberance, annoying/pestering others, overly friendly, all appeared to my warped sense of humour. I couldn’t help thinking that my 3 year old had displayed all of these traits in the past 24 hours. She had also displayed one of the examples of speech, not understanding normal conversation (what part of NO do you not understand? I remember saying perhaps a little on the loud side). She is also often off balance, bumping into or knocking over furniture and people. And as for coordination, I am often cleaning up after a spilt drink.
After grinning away stupidly to myself about the parallels I decided on a new mantra when deciding when to cut someone off from purchasing alcohol. “If you insist on behaving as a three year old, I insist you leave the premises”. Although this is not the statement I would make to a person I was refusing service to or evicting, it will make it a little more fun for me thinking of my personal mantra as I am doing so.