Christmas. It's coming and there's nothing I can do to stop it. Apparently it's a whole year since it was last here, although I find that hard to believe. This year, however, I'm going to try very hard not to get stressed by Christmas and perhaps even enjoy it. I'll be heading down to Geraldine this time tomorrow (the first time I'll have been down there for almost a year). Christmas should be relatively quiet stress-free this year - on the day itself there will only be a handful of us.
While I'm in the South Island, Richard will be hosting a Christmas dinner here in Auckland for anyone from the Asperger's group who wishes to attend. I think that's a wonderful gesture - for many people, Christmas can be a very lonely time. If I was staying up here I would definitely have gone. Last Saturday the Asperger's group had its Christmas party. It was great to see such a big turnout - there must have been nearly forty people there - even if it got rather noisy and echoey (is that a real word?).
We've had shocking weather - about four days of non-stop rain. It's also been very humid, with overnight lows (!) of around 20 degrees. Drying clothes has proven nearly impossible so I've been forced to wear my emergency undies. If it's any consolation (and it is considerable consolation), I'd much rather have our weather than what the UK are going through. I don't envy all those poor Kiwis stuck at Heathrow trying to get home for Christmas.
Last week I had a look at Onehunga. I can see its attractions (it would be an inexpensive suburb for one) but I have reservations about living there: it's just a bit too far from everything and I'd be a bit worried about its crime rate. It looked a bit down-at-heel and reminded me of some parts of Birmingham (not that there's anything wrong with that - I liked living in Brum). It had a very good fruit and vege shop, an interesting second-hand bookshop and perhaps best of all the Dress Smart mall. I try and avoid malls if I can, but I do need to buy clothes occasionally, and for some reason you could buy the same clothes a lot more cheaply than elsewhere. So I'll certainly want to spend some more time in Onehunga but that doesn't mean I'll want to live there. I spoke to Richard and he pretty much agreed with me.
Last Monday I played interclub for the last time in 2010. I played with Superman in the doubles (again) and we lost (again), 6-3 6-4. I think we would both do better if we split up (well he certainly would; I'm so bad at the net that it might not matter who I play with). My singles was a different story - I knew my older opponent and thought I should beat him, but never expected to do so 6-1 6-1. I played well but he came to the net too often and I was able to pass him. He also got frustrated, and at times I felt I was the older player waiting for my 18-year-old opponent (he was actually fifty-something) to blast the ball out. We actually had a lot of good rallies though, and the score flattered me somewhat. Superman won his singles 6-2 6-2, reinforcing our need for a divorce from doubles.
My mental health service produces a quarterly newsletter. I'm part of the production team (apparently, although to be honest I'm not all that up with the play). I did however submit a cryptic crossword that I created; I'll be interested to see how that is received. I might even post the crossword on here in the next couple of days.
There will be no rest for me before I go away. My flat is still a complete mess, I've got all my packing to do and I'm taking my car in for a warrant this afternoon. Then tonight I'm seeing Gorillaz at the Vector Arena with Richard and two other people from the Asperger's group. I haven't seen too many live bands (unfortunately) and I've never seen a live virtual band before, but if it's got Damon Albarn in it, it must be good.