I spent New Year's Eve in Timaru with Mum, Dad, my aunt and uncle and their two friends. Seven of us in all; I was the only one under sixty. In some ways I find it easier to socialise with people much older or younger than me, or for that matter people who don't speak good English, because I'm not expected to have much in common with them. We turned up at the stupidly early time of half-five, so by the time the last fireworks had been launched we'd been there seven hours. I got very bored, but I've endured a few 31st Decembers in the past that were far worse than merely very boring. I lucked out on the various games but didn't mind donating $8 - if it wasn't for our donations the show wouldn't survive. To his amazement Dad won a kilo box of liquorice allsorts on the chocolate wheel. The best act was probably a bloke who managed to escape from a straitjacket while riding a tall unicycle. The fireworks were, for a city of Timaru's size, rather impressive.
The next morning I was alone in the house as Mum was at church and Dad, despite his headache, had gone to Pleasant Point to fly his model plane. The phone rang; it was my aunt. She wanted us to come over for a meal. My god. You've had people staying with you for a week, you spent seven hours last night with people, and now you want more time with people?! I said I'd wait till Mum got back. I told Mum, who didn't want to go out for a meal any more than I did. Dad sure as hell wouldn't want to. To my surprise, Mum (who finds it very hard to say no) spared us all by picking up the phone and uttering that really big two-letter word.
I've come to realise that Mum isn't as sociable as I thought. As for Dad, he's never been particularly sociable. He needs human contact but a little goes a long way. He's worked by himself for over thirty years and that's never really bothered him. I'm a more extreme version of Dad. Several weeks in a row without significant time to myself and I go mad. The implications that has for any possible relationships in the future aren't worth thinking about.
Mum took me out for a hit of golf again last night. I did nine holes in 66. On the eighth I ran up a twelve, twice hitting a tree and twice hitting absolutely nothing, but on the last hole I made a shock par three after hitting the pin with my second shot and sinking the shortish putt that followed. Mum and I have also played tennis a few times. She's noticeably got quicker around the court and it's probably just as well that we haven't been scoring.
Today has been a dull, inside kind of day. We hang around for ages waiting for more relatives to arrive. I wish I'd pushed off in the car. Tomorrow I'm going back to Wellington. It's been good to see my family, and get on the tennis court and even the golf course, but it's time to get back.