Christmas Masquerade

bruce drinking expat life

Writing is often an act of vulnerability. The way that I often choose to write makes me feel exposed and vulnerable and open to the eyes of anyone who may be wandering by. But writing is an act that has always made me feel most myself, most at home and strongest, and I am my best self when I am writing. So. Hello! I took a time out! But I’m here! Let’s see where that takes us.

Last February, in the cold and rainy season, Jon and I bought our flat. This means we’ve been in the midst of spending our first holiday season in our home. (Home! Our home! I revel in that word. It feels good, and we are the luckiest pair of assholes around).  We put up our tree last Monday, and would have done so earlier on the very first day of December, except for Jon was struck down with illness all of last week, poor thing.  So Monday we put on Christmas records, poured some prosecco, put Bruce in his finest Santa outfit, and pulled the tree out from the closet for it’s inaugural putting up in our living room. I like to go for surround sound events, so a Christmas move was also on tv. But since Jon picked out the movie, it was Die Hard. But it was on mute. Anyway…..

Shoreham Christmas Tree 2014

Dog in Santa Costume

christmas vinyl ashley sheets

Christmas Vinyl



Sheets Norris Christmas 2014


santa bruce

reindeer headband tree decorating with BruceFirst Christmas in ShorehamOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbruce putting angel on the tree

I apologize for my inability to focus the camera in these pictures. I blame the low light and the prosecco.

On Saturday I put on my snazziest red dress, Jon dusted off his tux, and we went to his work’s Christmas Masquerade in our finest mystery masks. Do love a themed party! The fete took place in some massive teepees set up on the Brighton seafront, Tardis-like in their ability to hold so much more on the inside than they look like they can contain from the outside. There were twinkly lights and a dance floor, rockin’ fire breathers and a table wandering magician during dinner who surprisingly wasn’t awkward, and instead blew our minds with his conjuring. We ate and drank and danced (well, I danced, with the ladies Jon works with, many of whom are in my book club. And with my coworker, who was also there because Jon’s business is one of our clients, so we were invited. Small world, Brighton). And it was so much fun! I remember as a kid seeing movies where the parents went off to Christmas parties all decked out in fancy clothes for an evening of grown up fun, leaving the children at home in their pajamas with a nanny in the wings. My parents never did that, at least not that I can remember (there was definitely never a nanny), and the fact that I get to put on a twirly dress and heels and do my hair and makeup and actually have somewhere to go with all of that now is so surreal to me, if I stop to think about it. Although Bruce needs no nanny, so that’s good for me.

christmas masquerade 2014crunch christmas masquerade 2014

Of course this also gives me the opportunity to really glam up, which I super duper enjoy and should probably write about sometime. The power of a red lip is nothing to sneer at.

One work party down, the house is decorated and it’s only the tenth of the month. The Christmas season is well on its way, and it may actually be the jolliest one yet. What a difference a year makes!

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