We had our office holiday dinner last night, at a nice little restaurant near Baker Street in Marylebone where I was literally pressed elbow-to-elbow with Dave and my co-workers around a long table. (Language side note: One of my blog pals has protested when I use the term co-workers rather than colleagues, but they're not quite the same thing, are they? I would describe most of my co-workers as colleagues, but some of them I don't know very well or work with very closely, so they're more co-workers, or so it seems to me.)
Anyway, it was fun, mainly because the wine kept flowing and we started with "Bloody Mary soup," which came with an actual shot of spicy horseradish-infused vodka. I'm surprised I wasn't standing on the table naked singing "We Three Kings" by the end of the night.
As evidence that I was somewhat boozed up, however, I offer the evidence of the white elephant gift exchange.
We were each asked to bring a wrapped gift -- something tacky, maybe something we'd been given previously that we didn't want. We were then assigned numbers, and we chose the gifts one by one, with each of us having the option to take either a new gift or the unwrapped gift of a colleague who'd gone earlier in the process. (I'm sure you've all done this at one time or another.)
Here's what I wound up with. (Bran cereal not included.)
She's a bottle. She has a cork in her head. I was boozed up enough last night that I actually thought she was sort of groovy. When I looked at her this morning in the harsh light of the pre-dawn kitchen, I wasn't so sure.
But we're keeping her, at least for the time being. She has two black braids hanging down her back that you can't see in the photo. We've named her Juanita.
Anyway, we had a good time and today I am off to my final French class of the term. I'm going to sign up again, though, so the saga will continue aprés la Saint-Sylvestre. My classmates and I are going to lunch together today -- a little fête to celebrate our dubious progress.
I also owe Olga some time outside so I hope to get out with her this afternoon, and then we have some friends coming over for dinner tonight. A full day!
(Top photo: Lewisham, in September.)