To say December was huge, is a, well, huge understatement!
Well, I guess everyone's December is huge, with Christmas and New Years Eve and prep for both. So my December is a tad huger normally, with both my Dad and myself celebrating birthdays (mine being the fabulous - she says sarcastically - Boxing Day!).
And this year for fun I added in an overseas holiday and a mini trip to Sydney to see Paul McCartney!
And most of my family headed off overseas early December, so that meant two Christmas Days this year!
And work just did not settle down like it normally does in December!
But I have to say....what joy!!!!
Ok it had it's moments, but mostly it was joy!
Work usually settles in Dec/Jan, you get to catch up, do some extra planning, and just chill and catch your breath a bit. Which is extraordinarily important I think when you work as hard as my team does. Plus it is usually hot and we have no air conditioning. There were some plain awful days during December temperature wise, but it helped to know that in early December we will get some air conditioning units along our western side of the building (where we work and take the worst hits). This is going to be marvelous, but is not a 100% fix, having said that the building is being looked at for proper air con, which will be freaking heaven, but in the meantime these units will be a godsend!
With the addition of the gallery space to the library this year, we have worked so much harder, but oh my, it has been a blast. I love it, but with the big Dinosaur exhibit, we just have not settled like we normally do. It is so wonderful to see the community embrace the space and the exhibit as they have. I have been juggling a lot this year, I feel like I have worked the best year I have ever worked. I have worked on our new Library Management (Computer) System, the Furniture Group (organising what each of our libraries need to modernise their space), looked after Carol Duncan's Share the Story program (Before she headed off to be a politician), on top of regular work and of course the gallery.
And then we decided to open a couple of libraries between Christmas and New Year (we usually close), Swansea being one of them. I felt so bad I would be sunning it up in Hawaii, but some wonderful staff took on the hours which I am ever grateful for.
So yeah, work was insane, but hey, we survived!
I started the month catching up with my lovely friend Jayne, who had returned from her own adventures in Boston and New York. I love love love hearing people's travel stories, so we hit the pub, then dined at our fave, Saigon Feast, before indulging in gelato. What a great night, what great stories!
We had an early family Christmas, as my sister and her family and my other sister were flying out to the US and Canada. I would be meeting them in Hawaii. My sister and brother-in-law always put on the most amazing feed, a very traditional Christmas, and it was great.
I enjoyed more Christmas celebrations with my friends, Vince, Nole, and Kathy.
Then a week later, Dad's birthday, at our local pub.
We had a special adults wine and cheese evening at work to listen to the owner of the Dinosaurs talk about his collection.
Cathy and I had an early birthday celebration with lunch, shopping, Star Wars (sooo good) and dinner. We always have great fun out and about, chatting and laughing, always laughing. What joy!
Our lovely work team had a Christmas dinner at Belmont Yacht Club.
Cathy and I had a simple Christmas lunch of Fish and chips before I headed overseas.
And of course actual Christmas was different this year, with just me and Mum and Dad, and we had a lovely day and skyped the family enjoying a white Christmas in Canada.
My birthday was very low key here, as I was flying out that night to Hawaii.
More about that in another blog. But my year ended so beautifully, the best I have ever had!!
Of course, the highlight of my month, year, quite possibly life, was seeing my musical hero, Paul McCartney. I am still thinking and smiling about that night, what brilliance, what genius, what joy. You can read all about it here.
This is what I have been reading, watching, listening to.
And the usual pics.