Dad gave me some money for my birthday the other day, and told me to buy some Scotch with it. I'd just mentioned to him how much I'd love to get my hands on a nice Islay single malt to enjoy on these cold nights in the hills. Tonight, on my way home from a family gathering at Dad's for a cluster of birthdays, I stopped and bought a bottle of sixteen year old Lagavulin based on an in-store recommendation.
She's like a cheeky redhead; full of stubborn fire and warmth, and she lingers in the smile on your face well after she's left your company. Both also inspire me to try my hand at bad poetry that shall never, ever see the light of day.
It was great to see some of my family today. My Oma, Dad, brother, sister, step-mother, two aunties, an uncle, and a cousin. We sat around in the lounge room drinking tea and eating cake, chatting, catching up, and teasing one another. We concluded the evening with a hodge-podge rendition of 'Happy Birthday', as Oma had complained no-one had sung it. It was relaxed and enjoyable and I could hear what people were saying.
Contrast that to my experience recently at another cousin's engagement party, where it was so loud and the other partygoers (other than family members) were so alien to me that I wanted to go and hide in a corner out of sheer panic, but instead I made the odd decision to stand leaning against the wall with my eyes closed because I felt like that way I was at least making an effort not to be "antisocial" (as my mother has called it). That's ok though, so long as the couple the party was for had a good time. Just... not my scene, and I know my family understand that.
Speaking of dear Mother, she has been especially good to me over the last nine months. She has really done a wonderful job of having my back and keeping my head above water through a difficult patch, which is hopefully nearing an end. My whole family have pitched in with love and support and often material help, and it makes me feel extremely grateful to all of them.
I'm grateful to my friends, too. I've had a great deal of love and support and a few standing offers for dinner, which is a special thing to a guy like me, from them as well. Not being the most outgoing fellow in the world, I value these lasting friendships I have made enormously. I'm feeling a great deal of love lately, so watch out friends; I'm likely to hug.
A toast to friends and family! Slàinte.