So our annual Bookcrossing Christmas party happened on Saturday night, but our traditional Christmas tree didn’t. It was just too wet. Heavy rain for most of the day, and although it had eased off a little by evening, it was still drizzling and very cold, and hanging books from trees wouldn’t have been fun. So instead we just had an evening of Carcassonne (in which rarsberry showed a very impressive learning curve, going from knowing nothing to totally thrashing the rest of us in the space of one game) and Star Wars Monopoly (in which lytteltonwitch reminded us why one should never play Monopoly against a banker), and way too much food (including the infamous mug cakes). So despite not getting to release books, it was a fun night all round.
Sunday was a much-needed day of rest, then yesterday I bit the bullet and finally got my Christmas shopping done. Town was a nightmare, of course, full of people doing last minute shopping (oh yeah, that would be me) and in a panic because they didn’t really know what to get (yep, me again). Actually, I did have an idea of what I was looking for, but, as always seems to be the case, it involved me doing a lot of walking back and forth from one end of town to the other and visiting the same shop twice because I couldn’t make up my mind the first time. It wasn’t helped either by the general incompetence of shop assistants. When I go into a shop selling something I know virtually nothing about, I don’t expect the shop assistants to be experts, but they should at least know more than I do! I actually had to resort to going to Ballantynes for one item, because I’d got so little help at the cheaper shops I’d tried, and at least the staff there do tend to know their stuff.
(The spell check insists that I meant “balancedness” not “Ballantynes” – is that really a word??? Surely “balance” (the noun rather than the verb) does the job adequately?)
I released a couple of books in town during my meanderings, The Listeners by Christopher Pike in a phone box (they’ve taken all the phone books out of our phone boxes too, so it’s not just Wellington. Very annoying of them, because the shelf they hung from made a great place to leave books – now you’ve got to try and balance them on top of the phone instead), and Damanio by RA MacAvoy at South City.
On a whim I decided to stop in at the food court at the Bus Exchange for something to drink before I headed home, and while I was being served, I heard a voice behind me say “You’re a bookcrosser!” It was one of the staff, who’d seen my t-shirt. He explained his wife was a bookcrosser, and she was coming over to NZ to join him in the New Year, so I told him about the local happenings (especially the convention, of course) and gave him a book (Maverick by Ricardo Semler, which was all I had on me), and he said he’d get her to get in touch when she arrives. So it turned out to be a good decision to go in there!
Oh, and in my search for presents for MrPloppy I ended up finding a present for myself instead: the Apartment Life expansion pack for The Sims 2. Yes, I know I said EA weren’t getting any of my money, but it was in the bargain bin (already???) for half price, and at $24, “acquiring” it through other means would probably have cost more, because it would have meant exceeding our bandwidth limit. So my meanness won out over my principles (though I reckon at that price very little profit will get back to EA anyway). Needless to say, despite having a legal copy I still downloaded the no-CD hack as soon as I got home, to allow me to bypass teh evil securom.
So guess what I spent most of today doing?
Lytteltonwitch came round tonight to take MrPloppy out for a drive, so as it was a nice night and her Christmas-themed books were still here from the other night, after dinner we wandered over to Jellie Park and belatedly created our Christmas tree. (I managed to forget my camera of course, but I’ll try and get over there tomorrow and take some photos). The books I contributed were:
December 32nd… And Always by Marie Michael
The Christmas Marriage Rescue by Sarah Morgan
Married Under the Mistletoe by Linda Goodnight
Their Christmas Dream Come True by Kate Hardy
Betting on Santa by Debra Salonen
Red Carpet Christmas by Patricia Rosemoor and Christmas Ransom by Jenna Ryan
The Doctor’s Christmas Proposal by Laura Iding
Baby: Found at Christmas by Laura Iding
The Doctor’s Very Special Christmas by Kate Hardy
The First Christmas by Lynne Bradbury
The Night Before Christmas by Victoria Alexander et al
Simon and the Holy Night by Eve Tharlet
Jesus’ Christmas Party by Nicholas Allan
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
Her Christmas Wedding Wish by Judy Christenberry
A Christmas to Remember by Kay Stockham
Snowy the Christmas Snowman by Maureen Spurgeon
The Christmas Elf by Maureen Spurgeon
Teddy’s Christmas Present by Maureen Spurgeon
Santa’s Little Helper by Maureen Spurgeon
A Long December by Donald Harstad
A Midnight Clear by William Wharton
A Puzzle in a Pear Tree by Parnell Hall
Making Big Bucks by William Taylor
The Night Before Christmas by Clement C Moore
The Night Before Christmas by Clement C Moore (another copy)
The Story of Christmas by Paul Fehlner
Red Boots for Christmas by Carol Greene
Holiday Recipes to Warm the Soul
Christmas Nativity Pop-Up
Christmas Holiday by W Somerset Maugham