holiday road is the neighbourhood where we bought our land last year, and every year the neighbourhood gathers once in the summer bbq season, and once for christmas. this was our first gathering in our new neighbourhood (actually, aside from a couple of block parties i crashed back in my early 20's (thanks crazy joan!), this was our first neighbourhood party anywhere ever) and it was a blast.
it took place in an musty little out of the way community hall, included several courses of pot-luck deliciousness, enthusiastic carol singing, even more enthusiastic wine drinking, and a massive crazy chinese gift exchange in which gifts were given, taken, re-taken, strategised over, lost and won again*. my newbie status did not bestow any sort of immunity upon me and the double bag of wine i went straight for was taken from me time and again, but i was nothing if not persistent. in the end, i ended up with only one bottle but two new neighbours came by and shared their spoils - didn't take them any time at all to find out what makes me tick.
and if you think that it didn't take me any time at all to show my drunk and disorderly side, i will put your minds at ease and tell you that while on my one side at the table was our very pregnant neighbour, on the other sat a woman who made me seem restrained, quiet and not much of a drinker. thank you, a; i owe you one (mr. monkey whispered that he already had visions of a crawl path being quickly established between our two houses).
even before last night, we had already met more of our holiday road neighbours than we had ever met anywhere we'd lived before; now we have met them all. although some people are clearly doing pretty well financially, the majority look like regular folk living simple ordinary lives. many asked about the fruit trees we'd planted. most wanted to know when we would join the neighbourhood for real. all of them were welcoming, warm, and friendly. whatever doubts i might have had about the land (doubts brought on, no doubt, by thinking of how far we actually are from being firmly established there: hard to picture a warm little house when you're knee deep in mud, piling branches in the rain) dissipated last night.
all in all, well worth the little bit of a headache i seem to be nursing today for whatever reason.
*essentially, it was a bunch of people fighting over several bottles of wine and one fleece blanket.