Matthew Munson: Family time and looking forward to what 2023 brings

Bryan and Matthew

Well, there you go. It’s all done; Christmas is over for another year, we’re over the “inbetween” bit that exists up to the New Year and everyone loses track of what day it is, and we’re already aware that work starts again in just a short couple of days. I’m looking forward to starting work again, and Bryan is very excited about school, so next week is a good one for both of us.

Christmas was a lovely time here at Casa de Munson. We spent some time together, thoroughly enjoyed opening presents and eating food (my mum prepared it all, so that’s always a bonus), and just spent time together as a family. This is mine and Bryan’s fourth Christmas together as a family, and I know there’ll be many more.

The bit between Christmas and New Year is always a funny old time; I lose track of days, and the difference between weekdays and weekends becomes somewhat immaterial. We had a productive week, however, by going up to London and visiting Bryan’s brother and sister; they’re wonderful company, and Bryan loves spending some real quality time with them.

We stayed in a hotel south of the Thames belonging to one of the major chains; it wasn’t far to travel, but we just wanted somewhere easy to lodge, so we chose that one. I only read the reviews after we’d made the bookings, which perhaps wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had; some were rather critical, so I felt a little anxious about what we would find. When we got there, however, the reception staff were lovely and the room was a little frayed in places, but with comfy beds and a powerful shower, we were fine.

The first night passed without incident, and we had a lovely time the following day in the Science Museum. Goodness it was busy, but that’s by the by – we just enjoyed being in the company of people we cared about, so that was fine.

Night two in the hotel was certainly an experience. About 1.30am, we were rudely awoken by the fire alarm going off; it was going off across the entire hotel, so we all met up in reception to discover that some bright spark had decided to light up a cigarette in their rooms. They were told to leave immediately, and the alarm was turned off. It was a bit of a shock, and slightly chilly in reception, but we soon found ourselves falling back into bed.

And then the alarm went off again. And again. I heard one lady in the morning saying that she had counted it going off 42 times between 1.30am and 6am; I have no reason to disbelieve her, as it was certainly a lot. As you might imagine, we did not get much sleep that night, and we ended up coming home early to get some rest. I made my point to the receptionist at the hotel we had travelled to lodge at, and I got a refund for that night’s hotel room; quite right.

So that certainly was an experience; thankfully, we had some lovely time with people we care a lot about, and that was the main thing I focused on.

I’m looking forward to seeing what 2023 is going to bring; Bryan will be completing Year 7 at school and moving into Year 8, I’ll be continuing to work and be a dad, and Bryan turns 12. I don’t know any more details than that, but my main ambitions for this year are to continue spending time with my son as a family, giving him experiences both familiar and new, and carving out a couple of opportunities for me as well.

I’ve loved being on this journey with you all during 2022; let’s see what this year has to offer. Happy New Year.



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