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I rarely go to the movies, except when I’m at home. I don’t know why. The cinema is a mere ten minute walk from my flat. I suppose I feel that I ought to be doing other things, things that might somehow improve myself. Or at least don’t cost any money.

But when I go home, especially at Christmas, it’s another matter entirely. And now that I’ve figured out how to turn my Aeroplan miles into cinema vouchers, it’s even better.

This year, obviously, like most of the planet, I was Dead Keen to go and see Star Wars. I have a fond, if vague, memory of going to see the Emprie Strikes Back at the University as a kid. I remember – and this may be completely untrue, but I believe it happened so that’s nearly the same thing – sitting in a big lecture theatre and watching it. I missed the intervening trio, the ones with Jar Jar Binks because they didn’t look right, but the second I saw the trailer for this one I knew. That and a good friend told me, as I passed through London, that it was good and also a great Harrison Ford movie.

I had expected that Star Wars would be our traditional family movie on Boxing Day. But The Mom and L’il Sis had no interest whatsoever. But Crazy D and I went and had a blast. Also, I now want a little BB-8 robot to follow me around wherever I go.

The Mom loves a trip to the movies and also hates being left out, so I convinced her to go and see The Big Short with me instead of her b/f. I’ve read the book, loved it, and so it seemed natural. The Mom was a bit taken aback.

“But dear, it’s about finance,” she said.

“Aye but it’s not. It’s about a bunch of fuckwits who broke things in a spectacular fashion,” I replied.

“But you’re nearly discalculate. You don’t understand how the economy works, do you?”

I shrugged. “Probably not, but I followed the book. Anyhow, it’s got a great cast and nobody else will see it with you so…”

Anyhow, off we went and were thoroughly delighted. There are some amazing guest stars. Anthony Bourdain, and Selema Gomez discussing credit default swaps. Genius.

We also went to see Joy with L’il Sis which was good, and also rounded out my need to complete things: go to movies with family. Check.

There were other diversions as well.

Of course we went to the Supercentre which is, as regular readers will know, one of my favourite places ever. I found a ton of new and interesting things. Did you know they have dips for fruit now? Next to the hummus. And that you can get dill pickle flavoured popcorn? I also got a free cake sample, which is always cheering and sometimes the only reason I’ll go into a place. Though sadly, the bank did not have any cake available this visit. Maybe in the summer.

The other highlight of my visit was meeting a bird The Mom had been bigging up for some weeks. His name is Marley and he is a cockatoo and he lives at the near-ish plant nursery. We used to go to this nursery a lot as kids in the spring to pick out that year’s plants, and it was always a treat. It’s massive, you can run around kind of, there’s a room full of cacti, and another room with orchids, and it’s lovely and moist and has air that smells like soil which in the winter is heavenly. They’ve always had big parrots there, in and amongst the plants. The whole place is kind of like someone’s big house. Which is really nice. It’s like they’ve tried to make their shop as interesting and inviting as possible. They want you to hang out. It’s a destination.

The Mom was desperate for me to meet this bird so off we went. The bird was beautiful, but he wasn’t doing the singing and dancing that The Mom so wanted me to see. She was crushed. I was happy enough to have seen the bird, but then his not having performed to the full extent of his range means that when I go home in the summer to visit, we’ll already have something planned to do.

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