What a fortnight! I started my Christmas holidays about a week and a half ago now and have been having an absolute ball. It’s been busy as hell but has been packed with excellent highlights…
About a week ago now, we went to a cocktail party in Chelsea, in honour of our friends who had moved to Singapore earlier this year and we got introduced to their GORGEOUS 5-month-old daughter as well. This was the start of our Christmas festivities and a big start it was – staying up until all hours of the night catching up with said mates and a few London locals who we hadn’t seen much recently. I felt so terrible for our lovely friends who had about 2 hours sleep before their daughter decided it was time to get up and they had to go and board yet another plane on their long journey to America.
Christmas Eve we went to the Churchill Arms as is tradition for the London lot and Christmas Day we spent with some friends. The Churchill Arms always gets into the Christmas spirit, decorating the entire pub in Christmas trees and lights for the occasion. This year it was upwards of 50 trees and it’s always a lot of fun catching up with people for a Christmas drink on Chrissy Eve.
We usually host ‘Orphan’s Christmas’, as we like to call it, but given the size and impracticality of our kitchen and house we decided instead to book a table at a local pub. That way, no-one had to cook the big meal and there wasn’t as much washing up to be done. We were a motley crew of Australian and British, who had a lovely meal down at the pub around the corner called The House. The food was delicious and we’d highly recommend it. We then welcomed everyone back to ours for a LONG session of mulled wine, board games, chats, dancing, lots of other drinks and a few nibbles. I successfully attempted my first GF Gingerbread House for the occasion, along with some meatballs, pigs in blankets, a cheesecake and an AWESOME cheeseboard. It’s fair to say that Boxing Day was spent feeling a bit rough but while C was working I cleaned up and then we had a nice quiet night in together. Alas, no snow, so not really a white Christmas but still loads of fun.
I finally felt like I was actually on holidays by the day after Boxing Day. Not that the other days weren’t enjoyable or relaxing but sometimes it does take a while for that holiday feeling to sink in and also it was the first day I didn’t have to get up to do something specific in prep for Christmas. I slept for 11 glorious hours which was so nice and a very welcome change to the sleeping patterns I’ve had of late. Then I spent a leisurely afternoon checking out the Museum of London and the Barbican Centre, where I saw HMS Pinafore being performed.
Yesterday we jumped on the Eurostar and went to France for the day, meeting a friend (who was visiting Paris with her husband) in Lille for the day. I can’t say much about Lille unfortunately. It was BUCKETING down with rain and was incredibly uncomfortable, so we actually spent the day inside, starting with a quick coffee and catch-up, followed by a long boozy lunch and more catching up, and then a quick stop in a wine bar for, yes you guessed it, more catching up. A bit of a shame not to check out the area but was still a lovely way to spend the day. How very cosmopolitan – breakfast in London, lunch in France!!
And tomorrow, we set off to Edinburgh for New Years Eve – the first C has ever had off since we’ve been together and we have decided to spend it experiencing Hogmanay (the way the Scots celebrate New Year). Neither of has have ever been to Edinburgh so we’re pretty excited and as it’s one of our last big trips for a few months (in order to save) we are going to try to make the most of it.