A couple of weeks back my US relatives visited. They don’t live close, so when the opportunity arises to hang out the chances have to be well and truly leapt for. For me, this meant moving all my midweek appointments, storming it down to Portsmouth in the middle of the night, catching the last ferry of the day to the Isle of Wight, and then heading back to London just 24 hours later. What fools family makes of us all, eh?
A quick warning that this is a very colourful and photo-heavy post – Notting Hill is just so pretty!
Birthday Day Out
It was my birthday last week and as I’ve already documented my thoughts on the whole thing, it’s time to share what I actually did! My birth “day” actually spanned about 5 days as I had gigs before and after the day itself, plus a big meal/pub night with all my pals at the weekend. Continue reading
Walking in a Winter Wonderland
It’s been a couple of years since I last went to Winter Wonderland, a pop-up free attraction that takes over Hyde Park every winter. Each year it grows bigger, to the point where it’s now basically a free Christmas theme park split into different “lands”; Santa land, Fairy land, Bavarian village and so on. Markets, ice-skating, mazes, rides, food and drink; it’s all happening! Obviously as it’s free entry and in Britain, the whole purpose is to get royally trashed. One of my favourite “adult” experiences is getting drunk and going on rollercoasters; it’s the best!
Last time I had the opportunity was back in Tokyo DisneySea, so obviously the trip to Winter Wonderland revolved around stopping off at the pop-up bars and little bar cabins. We made a beeline for the carousel bar which spins around as you drink, before grabbing a couple of mulled ciders and riding the Ghost Train rides. I absolutely love fairground rides! Even if you don’t fancy paying to ride the rollercoasters, just wandering around the twinkly lights and decorations whilst feeling increasingly hazy is a pretty important part of any London Christmas. Let me know if you’ve been!
This Christmas has been drinks with pals, Christmas parties, festive morning brunches, lots of mulled wine, the funnest gigs, five full christmas dinners, nights out in my favourite East London pubs, nights in with boxes of Celebrations and christmas movies, cheeseboards, four actually fun Christmas gigs, espresso martinis, rum hot chocolates, more fun brushing my teeth than I thought possible, limited edition chocolate baileys, one beautiful new dress, a lot of beautiful people, a different Christmas playlist for every permutation of travelling, unexpected festive cupcakes, ribbons in hair, one awkward bathroom encounter, kisses on the cheek, SANTA BEER, dancing dancing dancing, Brooklyn Lager and Camden Hells on tap, best friends, old friends, new friends, one upsettingly absent friend, a boot full of Santa hats and antlers, a new reason for high heels, far too many screenshots, the loveliest screening of Gremlins, horribly overpriced pints, two uncompleted advent calendars, so much Prosecco, three nut roasts, seventeen hours of driving, too many empty white wine bottles, a couple of slightly stale mornings, unquantifiable amounts of merriment and way, way, way too much tinsel.
Driving Home For Christmas
The last couple of days have seen me spend a lot of time in my car. Hours and hours on the M25 and the A3. You forget how useful a car is. Driving home for Christmas. Driving your best pal to his new girls for Christmas. Driving your oldest friend to his parents for Christmas. Driving your housemates cousin to the airport for Christmas.
My car has been filled with so many peoples bags, presents, decorations, shopping, food and last minute buys that I feel like I’ve been heading up Santa’s sleigh. Cheese, party shoes, keyboard cases, wrapping paper: all rattling around in the boot next to half a bottle of Baileys. Tis the season! Here’s hoping you and yours make it home safely for Christmas, too. X
Boy friends who are stuck at home ill in bed feeling rubbish, but give you a hug as soon as you open the door because you had good news. Boy friends who punch the air for you. Boy friends who buy you lunch and tease you about the little things. Boy friends who buy you water and boy friends who bring you wine.
Boy friends you shared a bed with because there was no room on the floor and it was the worst house party in history. Boy friends you shared a bed with because you were too upset to go home. Boy friends you shared a bed with because they came to hang out but sometimes you need to stay in bed all day and watch The Herbs and that’s ok too.
Boy friends just in time for Christmas. Boy friends who go to the pub with you because your date was late. Boy friends who hold up three Christmas jumpers each so you can try on a dress behind them in a busy market. Boy friends who tell you that you have to get the dress because any date would ask you out instantly if he saw you in it. Boy friends who buy you the dress because you’re broke and you can’t see what they see and there’s a hope that maybe one day you’ll get it; who knows if that will ever happen but it’s nice anyway. Boy friends who’ve known you forever and boy friends who’ve known you a month. Boyfriends.
Christmas In Kingston
I am very fond of Kingston-Upon-Thames. It’s essentially where I grew up, so I have memories from my earliest years of wandering around the Bentalls Centre (essentially a shopping mall) listening to the animatronic bears singing christmas music, to me during school years spending pocket money on absolute crap to give my friends, to me in recent years doing a speedy dash around on Christmas Eve with James.
This year Kingston at Christmas has a pop-up vintage market in the town hall which is a nice addition to the (in no way) German Christmas Market outside. I’ve been a few times running errands with new companions, it’s always lovely to re-discover somewhere you know very well through somebody else’s perspective.