Thursday, 20 December 2012

Christmas – time to check out the decs…

I really feel like Christmas is coming when we go to central London, ostensibly to start our Christmas shopping, but really to see all the Christmas decorations.  Last week we caught a train to Charing Cross and walked to Covent Garden. First on the agenda was a quick stop at the Australia shop to stock up on my fave choccy biscuits. Like vegemite, there is no UK equivalent to the wonderful Arnott’s Choc Ripples – perfect for nibbling, dunking and cheese cake bases and with no nasty additives.

Covent Garden was buzzing with shoppers, street performers and tourists.  We stopped for very tasty, but overpriced, lamb burgers in the street stalls and watched street performers near the Christmas tree in front of St Paul’s Church – also known as the Actors’ Church.

Then it was a short wander through to Oxford Street – always really busy but with people quite friendly and jolly.  I don’t quite know how we always manage to have to walk through the perfume section of the department stores to get to any of the other sections.  I really hate the overpowering smells of them all mingled together and try to find the entrance to avoid them but seldom manage it.

Regent Street always has quite spectacular decs that work so beautifully with the wide curves of the elegant boulevard.  This year the theme is the twelve days of Christmas.

Then it was off to some really posh bits.  New Bond Street is for those with considerably greater incomes than ours but great for checking out the bling. I had a lovely chat to a very friendly Santa - a change from negotiating our way through all the burly and non-communicative security guards guarding the sparkly diamonds and ridiculously expensive watches.  Why anyone needs to spend £50,000 on a watch is completely beyond me – imagine how many choc ripples you could buy for that!

The Tiffany windows were exquisite – each of these was only eighteen inches high and rendered in immaculate miniature detail.

We took a cut through the beautiful Piccadilly Arcade


Then wandered down to Trafalgar Square with the beautiful tree donated by the Norwegian government standing in all its glory.

Inspired by such spectacular decorations it was time to decorate our own tree.  The decorations box represents so many memories of the people who have given different pieces to us over the years.  I love my special Oz ones:

…and my kissing fish from one of my favourite shops in Spitalfields market.


I decided to go all creative with my front door and, taking all the bits from two broken wreaths from previous years, I put them together with ivy from the garden.  I am very pleased with the result especially knowing it cost absolutely nothing.

We had the Enquiry Unit Christmas Party last week with ‘Festive Jumper’ and ‘Guess the Christmas Carol’ competitions and, instead of a secret Santa, a white elephant where each person brought in an unwanted gift then everyone did a lucky dip.  That worked really well and took every bit of stress out of trying to find appropriate presents for people you hardly know outside of the work setting. 

Then just as I had got fully into the Christmas mood I have been struck by the dreaded winter lurgy so I am dosing myself up with every remedy I can think of hoping to get rid of it in time for my sister’s arrival from Oz in two days’ time.  I am so pleased not to have to get course work done for a January deadline as I have had to do for the last three years – what a relief!

…and so, with this my last blog for 2012 it is time to wish all my readers out there a very Happy Christmas.  See you in the new year!

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