Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas in London

As December 25th drew closer, the idea of Pip and I being by ourselves for Christmas seemed less appealing. We decided to pull together a makeshift family of other friends without families on this side of the world.

Bradley and Olivia had also found themselves in the same lonely predicament so were more than happy when we suggested spending a couple of days at our house over Christmas. We also had a last minute addition when Pip's former workmate from Belmont Thornton, Tennille, broke up with her partner and needed somewhere to spend Christmas day.

On the 23rd, Pip and I went grocery shopping. The Sainsburys across from the Finchley Road tube stop is huge and is housed in a massive shopping center. I finished work first so I called in on my way home and picked up the heavy things to make the trip with Pip a bit easier (Mistake). Why I didn't get these things from the Sainsburys down the road I'll never know. I lugged two very heavy bags of potatoes, soft drink and Vodka through the pouring rain and when I finally got home, my shoulders were in pain and I knew I had caught a chill. I jumped into the shower and wrapped up warm as I still had one more trip to complete that night.

I met Pip at the Finchley Road tube station and we went for some chicken cottage dinner, followed by an hour of food shopping at the massive Sainsburys.  Can you believe that we were able to buy enough food and alcohol for 5 people at under 50 pounds? A very nice surprise when we got to the checkout (yes it included my previous solo trip).

Bradley and Olivia came around on Christmas Eve and when I got home from work, they were already through one bottle of wine. We had a great night catching up and having a few drinks. When we woke on Christmas morning we all felt pretty good except for me who had a sore throat and the beginnings of a cold. We jumped onto Skype and said 'hi' to our families. Mum, Bryce, Gran, Grandad and Uncle Kevin were all together for Christmas and we also talked to Pip's Mum.

For Christmas, Pip and I had made a video about London which we sent to our parents, when they all finally got it working, it went down a treat. I believe Pip's mum watched it at least 4 times (Its duration is about 15 minutes...)

For breakfast we had french toast and then... present time! We did secret Santa so the we all got extra things (I got a union jack t-shirt and a London shot glass...). The big presents were what I'd been looking forward to for weeks. Pip's mystery box for me, which I had not a clue as to its contents, was a very nice surprise. A Diana F+ camera! Possibly the coolest present she could have got me. Thanks babe! I got her a framed limited edition picture of Morrissey which we saw at the Uncut sonic editions exhibition a few months back at the Royal Albert Hall. I also got a bottle of Calvin Klein cologne and I gifted Pip a couple of things from Hotel Chocolat.

We had snacks all day, watched the Queen's speech followed by a beautifully cooked lamb roast with Yorkshire puddings. We probably all had a little too much to drink after that. Especially Bradley who made a bit of a scene and Tennille who passed out for a while. But everyone was in bed by 11pm and when I woke up the next morning to go to work I had no hangover at all, just a cold...

So a fantastic first Christmas abroad. No snow because it was about 10 degrees but there is always next year.
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