Christmas in London

I haven’t blogged in a while but this time I was off doing amazing things. I decided three weeks ago to throw myself into Contemporary Romance (even if I am an unlikely romance writer) and to start testing the limits of just how prolific I can be. So far I have one and a half 30 000 word novellas under my belt! I will speak about that in later blog posts but this one is all about Christmas!

I know I’m a day late but Merry Christmas. I hope that your day was filled with love, laughter, happiness and a food coma!

This year I decided to spend Christmas in London because the Caribbean being a winter haven worked against me spectacularly. Do you fancy spending Christmas beachside with a cocktail? Yeah? Well so do many people and as such the airfare home was sky high so I opted for a low key Christmas here. I second-guessed my decision several time because this made my second year spending Christmas away from home. Eventually, I decided to pull up my big girl panties and have some faith that it would be an amazing Christmas nonetheless.

It didn’t take too long to get excited. London does the lead up to Christmas very well. From the sparkling lights, festive flavours at all the Coffee Shops (most notably Starbucks), the way even restaurants seemed to take jazzing up for Christmas seriously, ice-staking, mulled wine, minced pies and Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland, I was completely engrossed in the Christmas atmosphere in a way I’ve not been since I was a child.

Many things stood out over this Christmas but I’ll share two. I visited friends in Birmingham for some family time just before Christmas and as soon as I was off the bus my friend handed me a violin and told me I was playing in a Christmas concert. I was petrified. I hadn’t played the violin in years and was sure I’d suck at it. I didn’t. I still remember where to put my fingers guys! Somewhere between playing Sleigh Bells and listening to the packed crowd sing Twelve Days of Christmas and Hark the Herald Angels, I decided that this might be an amazing Christmas after all.

When I awoke on Christmas morning I watched through my window (all Huck from Scandal-like) the family across the street opening gifts and exchanging hugs and for the first time I felt wistful. I wanted that. And, it was going to be the second year I wouldn’t go through this time old Christmas ritual. It was then I also thanked heavens that I’d abandoned my stay at home with a book and wine plan for spending Christmas.

A couple of days ago my friend’s family suggested that I had Christmas lunch with them. I accepted although I was quite nervous. You see, I’d only met his family once before but it was nearly three years ago and I was his girlfriend then. I remembered them being the sweetest people but the butterflies that ran rampant in the pit of my stomach seemed to be hyped up on LSD. To say my being nervous was a complete waste of time is an understatement.  His parents greeted me with a hug and then in one of those perfect moments in life, I quickly found myself in a recreated version of that scene I watched from my bedroom early that morning. I got to sit and watch nervously as my gifts were opened hoping they were liked and then I got to open the ones they got for me. And, I think that it was that moment which was the best Christmas gift ever. I was just a girl they’d met once before whom they owed nothing. Yet, in the hours that followed they embraced me like family and I was able to experience my three of my four Christmas wishes: love, laughter and happiness. I escaped the food coma because we had a walk around afterwards. Something the instructor at my gym will be pleased to hear tomorrow.

My final verdict? Christmas in London was pretty damn spectacular. I’m happy I stayed.

Here are some random photos!

Christmas Jumper check!
Christmas Jumper check!
Ice Skating was a disaster but oh so fun!
Ice Skating was a disaster but oh so fun!
Tasting and looking like Christmas at Starbucks! Gingerbread Latter for the win!
Tasting and looking like Christmas at Starbucks! Gingerbread Latter for the win!
My favourite restaurant taking Christmas decorations seriously!
My favourite restaurant taking Christmas decorations seriously!
Any excuse to post photos of sushi!
Any excuse to post photos of sushi!
The wheel at Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland.
The wheel at Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland.
My kind of carousel - it doubled as a bar! Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland.
My kind of carousel – it doubled as a bar! Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland.
Mulled Wine and Minced Pie!
Mulled Wine and Minced Pie!
Getting reacquainted with the violin.
Getting reacquainted with the violin.
Light's in the Bull Ring - Birmingham
Lights in the Bull Ring – Birmingham
Kensington Palace (the walkaround after Christmas Lunch)
Kensington Palace (the walkaround after Christmas Lunch)
Prince Albert Hall.
Prince Albert Hall.
Distraught wife's memorial to Prince Albert (apparently she only wore black after his death).
Distraught wife’s memorial to Prince Albert (apparently she only wore black after his death).
Possibly my favourite gift in quite a while. It is so up my alley.
Possibly my favourite gift in quite a while. It is so up my alley.

Tschuss.

Rilzy

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