Thursday, 23 December 2010

May your days be merry and bright

M made it back to English soil yesterday, and I was there at Heathrow to meet him. It was all very Love Actually with hundreds of other families and friends there greeting loved ones off flights arriving from Lahore, Istanbul, Copenhagen. Thank you for all your well wishes! I am glad things are finally moving again and people are hopefully getting to where they need to be for the Christmas period. We had a night in London together and are both now safely at our respective homes for Christmas, before a London New Years. I am going to sign off for the next few days to enjoy time with family, but sure I won't be away too long...

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas.

x x x

Monday, 20 December 2010

Empty Skies

So M didn't make it back from Japan today. Not that there were many people who managed to get into or out of the country to be honest, but it is still sad, frustrating, even if he is one among hundreds. He's booked on a flight on Wednesday, but as flying schedules are all still provisional at best I'm not yet counting my chickens...just remaining tentatively hopeful.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Oh the weather outside is frightful...

...but the fire is so delightful, and since we've no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

(but not too much, M still needs to get home Monday)

A busy week, late shifts at work, dark when I arrived, dark when I left. An interview on Thursday that had been hanging over me, uncertainty as to how well I did, relief it was out of the way. Office party in the evening, leaving work as the snow began to fall, bumping into Anna on the last tube home, emerging from the station together into the cold, dark air, feeling festive. A Friday night Christmas party, a red dress, a taxi ride home through the increasingly snowy streets of London. And this morning C and I woke to the whiteness outside, and more snow falling. A short venture to the shops for provisions, the muffled crunch of snow being compressed under my feet. Cars slipping backwards down the hill, passers-by mucking in to push vehicles upwards, place bits of old carpet under tyres. Back home by four for hot chocolate, a film, present wrapping, the light all but gone, fairy lights glowing. We're meant to be going to a Ceilidh tonight, not sure we'll make it. Christmas feels so close I can almost touch it, M's return even closer.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Photos from Japan

He sends me postcards and emails, packages with gold and silver masking tape and Bambi rubber stamps, unusually flavoured Kit Kats - banana, and a cheese one that causes me to gag and run to the bathroom to the amusement of my flatmates. And last week he sent me photos, taken on a camera recently purchased in Tokyo. Suddenly his life there has colour, blue skies, the orange of maple leaves above, pine needles underfoot. Sunlight breaking through the forest canopy, unintelligible signs.

All photos by M.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010


And so we are into December, almost a week in. Last week there was snow, lots of it, walks to the station in snow boots, two scarves. Friday night was frosty, bitter cold. I almost went out, but the three of us, my flatmates and I, convinced ourselves, each other, that staying in was far more practical. Mulled wine and a movie instead, and a brief walk around the block in the darkness, slip-sliding on the snowy pavements, for some fresh air, inhaling deeply, every breath almost painful from the cold, but exhilarating.

Saturday morning I wake and temperatures have risen, marginally, but enough to melt the snow and leave the pavements grimy. I feel slightly despondent, with the grey, with the drizzle, sit in bed and watch the final episode of Season 3 Gossip Girl, wish I was in New York.

And then we go Christmas tree shopping. Half an hour umm-ing and aah-ing at different specimens, until we all agree on one, small but jaunty, bring it home, place it on some upturned wine crates, decorate it with lights and ribbon and golden bells. C makes dinner, lentil curry, and more mulled wine, other C sticks on the Christmas music and tackles the decoration of the wreath, and as the light slips away all is well again. I venture out to Hammersmith later that night for wine and corn chips, playing cards and drinking games, boys in woollen Christmas jumpers, The Ashes on the television. Miss the last train home, brave two night buses alone at 3am, silently promise myself twenty minutes into a freezing half hour wait for the second that next time I can have a taxi home.

Sunday was the Underground Christmas Market hosted by Ms Marmite Lover, and we have the most wonderfully festive time. Demonstrations and tastings, stall upon stall of goodies (though I confess I bought more for myself than others), gingerbread hot chocolate in the garden, fresh bread from the Aga. Lynne was there with her Papermash stall where I bought a couple of stocking fillers, and was sorely tempted by more Japanese masking tape (check out the Christmas ones), but had to stop myself because M is already on a masking tape buying mission. A bunch of mistletoe on the way home, clementines in the fruit bowl, a mug of tea, internet Christmas shopping whilst I watch Footloose.

Monday brings more frost, blueberries in my porridge, a late shift at work. But we are into December, and I am happy.