For the outfits that don’t require me to take my shoes off when trying them on!
For the hairstyles that still look in place even as you take off and put on your hat again and again and again….
For London being cold enough to keep me alert but not freezing.
For Wi-Fi hotspots!
For comfortable shoes!
For whoever invented the geek paradise also known as Forbidden Planet! Seriously I spent an hour in there just browsing, and if I didn’t have other places to be I’d stay there longer!
Anyways, I’m somewhere near Oxford Circus and about halfway through my tour de force of Christmas shopping. I have heard beautiful tunes and ear-bleeding mashups and remakes of the Christmas classics. I’m pretty sure I’ve ruined yet another pair of tights. And I’ve found my favourite Christmas Starbucks cup so far!
And all things considered I still look relatively rested, don’t I?
Or at least I will when the coffee kicks in…
It’s a bit strange around here… Like it’s the Christmas season but not quite. I mean the lights and decorations are up and the songs are being played and people are obviously taking advantage of the seasonal sales. Yet there seems to be something…missing… Maybe it’s the 2016 exhaustion finally catching up with everyone now that it’s nearly over, maybe it’s to early yet for people to be in the full swing of things, maybe I’m out of it…
Decorations like this do put me in a good mood though…
And then there’s those people on the list that you just can’t figure out what to get them. Personally I hate the sort of gift that screams I got the first thing that looked vaguely interesting!
And for that reason I end up drawing lists over lists, trying to reconcile taste with budget and size (size too, do you have any idea how hard it is to pack for a Christmas visit home when you have only one suitcase and your carry-on?)… Most of the time I can figure something out but there have been occasions where…well…time was sort, so first decent thing was the way to go… 😦
I think I’ll head to Selfridge’s next. I’ve never actually been inside the shop so it’ll be an experience even if I don’t get something. We’ll see!
Until then, peace out!
Yup! It’s that time of the year again! The time when people realise that Christmas and the assorted December celebrations are just around the corner and there is a big difference between planning the shopping and actually doing it!
Which finds me at Clive’s, a small fiber on Museum street for breakfast today. Let me tell you, the pancakes are to die for! And since -oh dear, what a coincidence!- I’m in the neighborhood, well, I just have to visit the Atlantis bookshop too! The fact that o would happily spend in there hours is irrelevant. After that it’s Oxford street, Soho Leicester Square market and so on and so forth…
I whine but I kid. Actually my cousin recently asked me how do I know what to get for everyone. Honestly, I ask in case they have their heart set on something. But if they don’t or if they hit me with the dreaded “whatever’s fine” line I go with the rule of the Shoe. Stroll around, browse and wait for something to click. Also get off the high street as much as possible. In most cases, the hardest it is to find a shop, the most unique the gift you’ll buy from it. Unless it’s the TARDIS-like magic sglhop I read about in a story years ago. In that caseyou so much as look at something, you end up in an adventure. Which would be a pretty sweet gift for some…
Anyway, the shops are open, my coffee is growing cold and the day is sadly short so I’ll sign out for now and pick this up on the next coffee break.
See y’all later and happy shopping!
…this is the author speaking. Because winter break + visiting family + wonky internet + nearly-burnt-out brain I will be incomunicado until my uni semester starts. Thanks to all of you who liked my posts/ left comments/ followed my blog so far, you guys are AWESOME! I will return to regular posting schedule on the 12th of January with, hopefully, fresh material, better editing skills and reinforced snarkiness. Until then, I hope you have a lovely festive season, with laughs, gifts, good company and anything and everything else that makes a Good Time.
Hungover. Head is shore.
Last night was too much fun.
Coffee please? Now?
Oh the terror! Oh the stress!
Oh the indescribable tragedy!
There was a mishap in the invites,
Now the guests are early.
The food’s not done,
I am not dressed,
The place is still a mess!
I’m going to kill him,
He had ONE job,
Somehow he botched it.
Time to bring the bottles out,
Hope this will distract them.
Where did my other shoe go?
Is that the doorbell again?
Being a hostess is such fun.
Tiring and panicky, but fun.
It’s only once a year anyhow,
I can handle that!
Merry Christmas everyone!
When I was little my school used to drag us to church before Christmas (probably in the vain hope that we’d be enlightened and therefore more serious in class). The priest there had this annoying habit of preaching the exact same sermon Every. Freaking. Year. The subject? That X-mas is an entirely inappropriate word and we should use the full version when referring to Christmas. Never mind that most people I know only use X-mas as shorthand in shopping lists… I’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic lately (what with vising the parents and so), so I’m going to write not for X-mas but for the inevitable, obnoxious, seasonal requirement of gracefully receiving kisses.
I don’t mind physical attention. I’m as cuddly as a cat in fact. But having to trade hugs and kisses (even the social, kiss-the-air kind) with people I only see once or twice a year and maybe I’m not even that fond of, then Huston, we have a problem. I understand behind the action, I accept it as a social obligation, but it still makes me want to crawl away and hit the alcohol. Perhaps I’m exaggerating a little, but come on! You wouldn’t hug someone on first meeting! Seeing someone only in the context of a Christmas dinner is a bit like that. Seven kinds of awkward.
Maybe I’m being hyper-sensitive because I’m visiting the family for the holidays and after a semester of Skype talks it takes some getting used to. Never mind all-nighters in the library, this is emotionally exhausting. Part of me is glad to be out of England and not having to care about keeping together a house and a degree at the same time. Another part of me is half-way done with her escape plan. If you have a large family you know the feeling. It’s not what’s spoken that’s the problem. It’s the unspoken expectations…
….This turned pretty gloomy for a Christmas Eve post. I hope you have more fun than I do this festive season.
A wish is a brief thought; delicate and ephemeral,
Like wisps of clouds against a burning sunset.
Beautiful fractals of frost on a window,
Turned rainbow crystals by the golden-grey dawn.
Here for a moment and then gone,
Trailing soundlessly the ether.
Uttered and then forgot; children of a moment,
None thinks that they come true.
And yet, under the blinking lights of a tree,
Surrounded by the sparks of fireworks,
Pressed up in hugs by familiar strangers,
We cannot help it. The words form,
They slip unheard, unseen, unfelt,
And perhaps, just once,
The magic of the days is enough
And we believe.
Visitations are a seasonal requirement,
Inevitable like a runny nose before a cold.
Sounds like not much excitement,
In fact it is a most awkward tradition to uphold.
The crux of the matter is you can’t avoid it.
Or else you might just not get to
Realising that you missed your family a bit.
So don’t be a Grinch, they also missed you.
There are words that relate to the festive season and start with “u”. Unfortunately for them, they aren’t words that I particularly like or find interesting. So I’m going to cheat and go with the day’s celebration instead. A very merry Solstice then to all, whether you celebrate it or not! Yeah for the sun returning! Never mind New Year’s resolutions, for me this is the time to make plans and decisions. What with my mood being scarily attuned to the sun (you don’t want to meet me when the skies have been cloudy for more than three days, I might bite your head off), it makes sense that I’d pick the Winter Solstice for my resolution. It makes sense, right? Not that I’m more stringent with keeping them than most…
I have been doing a lot of research on seasonal myths (especially the Celtic ones) as part of my dissertation. There is something alluring about adding a supernatural gloss (again, whether you believe in the tales or just see them as charming fables) to something as mundane as an astronomical, annual phenomenon. That you have to love a tradition that sees a reason to celebrate lavishly right in the middle of winter… What can I say? Any excuse to eat, drink and be merry is a very good excuse.
My favourite seasonal-changes story (right now at least) is Bricriu’s Feast. It’s an old Irish tale full of fair heroes, shape-shifting mystery-men, beautiful maidens, impossible settings and most importantly the god Curoi for whom I have a particular fondness. You’ve got to love a mythological figure with a penchant for shape-shifting and magic and a curious habit of challenging people to cut his head off. Plus he was a surprisingly good sport (in this particularly story anyway) with his wife flirting with the main character. I’m not going to write exactly what’s going on, Google it, it’s worth a read.
What I set of trying to say is that there is something…just something…about this day. It’s like the world takes a deep breath before getting to work again to wake everything up. The earth prepares for one last cold before spring, the sun starts to clock in more time, the animals wake up, we wake up without as much trouble as usual (hopefully)… What I’m trying to say is, what the first day of school is to six-year-olds, all exhilaration and possibilities, that’s Yule for me.
Tucked under patchwork blankets in the past
Or feather-filled duvets right now,
Young and old ones everywhere
Shut their eyes excitedly, stifle the laughs,
Yearn for the long night to be
Over at last and Christmas day
To dawn with toys and gifts under the tree.