I’m not sure if I’m alone in this but I’m struggling to feel festive this year. Moving house has to some extent shielded me from what’s going on in the outside world – autumn seemed almost to pass by unremarked and somehow we’re already into December. I haven’t written my Christmas shopping list nor bought even one present. And to be honest, this article by Marin Lewis articulates exactly how I’ve been feeling about present buying the last few years – it’s not been particularly joyful and so this year I’m not buying any presents until I actually feel Christmassy.
It’s not all bah humbug though, I do actually love Christmas and am waiting patiently for the excitement to grow and the jingle bells to kick in. Our tree is arriving next Saturday so that should help. Photos of beautiful Christmas trees were coming in thick and fast on Instagram this weekend and I’m feeling a little left out. I can’t wait to decorate and host our first Christmas in our new flat.
I have been doing a few festive things to acclimatise myself to the season and, in absence of the time to write about them properly, I thought I’d do a little round up of what I’ve been up to.
1,2 & 3 – We’ve been ice skating at Somerset House twice, once with the kids and once without. It is so much fun and we get a teeny bit better each year. It’s sadly no longer sponsored by Tiffany which is a real shame as it’s lost some of its twinkly magic but it is still perfectly lovely nonetheless. I just preferred skating to the Blue Danube rather than the seasonally inappropriate Beach Boys.
4 – I went to the Christmas concert of the London Gay Men’s Chorus, which this year was held in the Queen Elizabeth Hall . It was a more serious affair than last year, much less camp and regretfully there were no half-naked santas this time. But they are excellent and it was lovely to have a girly night out with my mum and some friends.
5 & 6 – Yesterday we had our annual family lunch at Inn the Park in the lovely St James’ Park. We had our customary post-lunch walk to Green Park to look at all the funny birds. I don’t know why they make me laugh so much, but I love all their silly feet. I still miss the pelican though. We did however see a beautiful black swan.
7,8 & 9 – Two weeks ago Richard and I had the most beautiful walk down a deserted Bond Street at midnight. We’d been to see Skyfall at the Curzon Mayfair and were on our way for a very late dinner at Brasserie Zedel. The street was empty and you could see the stunning Christmas lights in their all of their posh jewellery shop glory. I don’t have any photos though so you will have to trust me on that one.
I also loved the unadorned but beautiful trees outside the entrance to the SPAB (the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings) headquarters in Spitalfields, which just shown that sometimes simple is best.
Saatchi & Saatchi (where Richard works) have hung their windows with twelve real stag heads, one of which of course has a red nose. They look pretty impressive, although from what I understand the receptionists are a bit freaked.
10,11 & 12 – Always keen to take any opportunity to hang out with Abigail Ahern at her house, Kelly from Designlint and I went to a Christmas Masterclass, run by Abigail and her florist sister Gemma. We made our own wreaths and hand-tied bouquets, both of which were a mix of real and faux flowers and foliage and you really can’t tell the difference. There was a heavy emphasis on the floristry side because Abigail mostly decorates her house in a foresty, natural, very English manor. There were no baubles, a few strings of delicate fairy lights, but other than that it was foliage and delicious smells all the way. The house had a pleasingly Christmassy scent of eucalyptous and rosemary. I have made best laid plans of dragging Richard to Covent Garden flower market at 5am on Saturday morning but let’s see how that works out. We have an important guest coming for dinner and so need to get the house shipshape and Christmas fashion.