It’s beginning to look a lot like I’m preparing for the Christmas holiday

How, even though I don’t have work until the new year, am I so busy?

It’s like I’ve never been to England before. Didn’t I know I’d need warm sweaters? Shouldn’t I have tried on the dress I plan to wear to my sister-in-law’s wedding earlier than two days before my flight (that’s right, it doesn’t fit. By a few millimeters)? And where the hell is my Oyster card? I last used it not 7 months ago. It can’t have gone far.

I admit it, I’m a little stressed out. I’m on full burn and starting to feel a bit burned out. And the flight isn’t until tomorrow!

Upon landing in London on Saturday, the boy and I will be spending a well needed two nights in a hotel in Clerkenwell, The Zetter. We usually stay at the Charlotte Street Hotel, but their prices are getting a bit ridiculous for the kind of hotel it is, and they still charge for internet use. So I’ve had to strike them off our list because, let’s face it, when I can get free wi-fi at any Starbucks, why would I pay £20 per day to use it? Fail.

The Zetter recently opened its Townhouse right next door and we are very excited to try it out. We love Clerkenwell, and hope the two nights there before heading up by train to chilly Leicestershire will cure us of our jet lag. Of course, there’s the Christmas shopping.

I am the queen of last minute shopping. For one, I don’t really like Christmas. In my family, it’s always something we fitted in around work schedules. With a church organist and choir soloist as parents, you can’t be too upset. It’s not like they are volunteering for shifts. I wonder if they get overtime?

Anyway, Christmas in London however is a different story. I love Christmas. The lights up and down Regent Street, usually sponsored by some animated feature or other. Selfridges all dressed up in big bows, the promise of Boxing Day sales on the horizon. The smell of the roasted chestnut vendors up and down Oxford Street and perhaps a kettle drum band outside John Lewis giving carols an island sound. London knows how to do Christmas. In comparison, Los Angeles might as well have slept through it. You’d never know it’s Christmas here unless you went to The Grove.

So I promise to bring back loads of photographs of London’s streets aglow with Christmas cheer, a detailed chronicle of our various visits to Birmingham, Bicester (more shopping!) and hopefully a stately home or two. Oh, and a wedding in Shropshire on New Year’s Eve.

See you next year!

4283073587_52e551de0a_oHappy Holidays xx photograph’d

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