Christmas in London and Cambridge

As I said in my last post, I had a three-part Christmas, reflecting the main parts of my life now. These are ‘home and housemates’, ‘work’ and ‘former Cambridge life’.

(The Damjan part of my life is in Melbourne right now.)

So, Christmas started with our house Christmas dinner.

Andrea cooked a delicious roast chicken with vegetables. I have never had such tasty carrots and brussel sprouts before.

Damian made that beloved New Zealand dessert, the pavlova.

We had a living Christmas tree. An array of Neo’s toys held on for dear life. Every now and then, one of them would commit suicide by throwing itself off the tree.

Headgear quickly got silly. It’s inevitable when you have Christmas crackers. For those not aware, Christmas crackers always have inside them a paper crown, a bad joke and a toy.

Now, onto Christmas at work. It started with an exchange of Secret Santa (Kris Kringle) presents. We had to buy something a person could wear for less than £5. I was given a pink sequined cowgirl hat and a gigantic red feather boa. There are pictures so I might be able to post it on here later. Other people got checkered bow ties, reindeer antlers, helium balloons and snowman masks.

We all put on our silly gear and caught the train to St Paul’s. In the tube, Londoners laughed and pointed. We crossed the Millenium Bridge with the sun setting over the Thames. Lunch/dinner was at a Turkish restaurant.

Being the sustainability team, Juhi and Mariane made office decorations out of old magazines.

Isn’t it intricate? I took my cue from this and wrapped some of my presents in magazine paper.

I went to work on Christmas Eve and then caught a 6:30 PM bus to Cambridge. Rebecca and Ian had invited me over for Christmas lunch. I didn’t realise that in England, everything shuts down for Christmas. There are no tube services, no buses, no coaches, no trains. If you don’t have a car, you’re stuck within a walking or cycling radius of wherever you end up on Christmas day.

Which is why I travelled to Cambridge on Christmas Eve and went home on Boxing Day. Luckily, Bec found a place for me to stay overnight.

I had a really comfortable and happy time. It was good to be with friends for Christmas.

We had rosé wine and quality Christmas crackers.

The jokes were not as cheesy as usual and the toys were keepable. From the crackers, I kept a four colour pen and a shower puff.

For our soup starter, Bec blended cauliflower and leek, then garnished with chestnuts. YUM!

And look at this! Roast chicken and vegetables. At London home, I was amazed by the carrots and brussel sprounds. Here, the sweet potato, potato and parsnips were a revelation.

We had Christmas fruit pudding with custard, plus jelly and ice-cream. But before I could tackle dessert, I requested we go for a walk. My tummy couldn’t handle not having a break between mains and dessert.

This photo was taken at 3:15 PM…

…And this was 40 minutes later! The sun went down very quickly.

Merry Christmas!

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