It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

22 Nov

About this time back home it’s beginning to get nice and hot. The days grow longer and the nights are warm. You get that excited feeling when you know that summer is just around the corner meaning the summer BBQ, parties, dresses, thongs, the beach… the list goes on. It’s summer-time and it’s Australia – what more could you want?

About this time in the UK it’s beginning to get cold. Ice cold. The days grow much shorter and do so quite quickly. I sit near a window at work and by 4:30pm it’s dark outside, and, we’ve been well-informed by the locals that it’s going to get darker, sooner. The wind picks up and the cold air gets into your throat and lungs, creating a nice head cold for you to enjoy for the next couple of days. Scarfs, gloves, thick socks, layers and layers of clothing and water-proof shoes are all a must if you decide to venture into the outdoors, which you must do every single day to get to work, let alone heading out to indulge in other social activities on the weekend.

As dreary as it all sounds, there is one huge plus that us here in the UK can get excited about. Christmas. The feeling of Christmas is all around (insert song from Love Actually here). Actually, it’s just like the movies and it is getting very exciting! The major shopping streets and squares are all being decorated with lights that twinkle throughout the day and night. There is the ‘kissmas’ tree at Covent Garden where you and your dearly beloved can stand under the mistletoe and when you kiss, sparkling lights dazzle on the ‘kissmas’ tree beside you. Department stores set up their elaborate Christmas window displays with music and moving Christmassy bits and pieces. Christmas carols have started ringing at the supermarkets, in coffee shops and department stores. There is the anticipation of snow (eventually). And, the Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park opens.

Half of Ausgang (aka, the UK posse) visited the Winter Wonderland today. We already have plans to visit again in a couple of weekends-time, but our friend Jaime isn’t able to join us then, so we decided to visit today with her as well. The Wonderland replicates a German Christmas market with wooden chalet stalls, German food, mulled cider and wine, gingerbread and a fair with rides and an ice-skating rink. We walked around soaking up the Christmassy atmosphere, taking photos with Santa and snowman statues and also went on the roller-coaster.

But it was the ice skating that was the highlight. We booked into the next hour-long session and made our way into the change area to get into our ice skates and drop off our bags. Memories flooded back to us of ice skating in New York and of me falling over numerous times (once at the hands of Matt!). Hopefully this time would be different. Unsteady on our feet at the start (except Matt who skated off before the rest of us even put a skate on ice – show-off!), we slowly made our way around the ice rink, attempting to keep our balance on the slippery ice. But our confidence built and we were whizzing around before we knew it. It’s the ultimate way to get into the Christmas spirit and we were as happy as can be skating around in the cold, on the ice, hand-in-hand with Matt. Of course we didn’t forget our friends and had some fun taking photos (and getting into trouble – no cameras allowed on the ice). It was the most fun we could have had in the cold for an hour. But ice skating can be dangerous. We witnessed many a fall and some looked quite serious. Overhearing conversation in the change area after our hour was up, a family beside us were talking about their son who fell over on the ice and mentioned ‘they don’t think x-rays are necessary’, indicating just how much it can hurt to fall on the ice. Beware! There are several ice skating rinks located all over London so we plan on visiting a few more before the festive season ends. Watch this space – we’ll be ‘pirouetting’ around the ice in no time!

Also worth a mention in this blog is our viewing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 – which we saw on its debut night in the UK (Friday 19 November). We travelled down to Brixton (south London) to see it in the local cinema, which took us back in time. The cinema is a century old and is fabulous! The movie is fabulous too.

Also during the week, I took in another viewing of Dirty Dancing on stage – a must for lovers of the movie who love the music and the moves. It’s funny – we were sat next to some Aussie girls who hooted every time Johnny took his shirt off or moved his body in ways only one dreams of! Excellent.

The previous weekend we spent our time at a farewell party for our South African neighbour who was flying back home to live the following day. Our area is known as the locality for South Africans – there is the South African shop plus a pub dedicated to entertain our Southern friends. The band was singing in Afrikaans so we couldn’t understand a word, but we danced anyway. Our street really is the place to live!

We also spent the following day walking through the Titanic exhibit at the O2 in London. It was moving and so interesting to get an insight into the history and the events of the night. The RMS in RMS Titanic stands for ‘Royal Mail Ship’ meaning the ship was an official carrier for Royal Mail – thousands and thousands of letters went down. Also interesting was the fact that we were given a card with a passenger name on it, their age, their class on board the ship, their history and why they were travelling on board Titanic. At the very end of the exhibit, there is a memorial dedicated to the people on board. Here is where you find out if your passenger survived or not. Neither Matt nor my passengers survived.

We are nearing the start of another week but luckily it will only be a four-day slog for us. We are heading off to enjoy a long weekend in Spain this Friday…

Till next time, have fun in the sun! (Send some over to us please).

M&M

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2 Responses to “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!”

  1. Saira November 22, 2010 at 7:42 AM #

    Winter Wonderland sounds awesome! All we have here to let us know Christmas is coming are cane toads, mozzies, flies, humidity and weather that won’t make its mind up between stinking hot and persistent drizzly rain. 😦

    Lozz and I went to the Titanic exhibition too! When it was at the Melbourne Museum and we were down there in July. We both survived 🙂 I wonder if it’s the same one you went to? Was there an iceberg wall that you could touch? And all the artefacts from the ocean floor, and the replica bedroom/hallway? Oooh and the really cool staircase? I think there’s a picture of Lozz and I on the staircase on my Facebook 🙂

    Glad to hear you guys are having such a great time over there! It makes me smile every time I read a blog post or look through your new pictures 🙂 Miss you heaps!!

    • mmeblog November 24, 2010 at 4:41 AM #

      Thanks hun – having a blast! Yep that was definitely the same exhibit as the Melbourne one. I actually thought of you as I was writing that part, wondering if you went it to when you girls were down there. The ice wall was so cold!

      You would love Winter Wonderland – I can see you and Hannah really loving it! Especially the ice skating.

      Miss you heaps!! Xoxo

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today was meaningful

a collection of thoughts, life lessons, and days full of meaning.

Liv Hambrett

An Australian Writer in (North) Germany

I am the world's oyster

Photography, Aviation, Nature, Culture, Nikon, Canon, Qantas, Airlines, Emirates, Airports, A380, 747

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Love for hand-knitted & -crocheted beauty. Proud designer & founder of LN|Beanies and LN|Andes, my two knit brands, my two loves.

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