18 December, 2017

Festive weekend

We have had a lovely, festive time this weekend.

On Saturday, we all (us, our children and their grandparents) met at the National Theatre to see Pinocchio. There had been some concern when the tickets were first booked that the show might be too young for our teenagers, but as it turned out, not a bit of it. The acting was superb, the set ingenious, and there was plenty tucked in for older viewers -- morality, darkness, sophisticated jokes, etc. We enjoyed the whole show, but we thought that the actress who played the cricket (Pinocchio's conscience) was particularly outstanding.

Prior to watching the play, we ate dinner together in House, the National Theatre's restaurant. We were a little concerned that there were few vegetarian dishes available and that the menu wasn't very teenager-friendly. However, I had a pasta dish with mushrooms and spinach, which really was very tasty, Even though the restaurant was very busy, the service was friendly and responsive.

On Sunday, we focused on Christmas at home. We bought our tree from Peachcroft Farm, as we always do, and then spent the rest of the morning decorating the house. In the afternoon, we celebrated the third Sunday of Advent enjoying German Christmas biscuits in front of our advent circle.

Lovely! We are now all feeling a lot more Christmassy!

12 December, 2017

The run up to Christmas

We are having a very busy run up to Christmas this year. We have had so much on -- both festive and otherwise -- that it feels a bit like we might hit Christmas somewhat unprepared!

The weekend before last we enjoyed our annual Christmas shopping trip to London. This involves traipsing along Oxford Street, admiring the lights, and spending inordinate amounts of time browsing the John Lewis food hall for Christmas stocking gifts. We also had a lovely lunch in Cafe Rouge Kingsway. This was a good find because, while relatively close to central London shopping, it is located in Holborn, which, at the weekend, is nice and quiet. Perfect for a hassle-free meal with family.

We're off to London again this Saturday to see Pinocchio at the National Theatre with my parents-in-law. We're all a bit old for it now -- the kids included -- but it should be great fun! Sunday will be dedicated to buying the Christmas tree from our local Peachcroft Farm and dressing the house ready for our celebrations.

This week I have two -- yes, two! -- Christmas lunches at work. One with my immediate team and one with my 50-strong department. The first will be a curry at a local curry house and the second will be a full-blown, three-course lunch at St. Hilda's College. Both should be delicious.

On the less exciting front, we have been organising the replacement of our leaking hot water tank (two days this week without heating or hot water in the freezing cold!), having the drains under our house cleaned, sorting out Duke of Edinburgh volunteering and braces for our youngest, supporting our eldest as she revises for her mocks. The list goes on...

Only two more weeks of work and then we'll be there! I'm really looking forward to the break and to enjoying our traditional German celebrations with family on Christmas Eve!