The first real day the girls had in London we got up relatively early headed off to Broadway market to do some shopping for the dinners during the week. After selecting the best produce that we could, and proving to the girls there was at least one decent place in London for coffee we headed off to Camden with Cam and Krizzo. Camden is always going to be one of my favourite places, and given that the girls ended up going there another few times, I'd say they fell in love there too!
Despite talk of a potential night out we ended up opting to stay in and played a few rounds of Jenga (a risky move on my part got me eliminated right near the start!)before moving onto Cranium. Board games and alcohol made for a fun night as we stayed in and got steadily drunker before hitting the sack.
Plans for the next day had involved fish and chips, but somehow I forgot that they weren't on a Sunday so it appeared we were going without. We headed into the ghetto (aka Dalston) for some bits and pieces before heading into Hyde Park to the German Christmas markets!
Although freezing out (it had been snowing since our arrival back from Ireland) we had a great time, drinking mulled wine, blueberry wine and apple cider all with additional shots to keep us warm. Needless to say we were feeling the effects by the time we left for home! Luckily we managed to find fish and chips at the markets, so Clare could say she's had that!
With frozen toes we slowly headed back for home in the dark, my not so frozen fingers a testament to the peacock hand-warmer Nick had given me as my farewell present!
Unfortunately I had to go back to work for the next couple of days so the girls were off on their own for adventures! Krizzo also headed back for Australia as the last of the boys making his way back home to see family and friends. Over the next few nights we had some home cooked dinners, Hummingbird Cupcakes (courtesy of the girls) and saw Into the Hoods a hip-hop dancing show which was just brilliant.
Christmas Eve had a very early start attached to it. Lin, Cat and I decided to get up at 4:30am and go to Billingsgate fresh seafood market. It's a good thing that we went when we did, as already a lot of things had sold out! We had chocolates on the bus for breakfast (courtesy of Cat's friend Jacinta who had come to see Into the Hoods with us the night before) which helped us to keep our eyes open! I placed in a quick call to Mum where I found out I was getting a push bike for Christmas!!!! WOOT!
I headed off to work, bleary eyed but on a sugar high, and met up with Lin and the girls for lunch at the pub near my work. Somehow when I got back to work I was lucky enough to be sent home - so home I went! We had all the fresh seafood for dinner that night - steamboat style. Now steamboat is kind of like hotpot, and was SO tasty! Of course, the issue with steamboat is that you eat for too much, and end up grazing non-stop for about 4 hours… Wendy and Josh were around so after we'd over indulged we played a game of Cranium and split the teams by birth month - me, Lin and Wendy vs Cat, Clare and Josh. We got owned - but the vodkas helped to dispell any disappointment. One by one we crawled off to bed, with Cat and I getting up for Christmas the next morning the last ones off to bed at 4am.
Christmas day I had a VERY early start with Cat throwing something at my head at 8am and calling out Merry Christmas. I made her go back to sleep until 9am, when we finally got out of bed. There was no fresh snow, but some left over meant we still had a white (ish) Christmas! Cat made us each a chili hot chocolate and then the wait began for everyone else to get up before presents were opened. We ended up tucking into some Baileys, and slowly the others trickled down stairs. We then opened our presents, where I got EXTREMELY spoiled (got to love it!!!) before we talked back into the steam boat for lunch. I had to pack for Scotland, and to get everything together with the semblance of moving into my new place on my return to London, so my afternoon was spent organizing. Urgh. Hahaha.
Lin started the cooking of the roast pork for the dinner we were off to that night, which during the cooking managed to collapse, and then got revived with some quick thinking. We jumped into a cab to Cammy's where we had an AMAZING dinner before playing Stealing Santa! It was a classic game with the favourite and least favourite presents being swapped a number of times! We attempted to recreate the mulled wine from Ireland (with success might I say!!!) and tucked into some tasty eggnog too! After eating and drinking far too much, we had a couple of shots before beginning the trek home.
Boxing Day was not a great day for me… I woke up at 5am and spent the next 7 hours throwing up in various toilets around the house. At least it was a scenic tour. Hahaha. Little did I know that Clare was hit by the same tummy bug a little bit after me.
Illness not going to be a damper on our trip, we picked everything up and headed off tothe train station to make it to Scotland. With no energy and feeling very sorry for ourselves, we made it 4 blocks up, to catch a black cab to the train station. Once we got there we found out that the tickets were for the next day and promptly turned around to head back home. Already feeling sick and exhausted I had no energy to even begin to think of how funny the situation really was.
Eventually making it back home, and Lin meeting us part way to help out with the bags I crawled into a bean bag, watched Short Circuit 2, In Bruges (well only half cause we got bored), The Hangover, Hot Fuzz, a Japanese cartoon, and crawled into bed at 10pm. Sometime around 2pm Cat got really sick too, so we were all in fine form to head off to Scotland the next day!
We're pretty sure it was just a really mild case of gastro or some other 24 hour bug, as the Cat and Clare had a fairly quick recovery time, with just me having the effects of exhaustion and upset stomach over the rest of their stay. Nevertheless, an early nights sleep was what the doctor ordered (if we'd bothered to see one) to give us the right start for the final leg of our journey!
Miss and love you all lots! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!