A very happy new year to all of you!
I hope the festive season was a relaxed and stress free period. It actually all seems so long ago now and it was only a couple of weeks. I was blessed to have my mum leave her hometown at Christmas for the first time in 76 years and come to London to be with me, accompanied by my 17-year-old niece, who is growing up to be a beautiful young woman.
As with anyone who has invited friends or family to their home for the Christmas season I was apprehensive about whether it would all go smoothly. Had I bought enough food? Had I bought the right food? Would the bed be comfortable enough? Would my flat be warm enough….? You get the idea.
Well, I need not have worried a jot; the whole visit was so relaxed and gorgeous, just what you would wish for. Mum and my niece Zara arrived on the Monday before Christmas, while I got stuck in traffic trying to pick them up at the airport, and was a little panicked and stressed trying to get to them, but when I arrived they were totally nonplussed, all smiles and happy festive greetings. It was in this vein that the remainder of the visit remained. Not the crazy stressful Christmas that probably makes for a more interesting blog but a Christmas that was thoroughly enjoyable.
On the Tuesday my brother came down from up north for the day (he had to work over Christmas), and we headed to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. I had never been and I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I knew that there were lots of activities like ice skating available for visitors, but somehow I couldn’t see my 76-year-old mum wanting to don skates!
I needn’t have worried; the Christmas markets were not only extensive but so festive and fun that we all had a great time shopping – one activity that I know my mum is always happy to put her full energies into. After we had eaten (crepes, roasted chestnuts, fish and chips etc.) and shopped our way around the markets, we headed to Christmas carols at St. Paul’s Cathedral, such a beautiful experience. So beautiful in fact that we decided to go back on Christmas Eve for midnight mass (something I now believe everyone should do at least once).
This was my niece’s first visit to London so there was an obligatory trip to Oxford Street and Regent Street – yes, she has the same shopping gene that mum and I have! We had a blast and rounded it all off with afternoon tea at Sketch, which really has to be seen to be believed. Check out the crazy bathroom!
Unfortunately, though, come Christmas morning I woke up with a cold/manflu and have had it ever since. It has taken weeks to shake it. Also, I was back to work on Boxing Day and every day until mum and my niece left so Christmas went a little bit downhill from that point onwards, but mum assures me she had a wonderful Christmas and that is really all that matters to me.
Mum now has my flu, as does my niece and her mum (my sister) – they brought home rather more than Christmas presents unfortunately!
I know there is a dreadful cold/flu/bug going around so if any of you were suffering over the holidays my sympathy goes out to you but trust me it does pass, eventually.
Now that I am feeling better I am only looking forward to the rest of 2015. What will happen this year? Who knows, but I am excited to find out.
Until next time,
Happy New Year, I hope it is a great one for all of us, Miceal. x