Christmas In London

December 26, 2014

Another year, another Christmas in ol' Blighty. While most of my friends contribute to the desolation of London by driving or jetting home for two days of seasonal bingeing and parcel-passing in the name of the lord, for the foreigner with family an ocean away who don't celebrate 'Jesus day' (Godless heathens!) the options for whiling away Christmas Eve and the day itself are limited. Option  1: trawl the empty, eerily quiet streets of London imagining yourself the lone survivor in a 28 Days post-apocalytic scenario (did that in 2011). Two: keep busy with volunteer work (a personal tradition since 2013). Three: find an adopted family for the season (did that last year and the year before). And finally, four: combine forces with others who remain in the city with a most unorthodox Christmas evening where tradition begins with turkey and ends most abruptly in a most unfamily-friendly night of Cards Against Humanity, black comedy, and decidedly improper running commentary on all the Christmas TV specials.

This year Henry and I spent our first Christmas together starting at my Shoreditch place and ending at Sara's West London home. There were presents wrapped in brown paper and red string, homemade gingerbread and the most delightfully minty white chocolates, and heaps of turkey with lashings of stuffing but not a dusty behemoth of a Christmas tree with screaming petulant children dangling off the ornaments in sight. Oh, to be able to cackle and swear openly on Christmas Day! This is the dream, you guys. 


Mandatory Christmas pearls (vintage and Vivienne Westwood, naturally) and 'buy once then throw away' Christmas jumper from Primark (surprisingly tasteful) accessorised with signature red lips (too racy and 'too fast' for grandma).


In lieu of a Christmas tree (where would I put it and what would I do with it after? Feed it to the feral squirrels of East London?) I hastily grabbed a festive bouquet from the local Tesco (which I resisted decorating with Ferrero Rocher in place of baubles) 'cos Posh, Broke, & Bored, ya'll. My £5 supermarket Christmas bouquet juxtaposed against exclusive prints gifted by Louis Vuitton to their best and most loyal customers is true evidence of the contradictory nature of my blog title. I mean it when I say that I pair Primark with Chanel without irony.


A Christmas brunch of sorts that I pulled together with ingredients I hastily snatched off the supermarket shelves the night before. Only on Christmas day can champagne, cheese, and truffles constitute as a perfectly respectable meal.



How to fool your way into the title of domestic goddess: get a slab of camembert, cut an 'X' into the centre; fill with honey, sea salt, and chilli flakes, bake, and present the salty, spicy, sweet, crusty, gooey goodness on a marble cheese plate with the effortless flair of the 'dream girl' who says she walks everywhere in heels but really calls an Uber when noone is looking. Oh, who am I kidding, it's public knowledge that I never walk if I can 'Uber it' and I openly admit to wearing flats everywhere. There's a reason why I'm always the shortest woman in Mayfair. 

Christmas: you stay for the dinner but you come for the presents (don't pretend you're here to see pervy cousin Tarquin). If there's anything I like better than shopping for gifts (apart from receiving them) it's wrapping. But only because I'm quite good at it, some would even say I have a gift. *chortle*



...I may have unwrapped one of my gifts before Christmas Day itself, but in my defence, the present mummy sent me wasn't even labelled as a Christmas present. The card wasn't even signed. But I know my mother's handiwork when I see it!

Henry got me a grand total of nine presents so I thought it be nice if I reciprocated with many silly gifts as opposed to one big thing. Well, I guess I'll save the ostrich egg for next year...


...Henry's just started his own blog: Wandering Demon Boots and has renewed his interest in amateur photography. Supportive girlfriend that I am, I gifted him the tools of artistic expression: a laptop and a Canon telephoto lens.


Can I just say that shopping for your significant other is a covert mission of serious tactical complexity when you both spend every second of the day together? I've lost count of the number of times we've had to order the other out of the room during present-wrapping sessions. 

Henry knows I love mint green, travel, and stationery so he got me a few things that fit those bills...!


For the studio: a desk lamp in my favourite colour, stationery and candles.

For travel: flights to Riga, Latvia (I already knew about this weeks ago!) and the luggage I've been lusting over for ages, the retro-inspired Suit Suit 'Fabulous Fifties' cabin bag in mint green, all the way from Denmark!


My elegantly (ha!) restrained smile does not do justice to how much I LOVE THIS SUITCASE. Hello, it's mint green with white detail which will perfectly compliment my dream city car (the Nissan Figaro), the front is minimally elegant (none of that flowery twee nonsense), and it's 1950's inspired. How can anything be so perfect for me? 


Christmas carnage: the violent aftermath of a satisfying afternoon of unwrapping presents.


Happily, Henry is just as pleased with his Christmas presents from me as I am with mine from him!


I got him a telephoto lens so he could level up his wildlife photography. The first animal he practised on with the new lens was...Coolio the hamster.


Don't worry, Coolio, I didn't forget about you. Here's your own Christmas tree, and a special Christmas day lunch: fresh kale.




As the last of the winter daylight came to a close, I packed up a sack of Christmas presents for Sara and a bottle of Bolly for dinner at her's. 


After a thirty minute taxi ordeal from Shoreditch to the heart of West London we were greeted with a roaring fire, home made sweets, and the most unbelievably tantalising scent of roast wafting from the kitchen. 



Hello, we are the Foreign Legion of London's International Christmas Children. 








We whiled the rest of the evening away over copious consumption of champagne, cocktails, and all the festive trimmings of Christmas: turkey, stuffing, sweets, and Christmas TV specials before hauling our sleepy (but clearly not too sleepy to blog) selves back to Shoreditch. Thank you Sara and Sarah for hosting our lovely Christmas dinner, and to Roger and Vishal for a most entertaining evening of Frozen sing-a-longs and very adult commentary on Downton Abbey!

And here, my Christmas present to you: Henry, on Christmas eve, topless in the stables as he tends to his pony.


Well, that's next year's Christmas card sorted.

Seasons Greetings, and peace, love and light to all!

Now we just need to survive New Year's Eve...

x

11 comments:

  1. What a fun day! Love that suitcase, hard.

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    1. Suit Suit contacted me and in reply I begged, I kid you not, begged them to make more suitcases in that style and colour!
      Hope you've had a Happy Christmas xx

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  2. 'My £5 supermarket Christmas bouquet juxtaposed against exclusive prints gifted by Louis Vuitton to their best and most loyal customers is true evidence of the contradictory nature of my blog title. I mean it when I say that I pair Primark with Chanel without irony.'

    That doesn't mean you're 'broke', it just means you have the luxury of ironically pretending to be oh so poor and bohemian as a lazy USP. Its a mockery of true poverty and it would be adorably stupid if you weren't like, 30. Maybe some of the people you volunteer with will get a kick out of how you reappropriated a champagne bottle with fairy lights as 'cheap decor', when they can't afford second hand toys for their kids. Grow up.

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    1. Hello Anonymous,
      as a matter of fact, I am broke, but of course you don't know that because you don't know anything about me beyond what I post on my blog, so I can understand your annoyance (as misdirected as it is). However, I never have alluded to poverty beyond the volunteer work I do to try and alleviate the effects of it in some way, and I certainly would never mock it. I am curious to hear how you think I can 'grow up'? Perhaps you'd do me the honour of emerging from behind your anonymity and show me the ways you've contributed to society and made the world a better place? x

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    2. It's so easy for some to criticise bloggers they don't know behind a veil of anonymity isn't it? I bet 'Anonymous' fancies themself some saviour of the people just because they once bought a copy of Big Issue.

      You keep doing what you do Jasminne.

      x

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    3. Anon, go back to under your bridge and stay there. #troll

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    4. Regina George (Post-Bus)December 28, 2014

      Your objection seems to be that it's somehow untruthful for J to describe herself as broke, but it's all just semantics. Your version of broke might be my version of the plush life, and vice versa. If J presented a public persona of an individual that works two jobs and is still scrambling to make ends meet, then, yes, your beef might be legitimate. (Legitimate beef? Sounds like a good user name, and also a decent entree at Benihana.) But since I've been reading her blog over the last year or so, she has been historically open and honest about her circumstances and good fortune, whether due to family privilege, work connections, or her own hard work. It sounds more like your complaint is sour grapes rather than factually accurate, in which case, surely your time would be better invested elsewhere?

      As a point of interest, though, and open to all takers, is it really so impossible for one to be both posh and broke?

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    5. Regina!
      Thank you for being as eloquent and succinct as I wish I could be. You're so on-point I swear you know me better than I know myself. I'm grateful and honoured to have you as a reader. (and also hungry thanks to your references to grapes and Benihana)
      I do think it's possible to be posh and broke - I mean, I have expensive taste and am not afraid to have nice things even if it means that I have to give some luxuries to be able to afford others. I have money, but I choose to invest it in my company rather than blow it all at once on Hermes or Chanel (trust me, the temptation is real) and so I forgo nightly Duck & Waffle dinners just so I have enough cash to actively run a business. x

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    6. Dana, it's funny you say that because my bf said of Anon: "What has he/she done to help the poor this Christmas?" Maybe he/she is a finger-pointing keyboard warrior of a hypocrite. Maybe he/she is the most altruistic, socially-involved person there is but in which case why are they wasting their time criticising someone they don't know on their blog instead of focusing their attention on better causes than scolding a 'luxury lifestyle blogger' for having, well, a luxurious lifestyle?

      Also, is this a bad time to admit that I always buy The Big Issue but I've never actually read one? x

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  3. Hello Anonymous,
    as a matter of fact, I am broke, but of course you don't know that because you don't know anything about me beyond what I post on my blog, so I can understand your annoyance (as misdirected as it is). However, I never have alluded to poverty beyond the volunteer work I do to try and alleviate the effects of it in some way, and I certainly would never mock it. I am curious to hear how you think I can 'grow up'? Perhaps you'd do me the honour of emerging from behind your anonymity and show me the ways you've contributed to society and made the world a better place? x

    ReplyDelete