December was fantastic here in London with so many Christmas events on it was easy to get carried away with the festiveness! I went to Winter Wonderland, ice skating, drank my fair share of mulled wine, exchanged pressies and indulged in some proper Christmas dinners (which happen at lunchtime mind you, their terminology here really is strange). Christmas rolled around and I had a few days up in the country with family friends who took me in as the Aussie orphan for the holidays. Then it was back to London to prepare for New Years Eve. In true NYE fashion it was the morning of and I still didn’t have a plan, thankfully a beautiful friend came to the rescue; she invited me for dinner at her place and we watched the fireworks from her roof – it was an amazing first NYE in London.
The Bear in Oxfordshire
Fast-forward a few days into Jan and my big countdown was finally up! Dad arrived! It was so nice to have some family in the same country for once, let alone the same hemisphere! I took some time off work to show Dad around my neck of the woods and then we set off up north to Oxfordshire where we spent a few days driving around the English countryside and warming our souls in a pub or two. After that we headed onto Ireland where we both fell in love with the country and its people. If you go back about 5 generations on Dad’s side we are actually Irish so I guess you could say we found the kinship strong. Then it was back to London and back to work but Dad was still around so I’ve been out and about each night indulging in some lovely dinners. Needless to say I feel I’ve barely been home for a month! Dad jetted off on Monday and now there’s a bit of a hole in my heart but it was a truly wonderful few weeks sharing my new English life with him and I’m proud to say he learnt to navigate the tube like a pro.
Richmond Upon Thames with Dad
And now we find ourselves nearing February can you believe it? True to my word I’m sticking to visiting one place each month; I’ve already got Rome, Budapest and Amsterdam on the cards, not to mention my trip home to Oz at Easter. I also had the opportunity to explore plenty of London while Dad was here and I have to say this city just surprises me at every turn. The more I see, the more I like. Richmond and Hampstead Heath are my new favourite areas, I can’t wait for the weather to warm up a bit so I can spend my days walking all the boroughs and bike riding by the river.
Snow-watch still continues for me; there hasn’t been a flake yet and I’ll be damned if I get through my first winter in London without a sprinkle. I’ll keep you posted. Life is good.