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Christmas in London


The title may be a little misleading.  Yes we were in London (being that we live here) but there was no romantical spinning shots with Big Ben in the background and a mosey on over the Tower Bridge to boot.  Nor was it a winter wonderland of Hollywoodised Christmas’s (i.e we weren’t in the England Cameron Diaz braved in The Holiday with the thick snow and quaint cottages).  The snow melted a few days before Christmas.  In fact short of a few trips out to the bin with the piles of accumulated toy packaging and Christmas wrap I didn’t step foot outside on Christmas!

The boys did well this year and I have to say I think we hit the nail on the head with almost no trinkety presents clogging up the toy boxes and giving maximum yippee factor on opening every gift.  We had successfully convinced our 9 year old that he wasn’t old enough for a mobile phone (cell phone) and he was ridiculously excited to rip open one of his presents and find one.  We bought it primarily to put my mind at ease when he’s out playing with the neighbours but the fact that he loves it is a perk!

It was a Toy Story themed Christmas for our youngest who is ever so slightly obsessed.

My hubby and eldest son’s geeked it up playing Magic: The Gathering for hours on end with their new decks whilst I tottered around in the kitchen.

Australian Christmas’s are very different to the Northern Hemisphere for obvious reasons (i.e the stinking heat and the possibility that if you tried to cook a gigantical turkey in your kitchen any time after midnight on Christmas Day then you may faint from the extra heat permeating from the oven) so cooking a massive dinner has never been a part of Christmas day for us.  Aussie Christmas is more of a cold meats (ham off the bone, sliced pork, cold chicken, prawns) affair with cold salads (coleslaw, potato salad, fresh green salads, tinned corn etc) and crusty bread rolls.

Last year we spent Christmas in Scotland and we arrived in the wee hours of Christmas Eve thanks to the snow and sleet making our 5 hour journey north take a solid 12 hours.  The drive was exciting to say the least and we were definitely still in tourist mode.  On Christmas Eve with a tow from a tractor (the cottage we were staying in was on a cattle farm) we managed to get down the long icey driveway and found a shop to pick up some supplies for Christmas Day.  I did cook on Christmas Day last year but it was an easy meal mainly due to the limited food left on the shelves when we went shopping.  Low stress and the beautiful Scottish countryside to cushion any disappointment in a less than perfect meal.

This year we spent Christmas at home and I decided to go the proper English Turkey Dinner.  Fortunately all the horror stories that television has graced me with (i.e turkey’s burnt on the outside and frozen on the inside and turkey’s that the poor soul’s lug home and then discover they don’t fit in the oven) had prepared me in a lot of ways.  However, the turkey did happen to take an hour longer then the packaging claimed (damn those filthy liars) and I hadn’t accounted for the giant foil tray springing a leak halfway through cooking and gracing my floor with the basting juices I’d been buttering the turkey up with at regular intervals.

Snacks were a plenty.  I made (and started chowing down on) the rum balls and apricot balls over a week ago so low stress there.

My fruit cake…

…and eventually I managed to get dinner on the table (albeit a few hours later then expected).  We didn’t actually have anything big enough to display the whole turkey on so I had to slice that baby up.  Only 2/3rd’s of that monster fit on the table and we only ate a small portion of that.  Turkey for breakfast, lunch and tea for the next week…eek!

Despite the flood of turkey juices I think it went off fairly smoothly though incase you were wondering buttery, fatty turkey juice takes a good 3 or 4 washes through the washing machine to wash out of your towels (ick).

Oh and we can’t forget that we topped off our English Christmas by watching the Queen’s Annual Christmas address and later on the Doctor Who Christmas Special.

2 thoughts on “Christmas in London”

  1. That sounded wonderful! I so enjoyed reading about everyone’s holiday traditions and how their Christmas Day went! I think it’s safe to say yours was a success! And your turkey dinner looked very appetizing!

    I would LOVE to go to Scotland for Christmas! Now you have me thinking……

  2. Thank you 🙂 I too enjoy sticky beaking into other people’s Christmas traditions and experiences.

    Scotland was gooorgeous at Christmas in ’09. Though I think I’d like to give Scotland a go in summer next time we holiday there…if its breath taking covered in snow I can only imagine how amazing it must be with everything in bloom and the rolling green countryside. On a side note though, thank goodness we didn’t plan to holiday there again this year or we’d have found ourselves plum out of luck. The motorways we travelled up on last year were covered in so much snow they were closed at one point before Christmas. Airports were shut down also and I imagine trains up there probably were too.

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