That poor swan. The two boys taunted it out onto the frozen lake and but it couldn’t stay balanced properly and actually fell over. It was very funny but very sad in a lot of ways. We were on our way to Regents Park I think, or maybe Campden market. Yes that was probably what it was. However it didn’t live up to all my great expectations and hype. This would have been around the same time last year, if not exactly. It was the first time my partner and I had seen snow and ice on our Europe tour. Quite exciting for people from down under.

On Christmas day we went for a walk through Wimbledon Common. My main aim was to find wombles and prove to ecstatic children across the world (including myself) their secret existence but instead we found a christmas tree. A small pine some one had decorated with tinsle. It was quite magical yet it was so isolated. It was a rather quite morning save for a few families on bikes or taking their dog/s for a walk. They were all smart enough to wear gumboots, but seeing as we humble backpackers had none we had to settle for muddy splodges half way up the back of our trousers or in my case stockings.

Having Christmas away from my family was a whole new experience to me. No glamourous presents under a fresh smelling christmas tree, no home made shortbread, no ambience vibrating through the house filled with footsteps, gasps or whispers of excitement and chatter. Instead it felt mostly… quiet. And a took a moment to relish and embrace this silence, this special unique feeling of solitude. In saying this though the mere fact that I knew it was christmas gave the day reverence and joy, which is what makes christmas day so wonderful. Also I made sure that I went to church in the morning, this helped compensate the lack of family and familiarity in general.

Later that afternoon we trundled down to an apartment in Wandsworth for lunch. The combination of corny christmas specials, a comfy couch, relaxed conversation with new friends and my wonderful partner as well as of course roast vegies was simply delightful. It was so nice to be inside a warm house with the weather outside so chilly and dreary. It didn’t snow on christmas day but it had the day before and finally the concept of christmas made sense to me. All the snow flake ornaments, carols, snow, mulled wine, roast turkey etc never make any sense in Australia because its warm over here during december but when you are in the northen hemisphere it all feels so right. People need something to cheer them up when its so awful outside.

Anyway this year my expectation has decreased slightly, perhaps because of this overseas experience I’m not sure but I do know that everything in my life is changing and so is my family and things need to change otherwise we’ll never grow. And however sad it is that I’ll never feel the same way I did as if I were 6 or 7 waking up at 6 30 Christmas morning I can still elish in my heart the true joy and meaning of Christmas. And that is of course Jesus Christ.

I think I may have been a bit harsh on the situation last year because after all I did get a new wallet from Cath Kidston (which for me seeing a Cath Kidston store was amazing in itself), a new journal and a voucher for Waterstones where I bought the Odyssey by Homer which is still sitting on my bookshelf now, unread.

Sadly there is no group photo :( however I did get a photo of this awesome fridge :)