Merry Christmas! I hope that everyone has had a wonderful and safe Christmas with their loved ones. I know that we certainly did!
Without the appropriate travel documents we were sadly unable to make it to Lyon, France to spend time with my parents, one of my brothers and a few cousins.
But do not despair! We had a very enjoyable orphans’ Christmas with our fellow Aussie “orphans” in Clapham. Everyone pitched in and we had the most delicious feast of NZ roast lamb, lasagne, 2 amazing potato bakes, Dan’s prawn, mango and avocado salad with sweet chilli lime dressing, roast veggies, honey carrots, and, of course, jelly shots and rum balls!
The term, Orphans’ Christmas, is used for a Christmas holiday celebration attended by adults unable to attend more traditional family celebrations, usually due to inability to travel during the Christmas holiday season. While an Orphans’ Christmas may not be completely traditional, there are
a few essential items that make the celebrations special:
1. A landline or computer with Skype abilities to call your family and friends back home
2. A warm place to camp out for a few days when all of the public transport has shut down
3. Food that you would eat at home – all of the English people at work laughed at me when I said Dan was making mango, prawn and avocado salad. They couldn’t believe that we weren’t cooking brussel sprouts (ew!).
4. An awesome bunch of fellow orphans that will make you laugh and share a beer or a jelly shot with you
5. Silly Christmas attire (not optional!) – It could be the silly paper hat that comes in your bon bon, or a daggy Christmas jumper like the one Mr Darcy wore to the Alconbury’s annual Turkey Curry Buffet in Bridget Jones’s Diary, either way, it makes the day seem a little more Christmassy than your standard weekend party.
Since the whole of London’s public transport shuts down on Christmas day, we arrived at Ryan, El, Jade & K’s place (also known as Birkwood Backpackers) in Clapham on Christmas Eve, laden with sleeping bags, salads, and a daggy Christmas jumper each.
While Christmas Eve was a rather quiet affair, we surely made up for it on Christmas day with our feasting, drinks and dancing late into the night. Gifts were exchanged, the sun came out (albeit briefly) and many friendships were forged.
It was a Christmas that we will not forget for a long time.
In true Aussie tradition, we settled in with left-overs and a beer in hand for the telecast of the Melbourne Boxing Day Test, Australia V. Sri Lanka. The only difference was that it was 3am in London and people were starting to drift off to bed.
I abandoned Dan in Clapham and on Boxing Day and made it to East London for some delicious spag bol at “Other El’s” place with some girlfriends. After some lovely gossip and yummy rum balls I retreated home to find Dan safe and sound asleep in bed. It had been an exhausting few days!
(While we were very sad to miss out on the Christmas festivities in Lyon, I found out later that there were a few cases of food poisoning… which makes me believe that everything happens for a reason…)
Now, a few days later, we are resting and in preparation for our first New Year’s Eve in London. Dan’s left foot is still bruised and swollen (dancing injury) and I have come down with a man flu, but we are very much looking forward to counting down to Brisbane’s New Year (2pm London time) followed by the fireworks display along the Thames River for London’s New Year from a moored boat bar overlooking the London Eye and Southbank.
London should make for a spectacular backdrop to count in 2013!
Published on: Dec 29, 2012 @ 23:57 #12monthhoneymoon