I went "home" for Christmas last year (how weird is it to say "last year" about something that happened a few weeks ago?!) - and by home I mean London, England. As an expat I am often asked where I feel "home" is or, worse still I get corrected by people in Cayman if I say I'm going home and I'm not referring to the island - It's like a commitment test and you feel like you've failed if you long for the house you grew up in and a meal cooked by your Mama. Thing is, I truly feel like I have 2 homes - one here in the Cayman Islands and one back in Blighty. No matter how much time passes, or where life takes me, London will always be where I grew up, where some of my fondest memories and closest friendships were made and where one home, and a large part of my heart, will always remain.
This year, it was time to go "home" for the holidays, to my crazy family and equally nutty friends and swap this:
I have to admit, I shopped up a storm buying stupid gifts on Amazon, because when you live on an island, next day delivery and cool stuff that costs less than a tenner is a novelty! Elf slippers for the whole family? I mean why wouldn't you?!
I spent 5 precious days with 5 precious people.
Followed by a few days lolloping around the sunny streets of little Venice and Notting Hill with my Mum - we had a fab afternoon browsing the furniture stores in Bayswater avoiding the high street crowds going crazy over the sales, and getting inspired for our house build this year - globe shaped door knobs? I'll take them all!
Followed by Prosecco of course!
England was seriously showing off for most of the week I was there with clear blue skies and cold, crisp mornings giving way to sunny afternoons - it was something of a winter wonderland so I took a drive through the countryside to catch up with my in-law-Mum and play tourist in the wonderfully historic city of Cambridge. I felt like I was on a film set all day! It's you're going to England be sure to put it on your itinerary - even with the Colleges closed it was fabulous!
And if England was showing off, then so were my friends. I met my core for lunch at Lobos in Borough Market - a tiny little place inside old railway arches serving up delicious tapas alongside crisp white wine - before heading out into the cold and wrapping ourselves in blankets on the terrace of the Boro Bistrot, sipping mulled wine and practicing our Franglais, imagining we were on the slopes of the snowy alps. Then as the sun started to dip behind the skyscrapers, one of my chums had a brain wave and swept us up to the top floor of her office block on the bank of Thames to catch golden hour in all it's glory.
The next day, the weather decided that all good things must come to an end, as a thick fog hung over the city like a heavy duvet - I had a girlie day planned and vowed not to let the elements dampen spirits as we settled in for some pampering at London Grace, but it was undeniably inconvenient as we arrived to climb the O2 at twighlight - more on that in my next post! Luckily little people don't care much for whether it's sunny or raining - they just want to play all the time, so that's just what I did with my Godson! They say you don't really appreciate Christmas until you have kids.....or someone else's!
All to soon, it was New Years Eve and as we welcomed 2017, my short but very sweet trip came to an end.
Time to head back to my other home on the other side of the pond.