Old Year, New Year

So Christmas is well and truly over, but here’s how it went. More snow (Yay!). London. Good Friends. And a four day cooking and eating and drinking extravaganza, culminating in a massive and delicious Christmas dinner, replete with one enormous and perfectly cooked stuffed turkey.

Christmas turkey.
laurenbeth93 / Foter


Aside from gorging and digesting we did manage to have a wee wander through London town to see the Christmas lights (so much more tasteful than the over the top tinsel crap they put up in Oz), listen to carollers, and even managed to fit in an ice skate under the imposing walls of the Tower London. We rugged up and went for a number of brisk icy walks, which were more like shuffles really, through frozen parks to various pubs to warm up with mulled wines and mulled ciders, and snuggled up in front of the fire lazily watching hours of movies. Perfect.

Then it was back to deserted old OFo, which being a university town had in a matter of days become a total ghost town. Now normally this wouldn’t have bothered me in the slightest – but on New Year’s Eve, if you’re in the city and haven’t managed to escape the confines of the urban jungle, then you do really want people and a funky vibe on the street. But the streets of Oxford were eerily dead, pubs were empty, there were no fireworks, and nobody shouting “Ha-ppy New Year”. But thankfully we had a house party to attend with lots of my work crew that descended happily and effortlessly into cocktail making craziness and bad SingStar karaoke fun. And then just like that it was 2011.

Now that the mercury is rising higher and the sun is rising earlier (though not yet emerging from the clouds often enough), and the birds are getting chirpier, I too am starting to feel chirpier. I can feel the winter de-funking process beginning. Seriously, I really don’t know how people live through year after year of this darkness and greyness. The cold really isn’t too bad at the end of the day – but the lack of sun is terrible! Just so that you all understand what kind of lack of sun I’m talking about, here’s an example: the Radcliffe Observatory in Oxford reported that in December 2010 the “Mean daily bright sunshine” was only 0.8 hours. That’s 48 minutes! And to make matters worse, most days those 48 minutes of sun would have occurred during work time, so no sun. At least I now understand why I was having dreams about being in sunshine (seriously).

But now the days are finally getting longer and there are plenty of bright things on the horizon in the coming weeks.

Hope that 2011 is shining brightly on you, wherever you are.

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