The past few weeks have been a bit hectic with a lot going on in my personal life (bit of an understatement tbh), so apologies for this being a little late! I still have my Christmas in NYC posts to write too – so much to do, so little time, the main problem with having a full time job as well as a blog ? If you were following my Instagram in December, you may have seen that I was home in the UK for Christmas! After last year’s Aussie Christmas I was desperate for a cold ‘real’ Christmas, and so headed home via New York on my First Class Singapore Airline’s flight that I bought using all my airmiles.
Christmas was bliss. Don’t get me wrong, as with all expat visits home, there were some lows as well (mainly being sad at not getting to see everyone in just two weeks), but for the most part it was wonderful. But anyway, let’s start at the very beginning of December. It was 30 degrees C in Sydney and my housemate and I threw a Christmas house party!
We bought a Christmas tree from Target as they had 30% off, and we asked all of our guests to bring us a decoration. We had some pretty great ones including some hilarious ones. I wore my sparkles because if you can’t wear sparkles at Christmas, when can you? And myself, Joe, and his boyfriend Nick learnt the Mean Girls Christmas dance LOL. We had about 25-30 people over, and put on a spread and I made a *very* potent Christmas punch…which was pure alcohol and got everyone very drunk very quickly and it all descended into madness, with people dancing on our kitchen counters haha. (also, the monkey in the below pic is covering my dignity *ahem*)
I stopped off in Singapore for a few hours, but it was pouring with rain the entire time! I went to the Tanglin Club for a drink, and then got the MRT over to Gardens by the Bay. Last time I was in Singapore I didn’t have time to actually go inside the domes, so this time I took the opportunity to wander around them and stretch my legs during my long transfer. It was all very festive with lights and Christmassy things everywhere.
I had the best long weekend partying and seeing New York in the snow and covered in Christmas decorations! I’ll be posting more about this soon as I did and saw WAY too much to include in one round-up post. My fave things though included seeing the Rockefeller Centre Christmas Tree, ice-skating at Central Park, partying with friends all from different times in my life, and seeing the Radio City Rockette’s Christmas Spectacular!
I was originally supposed to fly from NYC to London via Iceland, with a one day stopover in Iceland. I had a tour booked to experience the Blue Lagoon and Reykjavik, but unfortunately Icelandair had a strike, so they re-booked me onto a direct flight to London with British Airways *sad face*. Let me tell you, going from Singapore Airlines Suites to BA’s Economy was a SHOCK haha. Anyway, I got into London a day earlier than planned, so had some extra time with my family which was nice.
I was working in the London office for a few days before Christmas, so I used the lunchtimes and evenings to catch up with friends. I spent Tuesday evening after work wandering around London just soaking up the Christmas atmosphere. I walked from Covent Garden down to Trafalgar Square, then along Pall Mall and up to Jermyn Street before heading to the club for a drink.
Sunday was Christmas Eve, so I picked my brother up in the afternoon and we drove back to ours for family time. Christmas Day we opened presents, and then went to my best friend Emma’s house in the morning for our old traditional Christmas nibbles and drinks that we used to do every year with both of our families. Her mum Clare always puts on the best spread ever, even when it’s just canapes! We had bubbles and catch-ups and then after a couple of hours my family and I headed home for Christmas lunch.
This year we just had our own family Christmas lunch instead of spending it with extended family. It’s been years since we did this and it was so lovely. The oven stopped working though so the turkey took forever to cook, and we had to finish it on the barbecue, haha! It was great though and nice and relaxed. Boxing Day was spent being lazy with the family. My Nan and aunty/uncle and cousins came over for lunch, and we spent the afternoon playing games and eating all the food all over again!
When Vinny started getting grouchy we left Shev to deal with him (soz Shev…), and I drove over to Mayfair for drinks at Sketch with Aftab (they do amaze non-alcoholic cocktails)! We were only there a couple of hours as I was exhausted again, but my goodness had I missed this guy, we literally didn’t stop laughing the entire time, like proper belly laughs that interrupted the ambiance of the bar.
It got to around 1am and we were getting a bit tired, so decided to go to VQ for food on the way home. We had the usual burger and chips with a milkshake, which is our NYE post-night-out tradition. Aside from last year when I was in Australia, every year for the past six NYE’s I’ve ended up in VQ on NYE for a post-midnight feed haha. It’s the best.
And then before I knew it, it was time to say goodbye and leave again. I spent the first week of January in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, but I’ll tell you more about that shortly! It was a bit different to the last time I went back in 2016 because I was feeling so unwell this time, but I still managed to have a great time and did loads!
Sadly the year for me began with so much hope, and the past couple of weeks have turned into a bit of a nightmare. I’m not going to be talking about what’s happened anytime soon as it’s so personal and I’m just not ready to, but it’s made me so thankful for all of my friends.
When tough things happen and you’re 10,000 miles away from your entire support system it’s really difficult and makes you realise how hard it is being an expat. But it also shows you who your real friends are and who will be there for you – day or night – no matter what. So, I don’t think 2018 can get any worse (and if it does then that’s really bloody unfair), and it’s only January…so at least it’s all upwards from here! Fingers crossed eh.