/51/ Christmas at Home

Please excuse the high number of phone-photos. My DSLR was tired.

Christmas was a quiet affair this year – exactly what I needed after an increasingly hectic and claustrophobic final few weeks in Berlin. The night is always darkest before the dawn, or so they say.In this instance, it was Christmas which dawned, and it did it beautifully. The only really sad thing was that my li’l brother Niall couldn’t make it home, and had to stay in Germany (though I hear he lived it up with our fantastic cousin Alice!). This was our second Christmas where the whole family wasn’t together, but last time it was me who was the missing link.

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The two weeks were full of familiar places. On one day, I grabbed my good school friend Lola and we headed to Oxford to pick my room for next year. While there, we actually bumped into a university friend of mine who had graduated in summer, and I ended up getting the room which coincidentally happened to be his old one. I’m very happy with it – it’s not the prettiest room per se, but has the best view! I took this picture back in January when it was actually snowy, and yeah it’s kind of magical.

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Christmas was in danger of getting a bit too quiet, so on Christmas Eve, my mother and I bought some last minute tickets to the only show that still had seats in London on boxing day – namely, The Mousetrap. It’s an old Agatha Christine that has been running in the same theatre for decades. It wasn’t high literature but it was entertaining, and with a perfect twist at the end.

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On the walk to and from the theatre, we passed through Covent Garden and its proliferation of oversized Christmas decorations.

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Most important, of course, was a trip to the pub. Our pub: The Red Lion in Upper Basildon (à la Basildon Park). It’s not our local – in fact it’s a half hour drive away from where we live – but it is our regular (not dissimilar to how I am with my favourite Berlin cafe, Factory Girl).

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There are many reasons to love the Red Lion, but surely this will sell it to you. The women’s loo features a 360-degree panorama painting featuring a row boat, the rolling English countryside and Mr Darcy. I sometimes excuse myself just so I can sit and have a chat with him. He’s an incredible listener.

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