Glittering Festivities

Here in England, I’ve been in fully-fledged festive mode for the past week. Despite long hours in the office each day, I’ve been cramming in nightly playings of all my favourite festive tunes (Frank, Bing and Dean), having cosy Christmas movie marathons (It’s a Wonderful Life, Home Alone, Love Actually, A Muppet Christmas Carol…), ice skating (badly) at the outdoor rink, wearing glitter and sparkles with everything, and generally making the most of this wonderful time of the year.

Last weekend, I met up with some of my favourite blog friends for an all-day festive girl date. We began with shopping and the Christmas windows at Liberty (my favourite London department store), black cab rides in the rain, walks through the West End (amidst, inexplicably, thousands of chaps dressed as Santa), afternoon cocktails overlooking Trafalgar Square, dinner at the National Gallery and my very favourite Christmas tradition, the English National Ballet’s performance of The NutcrackerAs well as those festive rituals I already treasure each year, I love the English Christmas traditions I’m now making my own; the novelty Christmas jumper (which is simultaneously fun and hideously bad taste) – this bedazzled version is my 2012 version, mulled wine, and hearing the glorious choir sing carols from Kings College in Cambridge.

Now, I’m tucked inside my family’s place in London for a few nights of cosy laziness, too much of my Uncle’s good food, walks along the Thames and board game marathons until midnight.

And with that, I wish you all a very happy festive season (whatever you celebrate).

Wearing: Topshop crystal-embellished jumper, Uniqlo oxford shirt, Witchery skirt (old), Chanel shoes, 2.55 bag and crystal ring, Mimco necklace and clear bangle, Michael Kors Paris watch, Lulu Frost for J. Crew bracelet, bow hair clip from Tokyo, Chanel ‘Malice’ nail polish, Mac ‘Ruby Woo’ lipstick, the smile of an excited child at Christmas.

Love, Miss B xx


Christmas Joy

It is Christmas Eve here in London, and I could not be filled with more joy. After weeks of working up a frenzy in the political day job, it feels utterly glorious to have at last collapsed into the giant marshmallow-squishy sofa at my English family’s place right beside the big Christmas tree (complete with pine smell, fairy lights and vintage ornaments from generations of the family) as the lights of West London twinkle outside behind me.

Although Christmas as an expat will always evoke bittersweet nostalgic memories of loved ones who are either no longer here (my darling Mama) or on the other side of the world in Australia, there is something so very exciting about a northern hemisphere Christmas. Whereas in Australia Christmas, falling in the midst of the Southern Hemisphere summer, was always celebrated with lunch and cocktails and games in the garden outside, here I can happily indulge all the Christmas traditions that, due to the heat, one simply can’t enjoy with quite the same enthusiasm in Australia.

And so I plan to spend the next few days doing the following in as high a dose as possible (in no particular order): sitting beside the fireplace with the scent of Christmas candles burning, baking gingerbread men and roasting chestnuts, eating chocolate for breakfast (because Christmas is the only time, aside from Easter, when this is permissible behaviour as a grownup), going for long walks along the Thames to avoid a state of food-induced coma, going to watch the Nutcracker and the great British pantomime with the family, wearing all the sparkles in my wardrobe, attempting to work my way through my stack of as yet unread magazines, and cramming in as many Christmas movies (the cheesier and more childlike, the better) as the family and Clever Boyfriend will possibly allow me.

So, to each and every one of you, whether you celebrate Christmas or another equally precious set of traditions, I send you love and joy and good wishes from London. I am so very grateful for all your kindness and support and sweet comments, tweets and emails which make me smile every single day of the year.

Love, Miss B xx