Well my Christmas shopping is done. Mostly. Yes, mostly it's done. We took Friday off so we could focus on getting everything done, and in preparation our first task was to head out for lunch Because Christmas shopping needs to be fuelled properly, right?
We headed over to Flat Iron Square near to London Bridge and ate well in Bar Douro which the more observant of you might remember that the Douro was one of the places we visited in October when we headed for a week in Portugal. And it was no coincidence, we're big fans of everything Portugal, this year was our third trip there and I'm sure there's going to be more.
MOH keeps saying he's going to move there each time we hear more Brexit doom news. I'm not sure he'll get there before the end of March 2019 to qualify, but I suspect there'll be more visits, and in the meantime we'd happily head back to this restaurant.
After a late lunch we headed up to the West End and hit the shops, and as I said the shopping is mostly done. In even more shocking news, the presents we've bought are already wrapped up. That's unheard of for us, usually that's a last minute Christmas Eve activity, but with family arriving after lunch on Christmas Even that wasn't going to work this year.
There's been non-Christmas related house prep too. The gallery wall in our study-cum-craft-room has made progress after a stalled attempt at progress last weekend. We now have the right size screws to attach the brackets to the pictures, that might sound more complicated than it needs to be, and it is. Nothing is simple in this house.
The pictures are hanging on one of the slope-y walls in our converted roofspace and so need attaching to the wall top and bottom. I'd forgotten how trying putting up pictures is anyway, let alone trying to go for the precision approach. We've some more to do, and I've some more pictures to source, so look out for an update in the New Year.
There is still much to do though, of course there is. MOH has been keen to get our decorations up, which is unlike him, and usually I've got a plan for when they're going up. I kind of did this year too, but knew it made sense to do the cleaning before they went up. Today the cleaning happened, and quite a few of the decorations went up.
I did put the tree up in the conservatory and I'm pleased with how it looks - I think it has every bauble I own on it this year, and two strings of lights, including some that I used in the garden. Two of my large red baubles had shattered since last Christmas which was odd. Odd because they were of the same design, and because they were wrapped in tissue paper - I'm a bit particular about my baubles! They weren't *that* old either, but I guess it was their time to go. I've much older decorations, which are still going strong, but that's a good thing!
The thing is - and don't tell MOH - but because the tree is in the conservatory, it means I'm having to put more decorations up in our living room. You'll not be surprised to learn I have a plan, and mostly that involves lots of fairy lights, so by the time I've finished it could look like Santa's grotto in here, but I think that's OK.
I've a couple of nights out this week, and then the real work begins - but not before a trip to the hairdressers for a top up of colour to really join in with the festive spirit. There's a couple of early mornings planned too (thankfully not straight after those nights out) where I'm pleased with how sensible I've been and planned for the food shopping to come in the mornings, rather than clash with something much more fun!
If you need me, I'll no doubt be prepping veg. Or in the pub. Definitely one of those!
I forgot before, but here's the latest updates for my #DecemberReflections
9. Biggest change
It had to be a garden thing didn't it, but which one? I chose our sleeper bed, because it's about the third or fourth go we've had a cracking this part of our garden, and this time I think we're there. I can't imagine not having this corner now!
This one stumped me for a bit, and then I remembered how the plants had softened our gabion seating. Another garden shot it is then...
11. I discovered that
Not a garden photo for this one, but a loo - well, this year I discovered people like to look at Ladies loos as much as I do, and thank you!
As I walked back to our table at St Ermin's hotel I was struck by how pretty the light reflecting through the window was, so a literal photo for this prompt.
14. Ten years ago
It's back to the garden for this one, but a garden shot from ten years ago as we prepared to host our wedding reception in our garden. The marquee was already up, but doesn't it look different?
15. Best decision
It's taken me a while to realise that the best decision of this year wasn't mine at all, but MOH's. Remember when he had his bike stolen in the summer, while he was on it? Well I think his decision not to react or retaliate has to be the best decision. They nicked his bike as you know and he had to walk home, and walked away shocked but only with a few grazes and bruises. Phew.
These new coasters from Homesense are full of sparkle and gorgeous-ness, fab aren't they?