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Christmas in London December 23, 2008

Posted by ayasawada in Personal.
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I have nothing but terrible drunken pics of my Xmas activities. So here's a festive pic of the lovely Yumi Sugimoto. Aishiteru Yumi! ^^

I have nothing but terrible drunken pics of my Xmas activities. So here's a festive pic of the lovely Yumi Sugimoto. Aishiteru Yumi! ^^

It’s Christmas time, and London’s entered its familiar festive vibe. Credit-crunch or no, the streets have been full of people rushing around for last minute gifts and office workers willing away the final two, largely redundant (no credit crunch pun intended) final days before the hols.

It’s been a hectic few weeks. Work rather unexpectedly ramped up rather than slowed down in the run up to Christmas, though in between there was plenty of celebrations. As usual, everybody wants to meet up before the year is out so there’ve been lots of pub visits and a couple of reunions with the SciDev.Net crew and my SciCom coursemates from Imperial.

I also had three (!) Xmas lunches for work, one for Editorial at Belgo‘s in Covent Garden, one for Communications (which Editorial sits in) at the Porterhouse in Covent Garden and one at our rooftop restaurant during a ‘normal’ work day. All involved at least two hours of stuffing ourselves, and at least two turned into five hours of drinking.

We also had our work Christmas party on Friday. They’d booked out a ballroom at the Radisson hotel near Bond Street and decked it out with a buffet, a couple of casino tables, fusball, pool tables, a games room with Nintendo Wii and of course a dancefloor with live band and DJ. And lots of free drink of course ^^ I was really impressed. I’d forgotten what it’s like to party with a big company; over 500 people, many familiar faces — lots without names to pin to them, and that strange but happy joy of seeing everyone really dolled up and letting loose. I did a lot of dancing as I recall (especially to Mariah Carey’s ‘All I want for Christmas is you,’ but I don’t think anyone suspected my teenage years of Mariah fandom ^^;).

Saturday I did some shopping around Camden town; picked up a hoodie for my brother featuring Tanooki Mario and a cool bag made out of Japanese magazines for my sister. Then the EIC lot went out for our traditional Xmas meet up, made more special this year with Colm’s flying visit before he heads back to Japan. Watched Yoji Yamada’s ‘Love and Honour’ at the ICA (will probably write a separate post on this) before a mini  banquet in Chinatown and, of course, Christmas karaoke ^^.

Went to BTR for the karaoke, which it turns out is still in the midst of its major overhaul. I’d wait another couple of months before stopping by again. Top part is looking nicer, with some smart tables and a projector showing showing Kpop videos. But the downstairs is completely torn apart with only one (rather damp smelling) karaoke room open. No secret Korean bar until 4am for the moment….

Sunday I went out with the extended Chinese family to the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. It was much bigger this year, with the fairground in particular expanded. I have to admit, this and the mini-fair in Leicester Square always signal Christmas time for me. Nothing says winter like eating candy floss in a chill wind ^^. Anyway, we did the ice skating. I’ve improved considerably (only fell over once!) but it’s still a nightmare given how crowded London ice rinks are. Ended up leaving after half an hour to go check out the German market, and bought a totally unnecessary Cookie Monster hand puppet >_<. I’m such a kid! Was nice to see the whole Chinese gang together again though. Kinda scary, six Chinese families out en masse and then commuting across London on foot!

Am now back home and not leaving the house for at least three days. I have the next two weeks off — a nice change after two years manning the SciDev.Net news desk in between Christmas and New Year. Thankfully Wellcome shuts down for a week and a half and I had some extra leave to use up anyway ^^I’m looking forward to a week of doing absolutely nothing (sort of). Been ages since I’ve just watched a pile of DVDs, wasted time on the Wii, or indeed, blogged.

And I have to wrap pressies. I very organisedly (is that a word?) had my main shopping done weeks ago. Made a couple of photobooks on iPhoto for my Dad (although I mislabelled our Cambodia trip photos as ‘Vietnam’ for some reason. D’oh!) and my sister and I had a professional photo of us both taken for my Mum. My brother has his usual list of Wii and DS games and my sister, having not sent a list, is getting random anime merchandise, including the last Clamp no Kiseki (that I would have bought anyway…). What did you get for your family?

Meri Kurisumasu minna!

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