Seen & Done

Things I’ve Seen & Done In December

What a whirlwind December was! I started off freshly out of a lockdown and hopeful about spending Christmas with a loved one. Then ended with a new mutation, a whole new tier and the realisation we’re in this for much longer than I thought.

My first outing after the November lockdown was to Kew Gardens. This is my third visit, and I have to say that the place is starting to grow on me.

On my way back I went to Soho to pick up a Christmas present. I hadn’t been there since summer and it was so nice to see the car-free streets. I also grabbed a mouthwateringly good hot chocolate at Chin Chin Labs.

Then I visited my favourite food hall: Mercato Metropolitano in Elephant & Castle for my first mulled wine of the season. It was one of the few food courts that was open during Tier 2, and they had everything sorted. From distanced tables and alcohol tokens to the table service for drinks. I also stocked up on one of my top pasta dish ingredients, pecorino cheese, at their food hall.

london red bus lego

At home, I finished my Routemaster bus Lego set. I managed to spread it over 4 afternoons, maximising the fun. I haven’t been in an actual bus since March 17 2020, which is very weird to grasp. I’ve had a lot of dreams that feature buses though – not sure what that means.

I also managed to visit the Sir John Soane House just before the new restrictions were introduced in December. It’s tucked away in Holborn and showcases all the things he collected and his work. It was also interesting to walk around the place with only two other people.

I walked back to the station via side streets. I can’t get over how retro City Thameslink Station is, I never looked at it as it used to be my commute station and I would just rush in and out. If you find yourself near this year, go and have a look at the notice boards and fonts.

The weekend after, London and the South East went into a whole new tier which meant the shops and other non-essential places closed. For me it was back to walks around my neighbourhood. This time, the Christmas decorations kept it interesting.

I started my festive season by decorating a Pandoro (raisin-free Panettone-style) cake. It’s delicious on its own, but a bit of mascarpone, powdered sugar and almonds sure bring it to the next level.

A hunt for coffee brought me to Federation Coffee at Brixton Market. I also spotted this mini sharing library. It actually had some books that were interesting to me. I’ll have to see what books I want to get rid of and do a swap.

This year’s Low Waste Christmas Roast was made possible by Oddbox. The only two products that came in plastic were cranberries and fresh herbs, which is great for my 21 for 2021 goals. The Brussels sprouts were a favourite. The lunch lasted us three meals and I made a Quiché from the leeks, and soup from the leftover parsnips and carrots.

Treats from the homeland. Once in a while I do a little swap with the amazing Olga. She sent me chocolate sprinkles, cookies stuffed with almond paste and even a can of my favourite hot chocolate brand among other things.

The hot chocolate was particularly delicious and enjoyed alongside wafers – a north Netherlands treat that is mostly enjoyed during New Years. This went down well while playing a game of Codename Duet. It’s definitely interesting playing it with a linguist while English is my third language.

And I ended the year with a cheese plate and Lord of the Rings Extended Edition Marathon. I only made it until the end of The Two Towers, so The Return of the King will have to wait.

How have your last few months been?

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