Thursday, 28 December 2017

The whole picture: December 2017

Miss my November round-up? Catch up here.

Enjoying the work Christmas party. Photo by Matt Brown.

What I've done in December

December was a month of two halves: the first half was busy busy with Christmas drinks, parties, work events and the like. Then, the week before Christmas I turned the page of my diary to a very welcome fortnight of near nothingness.

The busy-ness involved going to two different lantern festivals; Glow Wild at Wakehurst Place was a late birthday present for my mum, a gentle wander through the botanical gardens, complete with floating laterns and a fire river. A little further afield, a weekend away at Longleat combined two of my favourite things: lions and lanterns:

Elsewhere it was Christmas parties and drinks with friends and former colleagues, a quiet weekend away with family and a bit of Christmas shopping.

I have a bit of a tradition for that weird period between Christmas and New Year, where I have a good old clean out, tidy up, polish and clear out of my room .We're talking two our three solid days of scrubbing skirting boards and dusting shelves trying clothes on and donating old ones to charity, and generally getting rid of all the old junk accumulated throughout the year. I like to see in the new year with a clean, uncluttered room and a clean, uncluttered mind.

What I've eaten in December

What haven't I eaten (she wrote, stuffing her face with the Christmas cheese)?  The month kicked off with a trip to Bodeans, a smokehouse restaurant that I've wanted to try for ages, predominantly in my continued quest for London's best buffalo chicken. Don't get too excited lads, this definitely wasn't it - the dried, unbattered bit of meat that was served up barely deserves to be called buffalo chicken. As you were.

The most exciting thing I've eaten this month is the ostrich I had at my work Christmas meal at Shaka Zulu in Camden. The restaurant itself is... bizarre. Think African tribal meets Las Vegas tat, and you're about there. The ostrich was beautifully cooked in a peppercorn crust, but I was so distracted by what was going on around me (Dancers! Fire eaters!) that I didn't even think about taking a photo (#terribleblogger).

What's coming up?

Sunset over Tonbridge on one of the last days of 2017. Insert your own cliche about watching the sun set on another year.

New year, new start. I'm not one for new year's resolutions - the way I see it, if you want to make a change, why wait until 1 January to get on with it? I do, however, have a few things I'd like to do in 2018, and I'll be sharing them on a blog post over the next few days, so watch this space.

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