This Christmas I took disorganised multi-tasking to the next level; my Christmas cards were written in pubs on the way to drinks parties and I was given some choice looks in the gym as I commandeered the ‘hair-drying area’ to wrap the Christmas presents I was due to give less than an hour later! I’ve been maniacally crossing off and combining multiple to-do lists – presents with packing, gym-going with a seemingly never-ending work one – because instead of spending tomorrow toasting Christmas Day with a glass of bubbles and turkey with all the trimmings, I’ll be doing it with a Goan fish curry and a bottle of Kingfisher.
This year I’m celebrating Christmas on a beach in Goa and despite the militant list-making I’ve a stack of blogposts to write and truly there isn’t a way of being able to write a post about Christmas after Christmas! I confess it does feel a little odd to be writing about ice-skating, giant Christmas trees and all things festive whilst wearing sunglasses and listening to the sound of waves crashing on the beach, however I’m going to give it my best shot.
Every year Mister Ruffles and I try and have a Christmas Day-te together; this year that involved breakfasting at the incredible Kopapa (more on this in a later post) oohing and ahhing at the decorations in Carnaby Street and Burlington Arcade, then heading to Skate at Somerset House to pretend we’re Torville and Dean, drink mulled wine and try in desperation not to fall over.
Ice-skating for me always goes a little like this … in equal measure feel VERY excited and VERY nervous that I’m going to go arse over tit, make a fool of myself or, worst-case scenario, something will bleed and someone will ice-skate over my fingers in the process. It’s quite traumatising and so initially I spend the first 15 minutes white-knuckle gripping the side of the rink, politely moving careering small children out of my way (please note this is for their safety as much as mine). The next step is that I gain a little confidence and eventually my body remembers how to ice-skate so that come the end of our allotted rink-time I’m zipping round the ice thinking to myself that yes, I should absolutely consider taking this up as a hobby. I usually skate solo as Mister Ruffles and I have an unwritten rule that we don’t skate together. This is because he’ll be skating along perfectly ordinarily then for no good reason his legs will buckle, he’ll lean backwards very-almost falling over before regaining his balance and then doing the same thing but tipping the opposite way. It’s far too much of a hazard, mainly because I would literally fall over laughing at him (!) and so we’re not one of those let’s-skate-and-hold-hands-and-look-lovingly-into-each-others-eyes kinda couples.
We do however have a most excellent time and this year that was made all the more fantastic by Fortnum & Mason’s sponsorship of Skate at Somerset House; we both adored the giant tree with mini Fortnum hampers and loved browsing the halls inside Somerset House that were transformed into a pop-up Fortnum & Mason Christmas emporium, but with fewer crowds and less of a queue to get in!
There’s something quite magical about Christmas in London and I always get increasingly more excited about it each year; from ice-skating to carol singing, cosy fireside pub meet-ups to giggling at the annual Santacon in Trafalgar Square; London has an inimitable way of making Christmas a sparkling spectacle of wonder. For me the build-up to Christmas is as fun as the day itself and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it this year. All that’s left for me to say is that wherever you are in the world, and however you may be celebrating your Christmas Day, I hope it’s amazing. I hope you Father Christmas brings you all you wish for and I hope it’s a day filled with love and joy. Happy Christmas from Goa!