This year I’ve not really worked in London as I’ve been based down in Southampton working for the BBC.
It has been lovely – I honestly don’t miss the train commute one little bit.
Admittedly the blooming traffic on the M27 isn’t particularly pleasant, but that’s beside the point – anything is better than a two-and-a-half hour commute into central London every day.
Because I’ve not been going to the capital for work, any visits for leisure somehow feel more special.
A couple of weekends ago my husband Matt and I went to the big smoke for the night, visiting the Royal Albert Hall where we watched the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra play along to the movie Aliens. It was quite literally one of the best things I’ve ever done.
Last weekend we went to London again – this time with my mum and Auntie Sandy.
If you recall, we lived with Sandy for a few months over the summer in between selling our last house and buying the one we now live in.
She mentioned quite a few times about always wanting to go to the Sky Garden, so Matt and I organised a day trip for us all to do this.
I arranged for us to have lunch at the Darwin restaurant at the top of the Sky Garden and it was incredible.
Apart from the fact I rarely get to enjoy the delights of London town because I’m usually working, I’d literally never been to the top of any of the capital’s big buildings.
The view from up there was amazing, the food and wine was divine and it was just the loveliest day.
We waltzed around Oxford Street and Bond Street, enjoying the shopping and the Christmas lights which fortunately had been turned on by this point.
Then we had a trip on the London Eye at night, which I thought would be the perfect way to end our day.
What I didn’t quite expect was that Matt would end up sprawled over the bench in the middle of the pod, quite literally on all fours, cursing me for the entire duration of the trip.
Still, at least that’s another thing to cross off the bucket list!
I’M PLAYING MY CHRISTMAS CD NON-STOP - AND I REALLY LOVE IT
With just four weeks until the big day (Christmas Day of course), I’ve started to get into the spirit of things, not least with the obligatory ‘staple my mouth shut and start working out’ regime that many of us embark on at this time of year.
I admit that the Christmas album is also well and truly out and being played non-stop.
I can’t help it – I spotted the CD in the glove compartment of my car on Tuesday night and I’ve been listening to it ever since.
Given that I work in Southampton and live in Clanfield, that’s quite a lot of time.
You know what I like about it the most? You just can’t be in a bad mood listening to crimbo music.
I admit, I love it. Yep, it’s my guilty pleasure!
I NEED ALL THE HELP I CAN GET TO SORT MY CHRISTMAS SHOPPING
Who’s excited by Black Friday? No, me neither.
As much as I’d like to think it would be one of those occasions where I’d grab a genuine bargain, the cynic in me thinks it’s more likely to be a day when shops across the country use it as an opportunity to get rid of all the unwanted stuff that they’ve not managed to sell all year.
Naturally I may have a peruse around the shops, but I just don’t think it’s the right time to go out and get a real bargain.
I’d love you all to prove me wrong by hitting the high street and getting a real cracker of a deal (and letting me know where you bought it).
You see, I need all the help I can get to sort out my Christmas shopping!