Christmas Time...

Yes, I know it's still a few months away, but it's something that Mr B and I have been talking about for a while...

Ever since we moved in together (8 years ago on Friday!!), I've wanted to have Christmas in a different country.
I'm not a huge fan of Christmas, and I'd just like to see what it's like to not be at home. To not have to deal with the politics of whose house we're going to for the day (or who is coming to us), and all the other crap that goes with it.

But Mr B was dead against it. Christmas, for him, is all about family and spending time with them. I get that, but also think it's much "easier" for him. His family consists of his (still married) mum and dad and his brother. So spending time with them basically means the 5 of us being in one room together.

For me, there's my mum, my brother, my dad and his wife (who I don't like) and my grandparents. Spending time with the family is like a military operation. Working out who will be driving, where we'll be, who has to cook and how long we'll spend with each is not conducive to a relaxing day.

But, I got where Mr B was coming from, and I'd come to terms with not having a Christmas abroad any time soon.

Then, something unusual happened. Last Christmas, I put my foot down and said I wanted to spend Christmas day at home, just me and him. His brother - who had a new girlfriend - wanted to stay at home just the two of them, too. So that left Mr B's mum and dad at home on Christmas day, on their own, for the first time in 50 years. FIFTY YEARS!!!! They've always had Christmas with either their parents when they were younger, or their children as they've got older, and it was the first time that their parents weren't around and their children were doing their own thing.

And do you know what? They actually quite enjoyed it. And something clicked in Mr B. He decided that if they could do it once, they could do it again and maybe we should go away for Christmas this year! I totally held him to it, and within the first 3 days of being back at work, we'd booked the time off.

I wasn't sure, when I changed my job, that I'd be able to get the time off as I was the new girl, so we kept our plan to ourselves for a bit. But, about three weeks ago, I got the time off confirmed, and plans are back on track.

So much so, that we've told our families. My dad's not bothered, and my mum's quite jealous, but Mr B's parents were more than a little bit annoyed. They didn't actually say anything, but it was very obvious from what they didn't say, that they weren't happy. They obviously haven't considered that, if we weren't away, we'd've been at work apart from Christmas and boxing day when we'd be at my family's anyway, so they're not seeing any less of us than if we were in the same country as them.

I thought Mr B would back out and want to stay here, but actually, he's still keen, which is good. I am more excited about Christmas than I've been for a really long time. For me, Christmas is just another reminder that another year has passed and I'm still not a mummy. At least this year, I can spend the day doing something different, that hopefully won't make that quite so painful.

You're probably wondering where we're planning to go?



July Date Night

So July's date "night" was one I was really looking forward to - a tourist day in London with lunch at a Gordon Ramsay restaurant and a trip on the London Eye.

Although the original plan was to go on The Eye, the more I thought about it, the more I realised how ambitious I'd been with thinking I'd be able to do that. I'm more than a little bit afraid of heights, and I'm a touch claustrophobic, so I didn't know that I'd be able to cope with it in the end! So instead, we did a bus tour round London.

We only live a 30 minute train journey from London, but we don't often go just to be "tourists". It's usually to see someone or do something specific, so it was actually really nice to just enjoy it for a day.

We've both said for a long time that we wanted to eat at a Gordon Ramsay place, and it was on our list for 2010, so it made sense to combine it with one of our dates, so I booked a table at The Savoy Grill for lunch.

I had a minor panic when someone at work said they went for her birthday and it cost them £400 for the 4 of them, but I knew the hubs and I would be ok with the set menu for lunch (Three courses for £34 each. Much more our budget.)

It was frigging amazing. The service, the food, the place itself. Fricking awesome.

I was a bit self conscious taking photos of the food in there, so they're not great but I ate (top row) baked beetroot with shallot, mozarella and toasted pine nuts; beef filet ravioli with garden peas and Eton mess. Hubs had duck egg mayonnaise, goats cheese and red onion tart and summer berry mille fueille. 

It was, without a doubt, the best meal I've ever had. And definitely worth the money. The service was immense, too - and despite the fact that we were both wearing jeans, I didn't feel under-dressed or that we were being "looked down on", which was nice. 

We then did the bus tour, which was pretty interesting - we both saw things that we'd never seen before, which was cool, and it's given us ideas for other date days in the future!! 

We're having to put August's date day on hold, though - it's to go to the theatre, and the local one is only showing kids stuff this month. I never thought of summer holidays when planning that one!! 

We will get there, just not this month. x


Time Warp!

I literally have no idea where time is going at the moment.

I can't believe it's the 10th August, which means I haven't blogged for over a month, when I have LOTS to say.

Hopefully I'll get to do some this afternoon!