It’s XXXMAS in London!

My book club buddies!

Ugh. I’m sick. I have the glurgh. Achy, snotty…with one of those wet coughs that sounds like a vacuum when you have accidentally sucked up a bunch of Lego’s.  I’m sitting in the National trying not to gross everyone out. Next to me are three men apparently working on a set design for an upcoming production. I haven’t sorted out what show yet…but it involves a giant peacock on hydraulics and a life sized Mercedes. They are moaning about the fact that they only have a budget of £26,000 for the set. I hate them.

Good news though! I have sorted out my next adventure- two months in Romania!  Mid January I will be flying to Bucharest…which…believe it or not is actually cheaper than taking the train from London to York.  The town I will be staying in is called ‘Bod’, and is in the part of Romania made famous by Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’. In fact, Bran Castle, (the only castle in Transylvania that actually fits Stoker’s description of Dracula’s lair) is only an hour away by car from my soon to be borrowed abode.

There is a great amount of irony to this, as I used to be terrified of vampires when I was a child…a situation I blame entirely upon my Aunt who used to keep her issues of the National Enquirer and Weekly World News laying about. Combine a precocious and overly imaginative child with the lurid and irresistible articles in your average shock tabloid…and you and up with a 7 year old who sleeps with a squirt bottle of holy water by the bed.

I am very much looking forward to my trip to Romania, in spite of the fact that I will have to deal with snow. Much snow. Heaps of snow. But in terms of getting a whack of writing done and getting the book sorted, its brilliant! And of course I am sure I will brave the elements at least a time or two to go exploring. Brasov, the seventh most populous city in Romania is only a short bus ride away. I’ve switched my Google Translate from Italian to Romanian so I will hopefully have a few useful phrases learned before I head over.

Before I got the glurgh….I spent much time traipsing about London and taking in all of the Christmas festivities. It seems as if each tourist area is home to a version of a “Christmas Market” selling all sorts of things from stuffed animals that you can heat up by putting in the microwave to winter headgear, ornaments, mulled wines and ciders… not to mention my all time new favorite- mince pies. I have eaten at least 10 of them so far. I have since been told that they are even better with a phat dollop of warm brandy butter on top. I will let you know.

I love all the little bits of a British Christmas…mince pies, Christmas pudding, Brussel sprouts, Christmas crackers (the kind that make a loud ‘pop” and contain a bad joke and a paper crown). And I have definitely been drinking more than my fair share of mulled wine.  I have added some pics below that I have taken on my traipsings and I’m sure I will be adding more. There is so much to see…and as soon as I “kick the glurgh” I will be back out there and soaking it up. And in only one week my daughter Hannah will be here to share the holidays with me!

With much love and holiday cheer,


P.S So, I decided to combine the traditional abbreviation for Christmas with the British propensity for ending messages with many kisses. Think it will catch on? 😉


St James Square
Regent Street
Opera Singer street performer in Covent Garden
The Ritz Carlton. I can stay here for free?
Trafalgar Square nativity scene
Trafalgar Square- the National Gallery
Levitating Santa in Trafalgar Square

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