It's all very well scavenging for excitement in a new town, but sometimes all the soul really craves is some downtime in your own hometown. At this time of year, there really is no place I'd rather be than amongst my friends and family - it wouldn't be Christmas without loved ones! It's not only the people who I love: pulling into Durham city, high up on the railway bridge, remains one of the best feelings. I arrived on Thursday, when the city was glazed in a sugary frost and bathed in the rosy haze of retreating afternoon.
|View of the cathedral from over the river.|
I awoke yesterday to a dusting of the snow I've so been yearning for, back in the West country, stirred date syrup into a warm bowl of porridge and spent the day running errands, catching up with friends and sporting a silly grin. I steepled my fingers around a steaming cup of tea at Flat White Durham, leapt over puddles in the shadow of the cathedral and gobbled low GI mince pies baked fresh for me by my wonderful mum.
|Low GI mince pie.|
The house has been made ready for our premature Christmas day: cards from far-away friends and relatives adorn the dresser along with a string of red, heart-shaped fairy lights. Under the tree nestle the gifts I lovingly wrapped in Fair Isle printed tissue paper and jazzy washi tape. I can barely wait to see look on the faces of my family as they tear through the paper to discover the treasures I have picked out for them!
|My beloved Ben snoozing beneath the tree.|
It seems I'm not the only one to be having Christmas early this year. A couple of people have told me they plan to do the same: a lady who shared my train was travelling the length of the country to spend a weekend with her family too, and exchanges on Twitter suggest it's not uncommon. If you're having an early celebration, will you do it all over again on the 25th?
With festive cheer,