Thursday, 20 December 2007

Lincoln Christmas Market

A couple of weekends ago the Christmas Market came to town. Lincoln has a rather famous Christmas Market, being one of the first English cities to really take up the German tradition years before the current trend in the UK to have small markets dotted here and there. Of course they are nothing compared to the real German Christmas Markets (of which I was lucky enough to frequent the year I was working in Berlin) but they will do!

This year was my first year to visit the Christmas Market in many - because for some reason I always seem to be away the weekend it comes. So I decided to invite T to come and see it because it felt like a very romantic thing to do and as I've never had anyone to share it with I thought it would be extra special.

Of course, the Lincoln Christmas Market runs from Thursday to Sunday and althought T wasn't arriving until the Saturday I still managed to go visit on Friday... and do you know why? Because my student (who is in a wheelchair) had never been and really wanted to go. So I pushed her almost all of the way up the hill (she had to get out and walk very slowly and unsteadily for the last bit of the really steep section because although we would have made it she kept getting nervous when every few steps I'd have to say "put on the brakes" *blushes*). Well you try pushing someone heavier than you up a really, really steep incline and see how well you do :op

Needless to say, however much I loved taking her up to the Market, I much preferred the more leisurely route I took with my sweetheart Saturday evening when everything was lit up and seemingly magical. We saw this beautiful music player (although T had to wait for ages for a teenage lad to stop dancing and jumping in front of his camera to take this picture - I'm glad he was taking this one because I might have just yelled at the lad out of sheer frustration at his rudeness)

We then found the "mediaevil craft market" in the Bishop's Palace and around the Cathedral Quarter (the rest of the market was in the castle grounds and round another tourist area of Lincoln). We saw some Romany painted pieces and the most gorgeous caravan (but unfortunately the picture quality is too low to share with you as all the photos were taken on T's phone as neither of us have a proper camera at the moment).

We then went into the Bishop's Palace and into the ruins to see even more handmade crafts. These masks were just so beautiful, the picture does them no justice at all.

It was all just so festive and, as I had suspected, romantic - walking around sharing Mulled Wine and looking at all the festive wares *sigh*. What a way to begin the year's festivities!!

Sunday, 16 December 2007

For the first time ever...

... I'm wishing Christmas away

I know, I know - shocked gasps and double takes all round... I love Christmas, always have done and always will. This year I really thought was the year for me because in recent years Christmas has lost some of its sparkle... let's see...

Christmas 2004 I worked in Germany from September til 12th December so when I came home it felt like I'd never been away and I just could not convince myself it was Christmas already and all my shopping had to be done in a mad rush the weekend before Christmas *sigh*

Christmas 2005 I was in my final year at uni. I had been incredibly ill after an operation in the summer and my health was really flagging after returning to uni whilst still ill and having weekly deadlines. By the time the holidays came I was so tired I couldn't gather enough energy to really enjoy going out, spending time with friends, looking for special presents for each of them etc

Christmas 2006 I had just started working at the nursery and was sick, sick, sick... I almost didn't come home for Christmas because I was so ready to just sleep for the 4 days I had off. Once again Christmas passed me by because for me Christmas is not just Christmas day (in fact Christmas day isn't even the highlight for me now that the excitement of childhood has passed - now Advent is much more enjoyable, singing carols and finding presents for those I love and then wrapping them beautifully...)

So this year I thought would be my year!!! Alas... since starting a relationship with T, my life has pretty much revolved around trying to see him in my free time whilst not forgetting my other friends too much and making sure I still have enough energy left after all the travelling (trains are NOT much fun these days) to do my job well. So the very fact that the only time we ever get together is split over 2 days when one or both of us is exhausted and the rest of the family all want to meet us/see us etc we decided we had to make some time to get away and be together on our own over the New Year...

Here comes the best part.... T's sister, her husband and their daughter are off for a few days over the week between Christmas and New Year and have asked us to house sit and told us they are more than happy for us to use their house as a refuge for a few days peace and quiet, curled up watching good movies and tv specials, eating good food, and simply enjoying having each other to ourselves and not having to share the other with anybody else (yay!)

So can you see why, for once, I am actually half willing Christmas to hurry up and be gone so that I can get to those glorious days alone with my sweetheart? I know, I know I am going to make the most of the festive days and enjoy being with my other friends and family - but you know how it is in those first few months of a relationship, right? And long-distance is not the funnest of ways to begin such a thing...

Counting down the days - not long now - yippee!!

Saturday, 15 December 2007

I'm a blogging slacker

Sooooooo sorry for the lack of updates - I promise to post something over the next few days - but for now I am off to bed to sleep off the Christmas dinner and wine I just had (ok 5 sips of wine but for someone who doesn't drink that's a LOT!!!) and catch up on the sleep I have not had for the past 2 months lol

Sweet dreams xxx