A northern hemisphere winter — part two
It’s officially meant to be Spring here in London. You can see the odd sign of it (longer days & blossoming flowers) but the icy winds and the need to still wear thermals is a sad reminder that we’re not as close to summer as we’d like.
Thankfully we’ve had some great little winter getaways to welcome in 2016 and help us cope with the cold.
Post Christmas we headed up to Edinburgh for 5 days to celebrate New Years at the famous Hogmanay Festival. Every New Year the city gets taken over by 100k+ revellers (mainly tourists) for 3 days with lots of events happening on the city streets including live music, torch processions and of course plenty of drinking.
We arrived by train from London a few days before the festival and walked to our accommodation just near the Old Town. We were staying at a friend-of-a-friend’s apartment which was awesome as accommodation was scarce and expensive. What wasn’t so awesome was knocking on the wrong apartment door when we got there and being greeted by an old Scotsman who thought we were breaking into his home. Unfortunately for us he also wasn’t too fond of our friend-of-a-friend and kindly told us to f*#k off along with some other pleasantries to pass onto our friend. After walking back down the open block of apartments (past several tenants who came outside to see what the commotion was about) we found the right apartment and hastily made our way inside for a cup of tea to calm the nerves. What a welcome!
Edinburgh is a beautiful city- walking around the medieval streets feels like you’ve been transported to another time. It’s pretty compact so we were able to walk everywhere and see a lot of the city in a short space of time. Edinburgh Castle overlooks the city and is very impressive — very Game of Thrones-esk.
Overall, the festival and our time in Edinburgh was awesome. Particular highlights were the Torch Procession, where we marched with large fire-lit torches along the streets (no health and safety worries here) and the fireworks on New Years Eve that started in the castle and completely blanketed the city.
January flew by with lots on for both Jarred and I. A few days after getting back from Edinburgh we moved into our new flat in Battersea with a French couple (transporting all our gear in an UberX, easiest house move yet!). A few days later Jarred started his new job and quickly got accustomed to commuting out to Zone 6. My work moved into a fancy new office in Kings Cross and I was heads down working on two massive projects — our annual Xerocon conference and an Underground ad campaign. Cool to be creating work that will be seen by so many eyes, but it had me working around the clock.
In the February school holidays we escaped for a week to Copenhagen which was just what we needed. Another very cool Scandinavian city. It felt really creative with lots of street art everywhere, cool urban spaces and drool-worthy furniture and interiors in most shops/cafes we visited. It was sunny but freezing (around 0 degrees most of the time) and it snowed one day which was a novelty. We took a train up North to a modern art gallery called Louisiana where they had an Op Art exhibition on. Lots of Bridget Riley on show which was a treat. One of our favourite art galleries we’ve been to, and would highly recommend. Really loved Copenhagen and want to try to go back in the warmer months.
On that note, I have to say I’m desperately craving the heat and some beach time - Summer can’t come soon enough. I think the last time I swam in the ocean was this time last year which is horribly depressing. I’m also so pale from lack of sunshine it’s frightening. You know that meme of the pale Irish girl sunbathing? Yea that’s going to be me…