Jolly January

In the UK, they say January is the most depressing month of the year and it’s easy to see why.  A high majority of the population is penniless after the Christmas break and don’t get paid until the end of the following month, it’s cold, and the sun doesn’t rise until 8am and sets by 4:30pm.  This means, on a working day, you will hardly see the sun, let alone spend any time soaking up the precious vitamin D that it provides.  We have tried extremely hard this year to beat the January blues and not self-diagnose ourselves with SADS, and below is how we were able to fight off this depressing time of year;

While our January started off well, (we were still on holiday in Norway), it wasn’t long until we were back on English soil.  When we first touched down at Heathrow Airport, the 10°C temperature and partly sunny sky felt tropical compared to the chilly Scandinavian weather that we had experienced over the last 2 weeks.  However, seeing the Qantas airplanes on the tarmac, soon reminded us of sunnier skies and we quickly zipped our jackets tight once more.

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After a spending a week settling back into normal working life, it was time for our first social event of 2013 and unfortunately, it wasn’t a celebration, but a chance to say goodbye to two of our closest London friends; Brett & De: a pair of Kiwis (but don’t judge them just yet).  We met them on our holiday in Egypt that remarkably turned out to be our neighbours back in Canary Wharf. They were sadly heading home after their 2 year stint in London. We had a wonderful night in Marylebone, drinking and reminiscing over old times.  Before it was time to say goodbye, (and while we were sad to see them go), we were just a tiny bit jealous of the new adventure that they were embarking on, seeing friends and family.

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There is only one thing that makes the cold weather more bearable and enjoyable, and that is…..snow! Mid-January, we were very lucky to experience a substantial amount of it. It fell all day Friday and Saturday, which meant by Sunday there was enough of it on the ground to have quite a bit of fun. We wanted to go tobogganing, but there was a problem…. we don’t own a toboggan. This left us with the next best option…. to make one ourselves. We enlisted the help of our handy friends Jess and Fish by using two skateboard decks, some wood and rope, which created, what would later be known as “The Speed Mashine”. After a few initial tests in the factory using the cat, (we normally wouldn’t condone testing on animals), it was time to take “The Speed Mashine” down to Greenwich Park for a live test. It turns out that it had speed, but not very good handling, and most runs ended up with the rider either falling off or travelling down the hill backwards at dangerous speeds. Nevertheless, it was a great snowy day out. When we were tired of this, we made one of the best snowmen in the park and then retired to the warmth of a nearby pub, where we could sit and watch the snow fall while enjoying a drink. This was the perfect end to a perfect weekend.

Our street!
Our street!

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Next on the January agenda was Australia Day. Nothing makes you feel more patriotic than celebrating this day on the other side of the world. It began with a trip to the supermarket to buy as many Australian-like products that we could find.  We ended up with Irish ‘BEEF’ sausages, Fosters Beer, Freddo Frogs and some Jacob’s Creek wine.
This was followed with a champagne breakfast and kitchen BBQ.  Afterwards, we headed down the road to celebrate with fellow Aussies by listening to some Cold Chisel and John Farnham with a cold beer or Bundy rum in our (gloved) hands. Around sunset, we went to one of our local pubs where we spent the night celebrating with friends of ours from all over the world. From what we remember, it was a fun-filled night.  This was confirmed the next morning when we woke up with an inflatable crocodile in our room.

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An Indoor BBQ for Australia Day
An Indoor BBQ for Australia Day

The final few days of the month started off a little rough with a post Australia Day hangover, but ended on a high with the eagerly-awaited pay day! To celebrate, we went to one of our favourite Spanish restaurants in Canary Wharf to eat tapas and wash it down with sangria and Spanish beer, which ameliorated our great memories of what it felt like to bask in the Spanish sun last summer. Overall, it was a good way to end the month and hopefully it will be the beginning of a fabulous February.

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