Tag Archives: Christmas

Parties, parties everywhere!

So I was just having a chat with Jon and realizing that this is the first year ever that we have to do NO TRAVELING for Christmas. Seriously, none. Since we live with his parents and that’s where the magic happens on Xmas day, we’re already here! Everyone else is coming to us! And obviously we aren’t flying to Ohio this year. So. We are in full-on lounge mode. It is 5:30 pm on the day before Christmas eve. We’ve bought all the groceries and wine we need (and we’re in charge of the meal this year!), all the presents are purchased and wrapped, the dog is wearing his most festive holiday jumper, and we are combating the terrible, horrific rain by sitting in our cozy house listening to seasonally appropriate tunes and watching movies. It’s pretty close to perfect. I love seeing my family, but when a super-lazy, chilled out time is the alternative, I’m not 100% upset, ya feel me?

I, personally, have been partying my tush off these past few days. All for holiday reasons, of course. My work thing was on Friday. It’s a really tiny company and my boss/founder had us all over to his (amazing+huge) country home for a feast, plus lots of champagne and a few rounds of Articulate before taxi-ing all of us to the local village pub. It was ridiculous.

pauls house

languagenut christmas

languagenut ladies

languagenut ladies christmas

languagenut international sales

ashley languagenut

languagneut christmas


Pub fire!

fire at the bull, ditching

Saturday night Jon and I (and Bruce!) went into Brighton. First we met up with Kal, who is back for the holidays from Oman, and we’re so glad because we miss him when he’s gone! We had a few pub drinks and then headed over to some friends’ for their second annual Metal Christmas party-cum-housewarming since they just moved flats.

pub dog sussex yeoman

family picture dec 2013

dudes at the yeoman

It was so goooooood. Tasty treats, more champagne, and a full-on dance off. Phil and Netty have the XBox One and it was seriously a moment of consumeristic clarity where I felt that Jon and I MUST HAVE ONE NOW. But that was because this magical device led to hours-HOURS-of dancing by even the most stoic of gentlemen. It was bananas. And Bruce had a good time too. Such a brave little guy! There were also many beautiful Christmas sweaters in attendance, but all the dancing proved sweaty so they are only visible in some pictures, depending on the moment in the evening.

metal xmas

ladies at metal xmas 2 2013

ladies metal xmas


dancing metal xmas

dance off metal xmas

Seriously, look at these moves.


And here we are, the holiday season thus far. So fun! And now Jon’s sister and her husband are here from Canada (they surprised Jon’s mom for her birthday a few days ago!), and it’s days of drinking and hanging out and enjoying the end of the year with people I enjoy. And no work! Yay! This has honestly been the best holiday season in years, and for that I am grateful. And it’s barely begun.

Rocking my Christmas Sweaters

christmas jumper

christmas jumper 2

It seems we’ve passed the point in sartorial existence where wearing a tacky Christmas sweater/jumper is just that-tacky, and a little embarrassing-and swung around to where it’s “cool”. I don’t care so much, but I do love a good Christmas sweater (see last year’s pug offering, courtesy of my thoughtful partner!) and this whole upswing in popularity just makes them easier to find and cheaper to buy, rather than trawling all the charity shops for the diamond in the rough. In a few years it’ll go back to being lame, and I’ll be left with awesome stock, laying in wait. I will never be ashamed to bust these guys out. See that Santa offering up there? Wore it to work last Friday. Got quite a few comments, especially since Santa’s bobble hat falls conspicuously in an inappropriate place (I didn’t know until I put it on at home, after buying it…). No shame in this holiday game! And today I’m off to our work Christmas party, then it’s two weeks of gluttony and sitting around the house. While I always wish I could be with my family, I am not missing the horrors of holiday travel…yeesh. So I’ll take the good parts and skype with the fam, and there you go. Christmas, Ta-daaaaa!

holiday vignettes

xmas lights london

jonand ashley london xmas

christmas presents

brighton clocktower christmas lights 2013

christmas presents

Just trying to make the most of it all. Only a few days left and then I’ll be a lot grumpier 🙂 For now it’s all twinkle lights and anticipation! My work Christmas party is tomorrow, and it starts at noon at my boss’s house……which should be a boozy and interesting adventure. Fun!

Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus Concert 2013

date night december2013

Saturday night Jon and I went out into the early evening for a hot date that consisted of some light holiday shopping for my work secret Santa, followed by dinner and drinks, and finished with the main event of the evening-a night with the Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus!

brighton north lanes christmas lights

We settled on dinner at a recently opened diner/bar hybrid on the seafront that we’d both heard good things about from work colleagues. The New Club had some definite NYC vibes (I think at least one of the owners may be American) and we were not disappointed. We both had burgers and I scoffed a delightfully delicious spiced pear bellini. I already want to go back and see what else they have to offer.

the new club brighton

new club brighton

new club brighton

new club brighton

new club brighton spiced pear bellini

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A consumer of things

kokoro brighton


brighton train station

Last weekend Jon and I attempted to knock out a huge portion of our holiday shopping, trying to both start and finish things before all the hub-bub of the holiday frivolity takes over every weekend for the rest of the month. I like to think we keep things fairly minimal all around, trying not to indulge too much in rampant consumerism, but…..that’s probably not as true as I would like it to be. I feel really guilty for not sticking to a grander ideal of only getting gifts from independent/boutique shops, and it’s such a hard thing to do when the majority of my giftees are in another country, but at the end of the day that’s a bit of an excuse. Hopefully someday I’ll figure out a solution to this dilemma. In the meantime I’ll just label this a #firstworldproblem and be grateful that I have the expendable income to buy anything at all, something that hasn’t always been true. These are hard times but all around but I am very, very lucky, and I won’t forget it, this Christmas, or ever.


A Christmas Cookie Party

One of my favorite, warm-fuzzy Christmas memories from my childhood was our annual Christmas cookie making. My sister, my mom, my grandma and I, all piled in Grandma Monk’s tiny kitchen, the tiny old-fashioned radio blaring Grandma’s preferred tunes of the 50s and 60s, flour and powdered sugar and colored icing and cookie cutters everywhere. We made snowmen and trees, snowflakes and stars and santas, too. So many tuppperware boxes full of our productions, enough to last for weeks until there were only a few sad, stale little treats left.

christmas cookies

I’ve made Christmas cookies every year, in every place I’ve found myself when the holiday season rolls around. It’s my little way of going back to that time, when I was young, in my grandmother’s kitchen, with my favorite women. And some day I’ll do it with my own kids-but that’s still pretty far away, I think.

christmas cookies

This year Jon and I invited some of our friends over for some casual cookie making, accompanied by hot chocolate (with a bit of Bailey’s in it) and some mulled wine. We listened to some records, made high art (as seen above, some people are so artistic!) and watched some fun holiday movies and cooking shows on tv.

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