This weekend I visited Winter Wonderland in London's Hyde Park. After first trying out this festive event a few years back, the visit has since become an annual trip for my boyfriend, me and my parents.
I remember our initial visit to the Christmas attraction and feeling so Christmassy I could've moved to Lapland and become one of Santa's elves there and then!
The German market full of festive food, handmade crafts and delectable drinks couldn't help but raise images of Christmas in your mind. Your tummy was filled and your hands warmed from holding mulled wine and stuffing your face with huge bratwursts.
In addition, I always go to Somerset House with a close friend of mine each December. This year we've both been a bit tied up, so on my family annual visit to Hyde Park we popped in to Somerset House first. Don't get me wrong, I don't ever actually skate! Oh no, I like to sit and sample the mulled wine or special hot chocolate in the bar and enjoy some giggles over wobbly skaters on the rink.
So, you're wondering, what's the big deal? What am I building up to here? Well, at the risk of sounding like Scrooge - again - it was a little disappointing.
I really was trying to get into the spirit of things, honest. Yet when we were sitting in the bar watching the skilful skaters and not-so-sure novices, I just felt kind of, well, nothing. I kept thinking 'oh same as last year then'.
On our way to Winter Wonderland I was wondering what we might find this year. I was also a little concerned as I'd heard how busy it was this year some people I knew has queued for 40 minutes just to get in to enjoy an elbow-to-elbow walk amongst hundreds of strangers. Others didn't get in at all. The website had warned on weekends 3-7pm were the busiest times and they had to adopt crowd control. So when we reached Hyde Park Corner and the swarms of people I was getting nervous if we'd get in at all.
Hurrah! We did make it in and without any need to queue. Walking round I found I took very few pictures (which anyone who knows me will know my obsession with photos). We also seemed to walk round the whole offering pretty speedily. The reason being? We'd seen it all before.
Whereas in past years I've felt I'm experiencing something somewhat magical, this year it seemed more like we were just at an oversized funfair. The trinkets seemed a tad like tat and there seemed to be too many people. Security men in bright yellow vests, booming 'Keep Left!' and holding boards donning the same message didn't really help to create a We heart Christmas vibe either...
So we looked at some stalls, we took a few pics and we sampled the obligatory bratwursts, Bavarian beer and mulled wine and then we decided to make a move. Admittedly it had started to pour down with rain at this point, which added to a dampened mood (and clothing!)
I've also found the same with eating out. I'm just not enjoying my food at the moment (although still eating plenty of it!) I've already had quite a few celebrations this month (meals or drinks with friends, work do, client meals and the like) and have a pretty hectic social calendar until 2012 arrives. Problem is I don't do 'in moderation', so although no turkey dinners have been consumed themselves as yet I am closely to feeling partied out. All my clothes are tight, I'm bloated out and feeling tired and we've still got 12 days until Christmas comes!
So the moral of the story is this, no matter how much you think you love something, don't overdo it. There can be too much of a good thing. Vary things up a bit, plus life's too short to always do the same anyway (brave words for a bit of a creature of habit!)
Ps SORRY it's been so long since I blogged, what can I say? I can't stuff my face and shove down wine AND type at the same time! Now if you don't mind I'm off for our annual booze cruise and meal in France...