Quick Admin: apparently Blogmas Day 8 went up twice which I didn’t realise as I didn’t upload it from my laptop until now. As people have liked both, I’m just going to leave both up and call it a charming quirk of this blog rather than a fuck-up on my part.
Today I am going to be doing the first of 3 posts about past Christmases (Christmasus? Christmasi?). One will be about some old regular family traditions and another about the time we went to New York but we’re starting closer to home time-wise and talking about last Christmas (please tell me you started singing too?).
Being the pretentious student I am, I’m fairly certain I have mentioned that I spent the last semester of my second year at Uni in Canada, Montreal to be specific. If you want to find out more, my blog cluelessincanada is still up so you can see all the shenanigans. However on the 19th December, my family came over for a family road-trip/ holiday and it was awesome. We went to Ottawa first and saw the Parliament buildings which sounds boring but they are actually really interesting and the library. The Library. Gorgeous, would happily spend many months in there. However next we had the adventure of getting from Ottawa to Niagara Falls, the less of which is said, the better. This was redeemed by the best hotel room ever which was bigger than my flat at the time and had a view of the falls directly out of the window. All four of us spent quite a long time just staring at them/ their general direction as it was night time. The view was only improved by the daylight.
But the main part of what I want to talk about is Toronto. I Love Toronto, with an intentional capital L. There was something about it that as soon as I was there I knew it was going to be one of my favourite cities, just the same feeling as when I go to London. There’s just a feeling of People Doing Things. We did loads of things, like visiting the Hockey Hall of Fame (to my sister delight), going up the CN Tower (to my dad’s horror) and going to the BEST brunch place, Petit Dejuner. Damn I love that place.
But Christmas. Well lets start with Christmas Eve evening. We’d had a busy day doing touristy things but I felt the room could be more Christmassy. So being the creative individual I am, I fashioned a tree out of whatever we could find which was mainly magazines, treat boxes, and a toy moose.
Then Mum produced a surprise gift. As a fun little gesture she had somehow found colour-in stockings for me and my sister. What she was not expecting was how seriously we took this, spending a good few hours quietly making them perfect.
But then it was time to go to bed and when we woke up, indeed Santa had found us with a few little gifts. We spent the morning watching Arthur Christmas because it is an amazing film and is guaranteed to make you feel The Most Christmassy. It was then reported it was the warmest Christmas in 175 years which made my winter coat seem a bit over-kill but I hadn’t bought it for nothing! Now, as you may be aware, not a lot is open over Christmas, what with it being a holiday and all, so us and half of Toronto went to one of the few things still operating. The Aquarium. I had an awesome time there, even though there is something unsettling about things moving in the darkness but then we got to the tunnel. Basically underneath a huge tank, there is a tunnel for the humans to walk through, a bit like the channel tunnel, apart from instead of France you just get more aquarium at the end of it. Also there are more sharks. Way more sharks. However, as aforementioned, it was busy so you couldn’t really stop for too long for fear of being mowed down by a rogue pushchair. But this was actually a good thing as then we saw one of the best sights I’ve ever seen. Santa feeding sting rays. Because everything deserves a treat on Christmas.
Then it was time to leave and my sister and my mum went ice skating at the rink outside. Now my sister: quite good at ice skating. My mum: no confidence in ice skating whatsoever. The resulting chaos was very, very funny, and quite sweet but to save both of them I won’t include the pictures. Food was our next objective. Nowhere would be open or have spaces free so we were going on a food hunt. We weren’t scared (well we were a bit). After a while walking the streets of Toronto forlornly, our saviour came in the form of a corner-shop that was open 24/7 365. I had the weirdest assortment of food because I could and it was Christmas and no one could stop me. Then we went back and watched the Doctor Who Christmas Special with adverts, which was weird and I don’t know how Canadian/ US people do it.
It wasn’t a conventional Christmas but it was a fun one. Now I have to go and prep for this Christmas season so have a good Friday and I will see you tomorrow with a review of the Frank Turner gig I’m going to tonight.