One of my dearest friends Sarah sent me a message a few days ago. “I am missing you like crazy right now. I wish we were closer 😥 x” I know she meant closer distance wise but the truth is since she moved back to the south of England and closer to home 9 years ago a lot has happened. We have both gotten married, had a child each, developed careers and have whole and entirely separate lives from the lazy university days when we met. We simply don’t get much time or spare budget to arrange cross border trips to see one another and the message above was a bit of a shake-up. I need to put more effort into the relationships I cherish outside of my family.
Rather send back a non-committal and empty promise of meeting up soon, I got on sky scanner and checked for flights. Shockingly it looked like over the festive period the flights were very reasonable: £56 return Glasgow to London. Husband has been nagging at me for Christmas gift ideas, which is a whole post in its own right, he is infuriated that I never ask for anything, but I have been working long and hard to get to a place where I don’t want for thigs anymore and trying to balance people wanting to gift things to me with my desire to not receive anything that doesn’t add value to my life is causing some friction; first world problems eh?. So I presented the flights to him as a gift option and he agreed. Within 12 hours we were all booked up for a day trip to London together, I had a happy friend and a relieved husband who now no longer had to panic about what to get me for Christmas.
Now I’ve mentioned several times before just how much I enjoy pre trip planning and I have been to London multiple times, I always have to look and see what’s new, because such a large castling city is always changing and to visit old favourites, namely Chinatown. This trip will cover a bit of both, as it’s the tail end of the festive period there are still some Christmas themed events on and two caught my eye, Matthew Bourne’s adaptation of the 1948 movie The Red Shoes which is an absolute favourite of mine and a candlelight tour of the Charles Dickens museum, all decked out for a Victorian Christmas with special readings from A Christmas Carol. Thankfully the Red Shoes is going on Tour and will be coming to Edinburgh next summer so I could scratch that off the list and catch it closer to home so we are free to indulge in a bit of extra Christmas cheer.
Next on the list is an oldie but a favourite, a trip to Chinatown. Despite the name it is much more like Asiantown and has everything from Thai to tandoori within a few street blocks and much to my delight more Japanese food is creeping in, including a street food favourite of mine; Taiyaki. Taiyaki is best described as a fish shaped waffle, wither closed like a toastie/jaffle with a custard or red bean filling or open to be stuffed with cream and fruit or in this case ice cream!. I’ve had it both ways, stuffed with cream and fruit in Kyoto and filled with chocolate custard in Sendai, I still dream of the chocolate filled Taiyaki and I live in hope I can have another on this next trip.