Welcome to another Seasonal Digest! Reflection is an important part of life and in my effort to be self-aware and grateful, I will go through a summary of what’s been going on in my world season by season. This Seasonal Digest covers Winter from December 2019 to February 2020. If you want to read more Digests, click here.
As far as winters go, this one was not a bad one. Although, it is a bit eerie looking back on this time and not knowing the craziness that was about to sweep the world. Things were so carefree and innocent back then.
I tried to hold off the Christmas mania as much as possible to preserve my beloved autumn, but of course London had other ideas. Christmas markets and decorations began to erupt as soon as the calendar turned to December 1st. I had an oral exam that day, and proceeded to celebrate afterwards by going a Christmas markets. I managed to make it to a few different ones this year including: the Southbank Winter Festival, Christmas Under the Canopy at King’s Cross and also the Leicester Square Christmas Market. Christmas in London is quite magical.
Like last Christmas, Victor and I decided to have a mini-version before setting off the States. I love this tradition because it’s our very own little tradition. We always have a Christmas-y dinner and a “Christmas morning” spent opening gifts from each other. I cherish it so much.
And from our hygge-inspired Christmas at home, we flew onto Virginia to the crazy family! We arrived in cold, blustery Virginia with plenty of planned activities ahead of us. We baked cookies galore, and watched lots of movies while staying warm in my parent’s glorious house. My aunt from NYC came down to a visit for a weekend, as we went to one of the many local wineries in the area.
We did manage to squeeze in a few non-Christmas related activities like taking a day trip to Harper’s Ferry, a civil war-era town in West Virginia.
We rung in the new year flying back from Virginia to London. Soon after, we made our “Christmas/New Year” trip to Barcelona to visit Victor’s parents. As always, it was a lovely trip. The highlight for me was going out to eat calçots, delicious spring onions from Catalunya. Want to know more about this Catalan tradition? Check out my blog post on this here.
My least favourite month of the year was indeed fairly quiet, though I’m not sure if that is because of my pure disdain for this time of year or whether there was just less to do!
We did venture to the British Museum for an exhibition on the Fall of Troy, a topic very close to my heart. In college I took several classes that focused on ancient Greece, and so read the likes of Homer and Thucydides.
After the exhibition we walked around the area of Fitzrovia, making our way to Tottenham Court Road where we checked out the Arcade Food Theatre. It’s a “high-end” food court, featuring pop-ups of several amazing restaurants like Flat Iron, Lina Stores, and El Pastor. We had a few snacks for lunch, like some fish tacos from Pastorcito and a few pastries from Pophams. Everything was delicious, and the concept of the food hall is really fun and exciting. It feels quite special.
Other than the exhibition, we mostly enjoyed local restaurants and cafes. February is cold and dreary, so it’s not very nice to go walking around in the parks and wetlands like we normally love to do.
In February I was also preparing for my work secondment. I received an amazing opportunity to leave my company for six months and work at a huge law firm for six months. Before my first day (2 March), I had one more work obligation: Switzerland! A work colleague and I headed to Zurich and we ended up having a whole afternoon to explore some of the city. It was a lot of fun, even though it was snowing some of the time. We even had a giant pretzel!
I then started my secondment away from my company, proceeded to work in that new office for two weeks, and then was sent home as COVID-19 began to rise in London. As I write this, I am still working from home and still not traveling, but I’m hoping that I can catch-up on some content!
How were your last few months of freedom before the madness of COVID-19 arrived?