Home Is Where The Heart Is
As mentioned in my previous post, I was home for the Christmas break. I'd been away (bar one long weekend) since August, so I was definitely ready to get back into familiar surroundings and - I'm not going to lie - enjoy being back in my own bed.
There are so many little things that you take for granted when you're in your own space. I genuinely miss my bed when I'm away and it's one of the things I look forward to most when I know I'm coming home!
I really enjoy cooking and baking too, which I don't get to do at all when I'm away. I didn't feel festive in the slightest in the run up to Christmas this year - partly because it was pretty sunny in Cyprus so it was hard to feel wintery, but also because I normally make my Christmas cards and a lot of my gifts. So we set aside Christmas Eve to do some baking, making edible gifts for our families. I absolutely loved it; we had the Christmas playlist blaring out of the stereo and of course we got to taste test the things we made, too. We went for festive cheese puffs, cinnamon spiced nuts and ginger nut biscuits dipped in white chocolate. They seemed to be well received - and if they weren't then they were made with love regardless!
One of the other random things I look forward to is a trip to the supermarket. You'll think I'm mad unless you've spent some time abroad yourself, but the UK sells so much stuff you just can't get in other places. Even when I was travelling across the USA there were British things I missed. Living in the mess in Cyprus, all my food is cooked for me, so I sometimes really crave normal, home-cooked food - simple things like bangers and mash, or even just a really good salad. Actually, one of the stranger things I've missed here is avocados. You can get them here, but I find them quite expensive, so I always look forward to an avo smash on toast for breakfast when I get home! Total first world problem...
A birthday trip to Edinburgh
It's always great to catch up with as many friends and family as possible too, but because I was ill I just wasn't up to it for most of my break which was really annoying. We had a great few days in Edinburgh celebrating Rick's birthday - so many fun little adventures, including the Scotch Whisky Experience (Rick was thrilled he got a free dram for turning a year older), a tasty meal at vegetarian restaurant David Bann and a walk round the lovely Christmas market. We also went to visit the Ice Experience, which had a number of ice sculptures themed around Scotland. It was, as you can imagine, fairly nippy in there, so we were pleased to find a bar and warm ourselves up with whisky and mulled wine. The main reason for going though was to see the Nutcracker, which was performed by the Scottish Ballet at the Festival Theatre. We have a bit of a silly tradition where we try and see the Nutcracker in a different city - and preferably country - each year. We went to Copenhagen last year, but with me being away a lot this year we thought it'd be easier to stay in the UK, so Edinburgh it was. It was great though, and I also loved the dance themed Christmas tree they had in the foyer!
I have to give the Ibis South Bridge a bit of a shout out here. I booked directly with them through their website, and put a note in to say that we were celebrating a birthday so if we could have a room with a view I'd appreciate it. Not only did we get a room with a lovely lookout on to Arthur's Seat, but they also left some birthday cake, chocolates and balloons in the room. I'm not sure whether it was Rick or me who was more impressed. A really nice touch, and a lovely way to start the holiday off with.
When we got back to Lincoln we managed to throw our annual Christmas party, which was a quieter affair than usual, but still lots of fun. In a way it was better to have fewer people there as we got to chat with everyone a bit more. It was also quite exciting to see old friends and celebrate our engagement, as we hadn't really done that with me being away.
It was after the party that I was struck down by a cold (who wasn't at Christmas?), but on top of the virus I'd had it really wiped me out for the rest of the holiday and I was quite miserable. It sounds silly, but one of the things I enjoyed the most was just lying on the sofa admiring the Christmas tree - ridiculous really, but it's those little things that give you pleasure.
On the move again
I'm back in Cyprus at the moment, but will be on the move again soon, so I've been trying to fit in more adventures around the island before I move on to my next job. You can see more pictures on my Instagram page, which I'm much better at updating than the blog!!
It's getting harder to say goodbye to everyone each time I leave, but it's only a few weeks until I'm home again briefly. I have insisted on a date night where we go 'out out', so I'm looking forward to what gets planned for my return!