Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas at Kew Gardens

DSC00411 (1300x975)Midnight strolls through public parks are always fun.  Museum Nights are held in major cities across Europe, and I still remember the flashlight exploration of Amsterdam’s Zoo, bears and lions sleepily blinking at the late visitors.

Similarly, at Christmas, Kew Gardens decorates their park with a wonderful show of seasonal lights and illuminated sculpture.  The w.wezen arranged dates and tickets: Despite bitterly cold weather, it was a lovely shared evening after a day of shopping in London, with a marshmallow roast and lots of hot tea to help to keep the chill off.

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The displays vary a lot. Simpler ones include chandeliers hung from trees and sparkling tunnels.  The more elaborate bits include Shakespearian productions and lit fountains synchronized with music and firepots.  In between  are ethereal flowers and groves constructed from neon and incandescent lights: these were among my favorites.

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Friday, December 12, 2014

A little bit of London

DSC00317 (975x1300)‘More investor meetings and visa documentation Friday,  so I needed an early trip back from accountants to immigration folks, Amsterdam to Heathrow.  Dates are now set for the review with the Home Office, fees paid and the detailed evidence in preparation.  The Activity Log alone took a day to complete: I needed to account for every coming and going from the UK for the past five years, matched to passport stamps. 

With luck, this will be the last time and I can start to settle.

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I lingered in London into the week end, a chance to get some shopping in and enjoy the displays.  London is happily unpredictable at Christmas: a street may suddenly fill with bicycling Santas’s,  or a sooted passageway can open onto a courtyard filled with lights.

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Fortnum and Mason has some of the best windows in the city, this year a cottony fantasy built around seasonal foods and drinks.  Inside, the store was absolutely packed, a lot of expats picking up take-home items alongside Brits decorating and cooking. 

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Its easy to feel the urgency settling in with less than two weeks until Christmas.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Magisch Maastricht 2014

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The Christmas Market is open in the Vrijthof this evening under clear skies: nice to revisit the Gluhwijn and Krakauer, skaters and SkyWheel again.

And a Cedar Falls Expat in a reindeer sweater.

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