Sometimes I think that I did the whole 'moving to London' thing in a bit of a daze. I moved here a year-and-a-half ago and while it wasn't exactly a spur of the moment decision, it was something that I just woke up one day and thought 'yeh, I'll do that'. The fact that I moved straight out of home across the other side of the world, barely knowing anyone, with not a lot of money and have made a completely new life in another country kinda lost its significance after a while and I don't even really think about it anymore.
But then you have those moments - moments when you do something that's so completely weird/exciting/different that it hits you. I've had many of those, but one of the weirdest was yesterday when I took myself off to buy our Christmas tree. It doesn't sound like much, buying a Christmas tree for your house. But, every year back home for as long as I can remember my Dad has gone off (most often to the fruit shop up the road) and brought back a huge beautiful pine tree which we stuck in the same room, in the same orange bucket with bricks (trying to cover them up with wrapping paper) and decorated with the same Christmas decorations which had been collecting dust all year in a tatty green suitcase in the garage. Some years Mum would buy some new decorations from Grace Bros but you could still find some hideous creations one of the four of us kids made in kindergarten lying at the bottom (and of course we would vehemently protest if Mum tried to throw them out). The year we got lights AS WELL as tinsel for our tree was a highlight of my childhood Xmases. And I will always recognise the smell of the pine which permeates every room of the house.
So this year I did have any of that. But I got the beginning of my 2nd Christmas in London with the new experience of buying my own Christmas tree - it smells different to Aussie Xmas trees, it looks different and is nowhere near as big as our family tree. And instead of sweating in the heat while we used to try and help Dad carry it up the stairs, I froze my ass off while I tried to drag it inside while a gale was blowing outside in the dark (it was 4pm). BUT, I brought it back to out little flat family with some new lights and new decorations from WHS Smith, and the four of us decorated it together and then turned off the lights to admire our handiwork and our gorgeous little tree (already with presents under it courtesy of a care package from Mum) which makes it really feel like Christmas. Maybe our Orphan Christmas won't be so sad after all :)