Christmas with the Henderson-Kirks

I should probably try to come up with relevant, amusing puns for my blog titles, but they never really work. ‘A Copper Christmas’ sounded less like an homage to my presents and more like I had a visit from the constabulary.

I’ve just had the nicest few days at home with my family for Christmas and I’m feeling super lucky to have them. Not only have I been spoilt rotten but I’ve had lots of love, hugs and reminders that they are a consistent source of support for me. Smooshy bit over, I know you’re all here for the presents.

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I don’t think my Mum and Nanny could have picked better for me! Every single present is perfect and I took great pleasure in rearranging my room to accommodate my new homewares. Is it a late twenties thing to be utterly obsessed with what’s on your mantelpiece?

My iPad mini is mainly for work but I’ve found myself writing this post on it and it’s just so damn handy. I bought a gold and cream flip case from New Look but it’s annoying because it covers the very edges of the screen and I can’t click on some things. I’ve also ordered a nice envelope style one, which is on sale here.I almost spent my Christmas money on a Mulberry case then realised it cost almost as much as the bloody iPad…

The copper L & K are from Oliver Bonas, along with the beautiful copper bottomed glasses which were specifically gifted for my gin habit. The family know me so well. (Shock if there’s an appearance from some Hendricks too.) I need to get the copper champagne flutes from there too…and pretty much everything from the website.

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The beauty haul was strong this year with my all time favourite gel moisturiser from Clinique, the best primer money can buy from Clarins and my current make up love, Clinique ‘Even Better’ foundation. It’s such an easy, throw-on-and-go coverage and I have a feeling we’ll be together for a while. I’m wearing just a tiny bit in the photo below, along with the holy grail Clinique High Impact Extreme mascara. It’s not Christmas without some Lush treats and a bit of Chanel either! I’m a Chanel Mademoiselle wearer in winter and an Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess in summer. You can’t beat either of them for staying power and classic seasonal scents.

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I just started reading the ‘How to be Parisian, wherever you are’ book I received and there’s a bit about finding your signature perfume and wearing it forever. I think I’m set! The book really is a bedside treat for when you’re feeling a bit lost about yourself. I’ve only skimmed it and already I want to purchase a good trench coat, drink coffee alone at a street cafe and never ever say ‘Bon appetit!’.

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This person does.not.exist. If they do and you know them, get them to add me on snapchat please.

In terms of family time, I spent three days at home which was more than usual because I live much closer now. I drank so much champagne and port, ate ridiculous amounts of meat and Yorkshire pudding and cosied up in front of some cracking films/tv. We do dinner in stages, with the starter at about 3ish, a break, dinner at 6ish, another break, then dessert. It’s much easier on the old waistband than one big feed, but I think it might mean I actually eat more, oops. We had whisky smoked salmon, prawns and beautiful pâté then slow roast rosemary and garlic lamb, regular roast lamb and honey maple gammon with alllllll the trimmings. Tina outdoes herself every year, check out the photo of my plate, and that cheeseboard on Boxing Day, oh my. Boxing Day was a bit of a haze of meat and port, but I did excel at family bingo and ended up making a tenner.

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I hope this post hasn’t come across as ‘show off-y’ in any way, I know I love to have a nosey at what people have bought or been given for Christmas. I’m very lucky and grateful to have all these lovely things around me, whether that’s the presents or the people who gave me them. Genuinely. That’s not blogger bullshit, I am actually really chuffed.

It also happens to be my birthday in two days so there might well be another one of these posts…

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I’ll have a blue Christmas without you.

Oh yeah, I’m going there. But this isn’t a ‘woe is me’ post, I just wanted to talk about being single at Christmas time. This is the first time I’ve been properly single at this time in around ten years. That may sound like I’m exaggerating but I am 25, almost 26, and I’ve had two fairly long relationships in that time. I also had one small but wonderful one which very sadly had to end recently because we couldn’t make it work.

I’m not going into all the details of past relationships or moan about exes, I don’t have a bad thing to say about any of them (well, maybe after some wine with the girls once or twice I’ve slurred their shortfalls…) Instead, I want to look at how I’m adapting to it and what I’m doing to replace the present giving and all the cute couple-y stuff that dominates instagram at this time of year.

First off, all single girls who enjoy being single and have no plans to change this, I salute you. You’ve got your shit together and you probably don’t need to read on. To all the single girls who hate this time of year because of the couples, I am sorry for what I did when I wasn’t one of you. I’m sorry for posting ‘the boy did good’ photos, I’m sorry for gloating over my relationship and neglecting single friends at Christmas. Now I’m not calling for photos and facebook posts to stop, I had every right to do that and I was happy so I wanted to share it. However, I’m very aware of how much I neglected my friends. Right now, I’m incredibly lucky to have found myself single at the same time as three of my closest friends. We all work together and pretty much all live together so there is no chance when they are around that I’ll feel sad in any way. It’s impossible to be sad when you have three other strong women holding you up. When I wasn’t single, I was guilty of putting my relationships first in every matter, even in front of time with my family. I also barely see my friends who have boyfriends now I’m single, it’s like I’ve lost my membership to the club. So I now solemnly swear that if I find myself in a new relationship, I’m going to do my best to change my attitude to it and remember who’s also important.

Why is it so hard to be single at this time of year? Well actually, it’s not, as I’m discovering. I panicked immediately when I realised I’d be single for Christmas, thinking ‘Oh god, I’ve no one to…’ wait a minute. No one to what with?

Go to the Christmas Market? I did it twice this year, once to catch up with a friend who lives in Barcelona the rest of the year and the second time with two of my best friends, my amazing mum and gran all together. We had hot apple gins, browsed the stalls at leisure and cackled merrily.

Oh but what about present giving? There’s the obvious, ‘I’m saving money not buying them something’ chat. What did I do? Bought myself presents. I treated myself to a new domain name for this, a dress from Topshop and a new beautiful leopard print, pony skin purse. I imagine I’ve picked better gifts than any ex ever could. Only person who’s not chuffed is my Mum because she’s had to take over the buying of the Chanel perfume…

What about a kiss at midnight on Hogmanay? This is a toughie, because the 31st is my birthday. I’m spending it with my family and my flatmate Lauren this year, which I’m looking forward to, but I think of all the events that will sting a bit, that will be the one. I’ll let you know how I get on, I doubt I’ll find a babe at the Golf Club Christmas do…

What about just having someone to BE with? Get a grip. I spend Christmas day and boxing day with my family every year without fail, I’m engulfed with people to be with. The harder days have been the run up to it, especially being ill a lot recently. But I’ve made it to Christmas Eve and I’m still a functioning and happy human being, even though I’m single.

I’m going to dedicate my time to family and friends this year, not just because I don’t have someone else to take up any of it, but because I want to. I’m also going to spend a lot of time on myself, because in the words of the true Queen…

If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?

I’m back and I’m still hungry.

Let’s get the explanation out the way first, Cilla Reviews was destroyed by a spam comment and my lack of understanding of my hosting. Simple as that. Every post was lost because I thought they existed on WordPress in the same way that posts do on Tumblr for example. Turns out I was wrong and years of work went down the pan.

It’s taken me almost a year to get back on here and create something new. There is something quite devastating about seeing something you loved doing, something you considered to be your ‘other job’ completely disappear. I was angry at myself for not saving my posts and writing them directly on the editor and I was angry at the hosting company for trying to extort money from me to get it all back. I did manage to collect together snippets from google cache and when I’m back into the swing of this I’ll probably put together a little archive of what I rescued. Until then, this is a fresh start and a lovely new domain name as a Christmas present to myself.

People always asked me where the ‘Cilla’ bit came from, and it’s a strange mash up of an old school librarian calling me ‘Cilla Black on acid’ after seeing a rather rough photo of me and it was my old myspace name. I realised recently that if I want to blog at 25, I can’t use my myspace name. I just can’t take it seriously anymore. I use my full name for many things, and I love that my wonderful Nanny Helen’s full name is in there so from now on, my online presence will no longer be a ‘brand’, it will be Lauren H H Kirk, as in me. Makes sense eh?

A lot of things in my life have changed while I’ve been absent from blogging and I don’t really know where to start in terms of content, all I know is I’m back, my fingers are flying and I can’t wait to get stuck in.

So please bear with me while I find my feet again…and my knife and fork.