This was followed by Niall taking us to the second hand book stalls under Waterloo Bridge where he proposed to buy us books as Christmas pressies. I ended up spending 30 quid but did come home with a veritable armload :) Mixture of low-brow (Dick Francis) and more high end stuff (Jostien Gaarder, Kate Atkinson) which should keep me going nicely over Christmas. I haven't been reading much new stuff of late - I should really get back into it again. Apart from anything else there'd be less urge to snack with my hands full.
Back to Oxford and I called Alex to find out what next. It was rather too cold to stand around trying to make a decision and I seem to be going through a much less decisive phase anyway which is odd. In the end, we arranged to meet at Archie&Ellens for takeout and celebrating Lorna's birthday. This was rather nice but unfortunately, as the takeout took ages to arrive I rather binged on crisps and breadsticks resulting in a rather large overall intake :( Still, other than that, a good day.
Sunday was officially designated "Gettings Things Done Day". I managed to haul myself out of bed before lunchtime, where I indulged only in a low fat yoghurt, still feeling the benefit of yesterdays late night nosh. I then finished painting the bedroom by doing the last door and the bits of the door frames which still needed it. It does now look rather nice in my opinion, I have to say. I'm sure I'll find another bit I've missed next weekend, and I still have to do the radiator but still. Next phase looms.
After that it was out into the garden to refill my garden waste bag with the fallen leaves from next doors horse chestnut, a tree which tests my commitment to preserving old trees by dumping its load all over the back half of my garden every year and shading it all summer. Having filled the bag I realised I still have about 3 bags full before I can be said to have cleared the patio so I raked it all into a heap so at least it's not rotting around the bottom of the shed now.
Next up, an early dinner (including mashed potatoes, but I've got to use them up somehow) followed by a trip to the Port Mahon where we were promised a band who definitely weren't called Los Diabolos (in fact, they were Bell and Wilden :) ) plus other various acoustic-y folks doing at least one Christmas number one each! This ended up being a really great evening. We caught the very end of Oliver Shaw (Last Christmas, I gave you my heart), a couple of guys whose names escape me (their Xmas number 1 escapes me too), Joe Swarbrick (2 Little Boys), Bell & Wilden (I didn't recognise theirs - it wasn't very Christmassy though!) and the Pindrop Christmas Choir (Winter Wonderland). Joe had his Dad play in his set (which was odd because I feel sure I recognise him, although I'm not sure where from) and they played a fabulous carol called the Cherry Tree Carol which Joe's Dad said was based on a Koranic story. Bell & Wilden gave us a great set of traditional carols (which I had to sing along to) and one or two of their own songs as well. The Pindrop Christmas Choir were a classical quartet of singers in fact who turned out to be really fantastic. You really could have heard a pin drop while they were on. The whole thing put me into a really fantastic mood and I was really glad we made it.
Once home, it was Christmas card writing time plus a little bit more carol singing for me. I wonder if I could make it to the University Church carol service this year...