I had intended for the weekend to be a chilled affair in the run up to Christmas but I should have known better.
Friday night, shopping for maternity wear at Top Shop, Benetton and M&S and then meeting up with my husband, who had just returned from the States, for a Korean dinner at Bi-won on Coptic Street.
Saturday, schlepping around central London and battling against the heaving crowds for last minute Christmas gifts - a Casio Exilim camera for a little boy, a 2008 "dear diary", a computer game and a DVD box set for a little girl, wrapping paper and cards from the wonderful treasure trove that is Paperchase on Tottenham Court Road. M still has a bit more shopping to do (my presents I suspect!) but he has Christmas Eve off work. We ate a late lunch of rose apple and chicken stir fry and jungle curry at Busaba Eathai on Wardour Street, then popped into Paul bakery on Old Compton Street to order a black forest gateaux for Christmas. Last minute Christmas food shopping at John Lewis then a much deserved cab home. By this time my back was aching and I was feeling quite uncomfortable - I had to unbutton my (non-maternity) jeans in the taxi. Once home, M cooked us a roast chicken with roast potatoes and wilted spinach and then we settled in to watch Spiderman 3 on DVD.
Sunday, heading to the Southbank to revisit the sensational Painting Of Modern Life at the Hayward, which examines the use and translation of photographic imagery in contemporary painting, and Louise Bourgeois at the Tate Modern. At the Tate, we were transfixed by the delight of a little toddler waddling with squealing joy towards each Bourgeois piece with her arms outstretched. Obviously in thrall of the different shapes and textures, the toddler's excitement was a refreshing counterpart to the artist's own depiction of childhood angst. We stopped for a comfort lunch of chunky handcut chips at Benugo and then a look at Patrick Keiller's The City Of The Future installation/compilation of film footage from London to Shanghai from the years 1896-1909.
On the way home, we stopped off for more groceries for Christmas and then while M cooked us a dinner of Mexican chilli and chicken "lasagne" (made with tortilla layers instead of pasta), I vegged out with uplifting chick flick The Holiday with Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz. After dinner, we both settled in to watch the disappointing Robert Downey Jr movie A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints.
And now to bed, as I have work tomorrow. Christmas for me will begin from tomorrow evening. Hurrah! Although then I'm back at work on Thursday and Friday. Our wedding, two honeymoons - to India and Japan - and then a trip to New York have used up all my holiday allowance for this year.