Mouse Hole Update

(If you missed the original Christmas mouse hole post, read it here first.)

We checked on “our” mouse hole this week, and discovered a gift had been delivered to the mice.

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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Lockdown, Everywhere We Don’t Go

Last night, PM Boris Johnson held an emergency press conference to announce that London and much of Southeast England would be moving into Tier 4, effective at midnight. This came as a surprise to most of us, because as far as we knew, it was a 3-tier system. Tier 4 was a totally new level they’d just added. The new strain of the virus they’ve discovered here in the UK seems to be even more highly transmissible than the original coronavirus.

For some, this meant canceling their Christmas plans to get together with family or friends. For others, such as my friend Amelia, this meant a mad dash to pack up the car and get to Granny’s house in the countryside before midnight, when their family Christmas plans would turn back into pumpkins. So now instead of isolating for a few more days between the end of school term and mixing with extended family in other households for Christmas, many families will just go for it and hope for the best.

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A December to Remember

In the past few years, my kicking-off-Christmas posts have been about all the many fun activities we have planned for the month of December, and the incredible number of things there are to do in London this time of year. As is the case everywhere, the holiday season here in London is looking a lot different this year.

The Christmas lights around London were quietly hung and lit with no lighting ceremony fanfare and festivities.

Photograph: Jonathan Hordle/PA Wire

Christmas markets and school nativities and even pantos have gone virtual. There will be no Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, no tickets to the Nutcracker, no visits to Father Christmas’ Grotto, ho ho humbug.

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Christmas at Kew

Christmas at Kew met—no, exceeded—my expectations.

welcome to kew

I have heard for several years that Christmas at Kew Gardens is a must-do Christmastime outing in London, but this was our first time. You have to book tickets really early—we booked in JULY. And we were really lucky we happened to have a dry evening on the date we booked.img_4911We’ve been to Kew Gardens before, but this was a completely different experience. (And Kew Gardens is very much worth a visit during the day, with or without kids.) Continue reading