Mrs A was attending a course for work so I was lucky enough to get free lodgings for a couple of nights in a Premier Inn just by the side of King’s Cross for a bit of a pre Christmas jolly around London.
After catching the train down to St Pancras we wandered over the road and through King’s Cross, past the Platform 9 3/4 sign complete with a queue of Potter fans waiting to get their photo taken by some enterprising (if grumpy looking) blokes with various house scarves and a camera. We arrived and were greeted by the most cheerful manager I have met in a hotel for a long old time, he was clearly not aware of the idea that anyone in London should be surly and unapproachable, just a really nice bloke doing a great job. We dumped our stuff in the room and then headed out into the evening to find something to eat and a little culture.
I’d booked us in to see The Mousetrap as we both thought it looked like fun. It turned out we were in the vertigo-inducing cheap seats (even more headspinning after a few wines and a stiff G&T). Although we both kind of enjoyed for the experience its definitely a thing of its time and wasn’t really my cup of tea. Anyone who wasn’t riveted to the performance may have noticed me sleeping.
The next few days were a blur of tube stations (and the frankly unexpected number of stairs at Covent Garden, if you eschew the escalators), landmarks, museums and galleries. We even managed to get in to see Star Wars.
And then it was time to go home again, to get everything ready for the whole tribe coming back for Christmas. We had 8 in all on Christmas day and ace fun it was too. Presents and good company and general messing about made the day brilliant. Mrs A worked her magic and made the place look beautiful, I cooked some dinner and we all ate, drank and made merry.
And then, a few days after Christmas we headed north to Glasgow again, to see the parents and celebrate our anniversary in the very place where we got married. We’d been trying to get back for our anniversary every year, and ever circumstances had conspired against us.
This time however the planets aligned and we found ourselves walking back into the lobby at One Devonshire Gardens, three years on. As we arrived there was a couple getting married in the very spot that we’d stood. I hope their lives together turn out to be as charmed as ours.
So after dropping our stuff off in the room we headed out again for food on Byres Road. Mrs A got chatting to a lady in a nice-lady-things-waste-your-money shop who recommended a tapas restaurant (it was tucked away in a backstreet that we wouldn’t have otherwise found). It was ace. We had tapas and fizz in fashionable glasses and I spent the evening thanking my lucky stars for my wife.
We wandered back to our hotel happy that we’d made it back.
The following morning we headed for our final destination of 2015 – Edinburgh.
We stayed with friends and spent New Years Eve chatting and laughing and sharing more than a few drinks before heading off to bed in the wee small hours. Not a single bar of Auld Lang Syne was sung (as far as I remember).
The next day we took a walk over the Forth Bridge to clear the cobwebs before heading south and home
2015 was a helluva year.