and goodwill to all men…

By amy ~ December 20th, 2010 @ 5:35 pm

Well after the high octane dashing about of last week (including possibly the busiest London trip this year, fortunately for both me and for the ‘Final Outstanding Balance’ tax statement which was waiting patiently in my letterbox upon my return) I am this week taking it easy – the snow is likely make it easier still, but the handful of gentlemen who have fortuitously booked their appointments well in advance are now likely to be the only visitors over the coming days.

As far as the rest are concerned, I am officially on Christmas downturn, at least until my brain has recovered, if not the rest of me – most regular readers will know that London is my enduring favourite regular trip (and a spanking-new pied à terre doesn’t hurt, particularly when as clean, comfortable and well appointed as my latest pick turned out to be) but I am as human as anybody else and by Thursday I was definitely flagging a bit, even after being spoilt rotten with lovely dinners, presents and the usual attention and fuss for three and a half days; it has to be said that the joyous discovery of Ben’s Cookies on Oxford Street didn’t hurt either.

I did get the opportunity to make some delightful new friends both human and piscine, having finally had time to visit the London Aquarium before I left (and see below, unless you are reading this on Adultwork where displaying pictures of animals is prohibited, so you will have to take my word for it). The gentle, peaceful and dimly-lit atmosphere amongst the contented ocean and river-dwellers on Thursday morning turned out to be just the thing to counter both the weeks’ exertions and the fast-dropping temperatures outside, and my gut instinct to head for home at lunchtime turned out to be the right one as the snow began falling that very afternoon – I was reliably informed the following day that the city was slowly grinding to halt once again (early reports of drifts reaching up to two inches remain unconfirmed. Bless). Upon alighting in Scarborough at tea-time (having had the nous to don my lovely new snowboots on the train, although this was less to do with a killer instinct for predicting the future and more because I was sick to death of carrying them) the weather had got here first, and my plans for a relaxing stroll home from the station and getting a little fresh air along the way were scuppered by it being, well, far too bloody cold.

After one night back in my own bed (which some of you will be familiar with, after all!) the task was then to find plentiful warm enough clothing to stand outside for slightly over an hour on Friday; the 17th of December is International End Violence Against Sex Workers Day and along with a few others I piled on the layers (tights-thermals-leggings-jeans-bigsocks-boots) and headed for Bradford where we held a vigil with candles (thank God for Wilkos), leaflets and the red umbrellas of the IUSW – I am very happy to say that the overriding response was friendly and positive, and members of the local community and clergy came along to help out too. I was also extremely flattered to have the opportunity to make my train money back despite looking like an Eskimo (thanks to an enthusiastic local punter) but politely declined in favour of hot chocolate at a nearby Starbucks; the trial of Stephen Griffiths, the man accused of murdering three women working as prostitutes in Bradford last year (and whom is now apparently being connected with other unsolved incidents, although whether this is based on actual evidence or just convenient scapegoating remains to be seen) begins in the New Year. Changes to the UK statutes which would help prevent this happening again (and see also Ipswich) – no sign as yet.

The weekend has brought some worthy diversions in both punter and non-punter form (the latter sponsored largely by the good folk at the Ossett Brewery on Saturday evening, when I managed a rare night out with friends for pre-Christmas gossip-and) and whilst I cannot honestly claim to be right back on the ball yet I am defnitely recovering and planning a trip through the fresh snow outside to the gym, where the spa and sauna is beckoning and calming atmosphere, hot showers and clean towels are all plentiful – the latter part of this evening is to be taken up with the very enjoyable task of menu planning for the coming festivities, digging out ovenware and making a (boooo) Housework List.

Thank you to everybody who has sent their best wishes and E-cards too (I have had three up to now, and am hoping that I have sent the same number in return, although being desperately untechy I’m not entirely sure). Anyone wanting to make arrangements for next week please do get in touch; I will be updating before then but in the meantime, keep warm everybody (and if you need any help, you know where I am!)

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