A VERY HACKNEY CHRISTMAS

A bright and early start to the morning.
The crunch of cereal is a sad substitute for the crunch of snow which is so seldom heard in our little island.

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A sip of coffee and our jolly selves are lit the door, like the three wise men, on search for the hot topic of the day: the perfect Christmas tree!
A twinkling of lights from proud looking firs salute us from between sitting room curtains adding a sparkle and magic to our gloomy streets of E9, brightening our already high spirits.
Broadway Market is in full festive cheer, the stalls humming with life: families move slowly amongst the the sea of smells and sensations. Seeing children and mummies hand in hand sends me into my catalogue of memories, the glare of fairy lights and sweet smell of Christmas trees always more vivid in my head.
We settle on a little cafe for brunch, with a sweet aesthetic that brings country restaurants to mind, with old world frills and fancies.
A little glance of the menu and the naughty me finds the full English tempting, but realising I’d like a meal as wholesome as my mood, I choose the Eggs Royale with a glass of on-the-tap Prosecco.
It’s not just the décor that has echoes of the rustic – the Prosecco has that charmingly watery flavour of the Hungry Horse pub’s offering of the Italian sparkling wine!
Food nommed and bill paid, the task at hand is but a half minute away.

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Complete with stone walls and muddy ground, a little piece of the countryside has made its home in London’s East End.
I become a little kiddie winkle amongst the trees, enchanted by the the sense of occasion (it’s CHRISSSTMAS!), the trees appearing to dance as the dour-faced owners hoist them across the yard.image
A light spot of haggling takes place “Er… Could we have a fiver off?” and many apologies for getting in everybody’s way later, we are the proud owners of a thirty five quidder. Feeling left out from the fun, I become be proud owner a baby tree of five pounds.
Extremely content, I bounce happily down the road, William lugging our seven foot monster stoically. I look guiltily to the rest of our party, deciding to offer a helping hand and at least grab the end so it doesn’t drag on the ground!
Like a military operation, we march swiftly through muddy London Fields, the excitement of throwing the thing down spurring us through the fatigue.
Up the stairs and through the corridor we march, leaving a breadcrumb trail of the leaves that jumped ship.
Plonk goes the tree and off comes the net!
William brings some beautiful Pakistani ornaments in the shape of the Islamic star and crescent moon.

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They’re beautifully hand-painted, the colours swimming within the green of the tree.
I am pleased that the household is in agreement with a no tinsel rule, opting for tasteful fairy lights, hugging the tree’s green frame.
And with a flick of a switch, Christmas arrives in another home.

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