Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: Week 52

2012: Week 52 by MAStapleton
2012: Week 52, a photo by MAStapleton on Flickr.
Date: Christmas morning
Time: Just after finishing opening all the presents
Place: Next to the Christmas Tree and in front of the TV
Watching What: The 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony on DVD
Why: Because he got it as a present

For my final picture of 2012, I could have chosen the classy nighttime shot of the Greenwich Christmas lights in front of St. Alfege's, which we saw on 27 December when we walked the Advent Windows with our friends. Very classy. But no. I went with this one because I love it.

Yes, that's Christmas wrapping paper on the floor that really should have been thrown away. Yes, there are new presents strewn about, seemingly forgotten about just minutes after opening them.

I love this picture because here is Thing Two cuddling his Christmas present from Thing One while watching (again) the Opening Ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics. Thing One found the present at Hamleys in September and knew then that he wanted to get it for Thing Two for his Christmas present. I told him we should wait, because he might find something that would be better by December. But December rolled around, and he still wanted to get it. We dutifully went to Hamleys, but alas, the Tiger head puppet he wanted to get was no longer available. But I did some Internet sluething and found the manufacturer and ordered direct. Did Thing Two love his present? Did he ever. He's named him Caesar. Nothing like a brother to know the perfect present for his brother.

I also love this picture because of what we're watching: The Olympics. We loved every minute of it. August truly was the best of times and the worst of times for our family. But the Olympics were an experience of a lifetime.

And thus ends my 2012 52 weeks experiment. I'm thrilled I kept it up and was able to complete it. My 2012 photo time capsule is really something I will treasure.

2012: Week 51

2012: Week 51 by MAStapleton
2012: Week 51, a photo by MAStapleton on Flickr.
For the penultimate week of 2012, I went with a Christmas picture of my whirlygig (I'm sure that's the technical name), next to the Christmas cake that our son won at his school's Christmas Fair.

For many years we've hoped to win the gingerbread house or Christmas cake at the Christmas fair, but walked away empty handed. But not this year. My No. 1 Kitchen assistant had to guess how much the cake weighed and he nearly got it bang on (it was 2.44 kilos, he said it was 2.5). Well done to him.

The funny thing about the cake is that we were sure it was a fruit cake. It looked beautiful, to be sure, but we thought the shape of the cake meant we were destined to be awarded something we didn't like. For one week, the cake then sat on the sideboard to be admired, but not eaten.

Finally, on 22 December, we decided to have a Cake Reveal Ceremony. We lit the whirlygig. We put Christmas carols on the CD. We all held our breath as I cut it. We were all thrilled to discover that it wasn't fruit cake at all, but delicious chocolate. Yum.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Greenwich Advent Windows 2012

Every year, Greenwich hosts an Advent Window project for Christmas. Homes and businesses adopt dates and become an "Advent Window" for that date.

This is one of the houses that is participating this year.

Monday, December 17, 2012

2012: Week 50

2012: Week 50 by MAStapleton
2012: Week 50, a photo by MAStapleton on Flickr.
12.12.12 at 12:12 (EST)

For the 50th Week of 2012, I decided to go with the 12.12.12 at 12:12 shot. Those of you with an acute knowledge of times of days will notice that I say it was taken at 12:12, which here in London would mean the middle of the day, not nighttime. As it happens, i was sitting at my computer at 12:12 GMT, so I went with the 12:12 EST time instead, when I happened to be on a train that was passing Big Ben. I think it's a far better shot than a screen shot, which is what a lot of people were posting for 12.12.12 at 12:12. Can I just say: Yawn.

Maddingly, the time stamp above says that it was taken on 13.12.12. Let me assure that isn't the case. It got that time stamp because that's when I went to the Over App to add the above text for clarification. Believe me at 17:11 (GMT) or 12:11 (EST), my nine-year-old and I were staring at the screen, waiting for the change to 12.12.12.

After 12 years of repetitive dates, that's it. The party is over. I'm glad I was able to go out with a bang, even if I had to fiddle with time zones in order to do it. Surely it still counts though, right?

Monday, December 10, 2012

2012: Week 49

2012: Week 49 by MAStapleton
2012: Week 49, a photo by MAStapleton on Flickr.
Every year for Christmas in Greenwich, where we live, they have an annual "Advent Windows" project. It is yet another way to celebrate the festive season.

Twenty-four houses and businesses create windows that are unveiled every day through Advent. Some families (including ours) now include "walking the windows" as part of their Christmas traditions.

For this house, they not only decorated their windows with doves of peace, but hung some doves of peace in their trees too. Beautiful (if I do say so myself).

For more information about the project or to get a map if you'd like to walk the windows yourself, go to

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

2012: Week 48

2012: Week 48 by MAStapleton
2012: Week 48, a photo by MAStapleton on Flickr.
If there's anything we can can say about Week 48, it is that the Christmas season has well and truly begun. Advent calendars were started, the wreaths were hung on front doors and the decorations in the West End were admired (pictured here).

This beautiful light display is near Seven Dials in Covent Garden. The beautiful full moon, which cooperated by being in the frame, was an extra bonus.