Lady P - December - Tokyo
Greetings and salutations my ravishing readers!
I am honoured and thrilled to be the travel correspondent for the global phenomenon that is emmaheaven.com. My name is Lady Perdita Fitzwilliam Tudor-Croft, Perdy to friends, Ditsy D to family and Dirty Dita to my unsavoury exes, but you can all call me Lady P.
Let me start by saying a humungous heartfelt thanks to those fabulous gals at EH Headquarters.
One’s latest assignments have been nothing short of spectacular - to say one is impressed would be the understatement of the year. The only thing which could possibly make me happier, would be if my gorgeous ginger prince announced he was separating from ‘she who must not be named’!
Alas, such glad tidings no longer seem imminent, since his Uncle Andrew has leapfrogged his way to the top of the Royal Family’s ‘naughty step’!
The Sloaney pony set can talk of nothing else at the moment. Although the jury is still out as to whether they’re more aghast at Randy Andy ‘keeping dubious company’, or that he admitted on national TV no less, that he took one of the young princesses to a pizza chain restaurant in the suburbs!
I’m all for ‘innocent until proven guilty’, but I am delighted to hear that Her Majesty has pulled rank, bringing them ALL to heel, and putting them firmly back in their place. Standards darlings, standards...
Anyway, enough about the trials and tribulations of the skeletons in the Windsor family; we have enough of our own, and Uncle Fergus is still languishing in exile overseas for his many and varied youthful indiscretions ‘below stairs’! And yes - that is a euphemism!!
As seems to be my fate, like the star-crossed lovers we seem destined to be, I find myself in Japan and the glorious city of Tokyo, hot on the heels of - yet narrowly missing - my beloved prince; he had been in town for the rugby World Cup final. One day my darling, one day...
Setting my beating heart and disappointment to one side, I decided to throw myself into my latest assignment with the laser-like focus I apply to ALL my endeavours.
When the temperatures fall and the nights get longer, the city of Tokyo and its surrounding areas transform into a magical winter wonderland, lit up by elaborate and beautiful illuminations. I will never look at Blackpool again in the same light…
Thus, my darling readers, after taking in the sights and delights of the top twinkling hotspots, one is ready, willing and able to share all the sparkly, glittering highlights with you…
No visit would be complete without a visit to Roppongi Hills which celebrates this year’s winter with a staggering 700,000 tiny LED lights that adorn the 400-metre long tree-lined street called Keyakizaka. “West Walk” features a draped Christmas tree inspired by a woman wearing a dress. So fashion forward and fabulously decadent.
One didn’t know where to look. Throughout the trip, I had Manfred Mann’s ‘Blinded By The Light’ as an earworm and soundtrack - and even more surreal was putting my sunglasses on at night to help me deal with such dazzling displays! The last time I wore sunglasses after dark, was when I went incognito after Daddy’s court case last winter...
Next up, one was bathed in the light of Baccarat’s Massive Chandelier, at Yebisu Gardens. And it certainly deserves its ‘massive’ description! Now I’ve gazed up at many a chandelier in my time, however this is the biggest one yet which I’ve ever set eyes on; this one’s colossal! Measuring up at 5 metres tall and 3 metres wide, they say it is one of the biggest in the world with 8,472 crystals adorned with 250 lights that emit a majestic, fantastical aura!
After viewing such magnificence, one’s own aura was definitely pulsating. Or maybe that was thanks to the copious quantities of champagne quaffed at the new bar, deliciously and decadently served up in a Baccarat glass!
I know one has a teeny tiny shopping problem, and one did say after one’s exploits on Rodeo Drive that I was ‘all shopped out’ for the foreseeable future, however...When I heard about the Champagne Illuminations in Marunouchi, which is also famous for its shops stretching over the 1.2 km long street, I just had to flex my shopping muscles.
Apart from being a shopping heaven, it’s also beautifully illuminated with almost a million LED lights! And Daddy thinks our electricity costs are high?!
Now I’m still quite the child at heart and I’m no exception in having a bit of a soft spot for Disney. And I think I’m pretty upfront about wanting to be a princess in search of her (ginger) Prince Charming!
Imagine my childlike delight when I stumbled upon ‘Alice in the wonder garden’-themed illumination at Oedo Onsen Monogatari; one was drawn to it like a moth to a flame, with its huge trees and novel Alice-themed sweets and drinks. Like Alice, one has never been able to resist the ‘do not eat/do not drink’ warnings. Resistance is futile... which has definitely led to some rather ‘interesting’ experiences in the past…
I still have flashbacks after eating some strange looking mushrooms, and drinking rather toxic-coloured concoctions poured into one’s glass, courtesy of my mischievous cousins. One can still hear their evil chuckles as I fell down the rabbit hole... It took months of sitting in my therapist’s chair to get over that little debacle.
Anyway, I digress…
Back to the lights, taking in the Tokyo Dome Illuminations and on to Tokyo Midtown where one drifted into a Universe of Lights. After being dazzled from all directions, it was now time to ‘get lit’ in a local hostelry!
All that shopping and sightseeing makes a gal hungry and thirsty. And a gal needs to keep up her strength. Unfortunately I made quite the culinary faux pas, where I mistakenly scooped up and devoured a generous dollop of what I thought was guacamole. It wasn’t. It was wasabi! To the uninitiated, wasabi is a fiery Japanese horseradish/mustard type condiment/delicacy; and it’s hotter than the Devil’s flip flops!!
I couldn’t wait for them to finish the traditional tea ceremony to quench my thirst, so I grabbed some poor chap’s flask of sake. Talk about throwing more fuel on the fire! Little did I know that sake is best served warm. Aaaaagh!
Thankfully a knight in shining armour came to my rescue, with a large Scotch on the rocks to cool my tortured tongue. Thus my introduction to the joys of Japanese whisky and its heady thirst-quenching properties had begun…
It is around about now where things start to get a little bit hazy - crazy even - so forgive me if the details are a tad sketchy.
I don’t know whether I dreamt it or if it actually happened, but I have a vague memory of comparing thongs with some rather portly gents with man buns. There was quite a bit of tussling and grappling involved if memory serves, plus LOTS of grunting.
The last time I saw that much naked flesh jiggling about was when Uncle Fergus used to insist on playing kiss chase, ‘au naturel’, in the orchard with me and my girly chums during our school hols.
It was all pretty primal - then and now! Although one couldn’t stifle the giggles at the thought of my posh, yet VERY lean and angular male chums going at it in the ring with little more than a silk cloth covering the family jewels...Although that is one way of sorting out the men from the boys...
However, I do have a funny feeling I can’t quite shake off, especially when walking...And I don’t know if it has anything to do with me being the first female Westerner to win a sumo trophy; apparently I took the unorthodox approach of using ‘wedgies’ to see off the competition! Somehow I knew those late night catfights in the dorm at our all-girl school would pay off one day!!
These amusing flashbacks accompanied me all the way to the airport, and one was still chuckling as one boarded the plane back to Britain ready to see London’s Christmas lights. Thankfully, they were the only anticlimax of an otherwise marvellously stimulating, invigorating and educational sojourn...
For the first time in forever, I’ve finished my Christmas shopping (although Daddy freezing my credit card may have had something to do with that too). So with my presents already in the bag (thank you Fortnums and Amazon!) I’m looking forward to the Queen’s Speech on Christmas Day. After the year Her Majesty, her family and this country has had, it promises to be an absolute corker! Pass the popcorn pronto!!
I’ve already raided some vintage champagne from Daddy’s cellar in anticipation of being invited to Sandringham for next Christmas. Hope springs eternal...
Anyway my darlings, have a very Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year. One shall catch up with you all in January. Let’s hope those gorgeous gals at HQ send me somewhere glorious to see in the New Year...
I have just seen that darling Greta from Sweden has been named Time magazine’s person of the year. Although through my bleary, jetlagged eyes I initially thought it said ‘Gryla’ ~ the folkloric female giant from Iceland, who devours disobedient children at Christmas ~ this would explain why our beloved Nanny was cock-a-hoop and cartwheeling on the lawn for most of the afternoon.
Nanny is now recuperating with a stiff drink, sobbing quietly in the nursery, lamenting that her heroine Gryla has been overlooked yet again...
While I am delighted to see a youngster win this accolade, on a slightly selfish note, I can’t help but ponder the environmental implications for my future travels?!
Does this mean no more jetsetting? Partial as I am to a sailor, will I have to sail everywhere? Or let the train take the strain?!
Looking at the positives, Daddy thinks I might meet an eligible environmentalist, who can help him manage the estate. I wonder if such a chap can use his Interrail pass on the Orient Express?! I know I could during my European gap year travels; although the onboard concierge was rather smitten with me, and insisted I bunk up with him so he could protect me from the trainspotters en route. I never did see any, as I didn’t leave his cabin until we arrived several days later in Istanbul…
Anyway, I digress. But while we’re still talking of Turkey...who wants some breast and stuffing?
***Note to Team Heaven - at the risk of sounding greedy, do you think you could get a clearer idea of my beloved ginger prince’s whereabouts while he is on his temporary break from royal duties?
My sources tell me that Ginge and Cringe might not be travelling together, so it would be rather serendipitous if my next assignment were to place me within Cupid’s range. Twice I’ve narrowly missed ‘bumping into’ my beloved - LA and now Japan. Perhaps third time lucky?!
I’ve asked Daddy if the family chauffeur could be put on standby to drive me to Norfolk over Christmas, on the off chance my beloved will be joining the rest of the royal family at Sandringham. Daddy said “Norfolk and chance”.
Or at least I think that’s what he said. Mummy’s no help; she’s coughing and spluttering, glowering away at Daddy like she does whenever he says something ‘off colour’; which is often, and not just when he’s going through the family finances…
I’m optimistic that my quest for true love will bear fruit, and place myself at your mercy in giving me and Cupid a helping hand.
Daddy has already rung Boris to recommend me as a suitable ‘first lady’. I’ve never been partial to blonds, but perhaps I could make an exception?! I hear the accommodation is fabulously located; and a short stroll across St James’s Park takes one to Buckingham Palace…#EveryCloud - mwah!
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