When the train announcer said "Next station: Stansted Airport," I realised that I had left my passport in my bedroom. I would have loved to tell you about Norwegian Christmas markets, Oslo's stunning new opera house, the beauty of the fjord surrounded by snow-capped fields, the stylish Norwegians and their boutiques and over-priced caf├ęs, the festive joy of ice skating in Scandinavia... But I can't. Instead, I tortured myself by heading to the West End the second Saturday before Christmas and enraged myself by descending into the confused-tourist-and-shopper-filled depths of Piccadilly Circus station. Clearly I am a glutton for punishment.

Brick Lane today, however, was as spirit-lifting and comparatively-easy-on-the-wallet as always. (Though I couldn't settle on what to pick for a New Year's outfit.) At least life has its comforts and predictable pleasures.