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Wednesday, 19 December 2007

A London Christmas for you

Well, I had an idea last week – always a mistake. I commissioned a photographer to bring a fresh eye to the London I love at Christmas – which she certainly has.

See what you think. Just go to http://www.draytonbird.net/xmas/xmas.html
... there’s music, too, so if you don’t want to wake up all your colleagues, turn the volume down.

Some sights you’ll expect – a floodlit St. Paul’s cathedral and its choristers, joyful carol singers in Trafalgar Square, a wreath on the door of a posh Knightsbridge mansion, a Santa climbing into a less exclusive residence, the bar in my favourite Shepherd’s Market pub – with a sign that’s been there ever since I used to take a glass of champagne each morning when I lived there 40 years ago. (Shepherd’s Market is where for centuries they held the May Fair that gave London’s most elegant district – Mayfair - its name).

Others may surprise you.

50 crazy Santas skate down King’s Road, Chelsea, near our home. A “penguin”
waits to assist young skaters at the spectacular Somerset House ice rink.
Angels in stilts swoop in Covent Garden - others glide swiftly by on wheels outside the Tate Modern museum during the annual Southwark Frost Fair.
Meanwhile outside, “frost-bitten” Arctic explorers march on a mysterious mission; a Polish-Mexican restaurant has a French name - why? – and our favourite grocers in Chinatown offers Christmas greetings.

At Borough Market near London Bridge a policeman beadily watches over the Salvation Army band. A chestnut seller plies his trade. Floodlit sand sculptures astonish by passers-by on Thames bank. Shiny, sparkling fairground souvenirs and fluffy toys catch the eye. Enticing signs - Shepherd’s Market again - promise quick romance. A kilted dummy adorns a Savile Row tailor’s window, and everywhere you’ll see views of one of the world’s most extraordinary cities.

“Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” – Dr. Johnson

Merry Christmas!

All Photographs by Maura Caricato

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