I am increasingly of the opinion that London is my favourite place in the world. Yes, I am aware that I have been to very few places, in fact, remarkably few places, but I don’t care. This is precisely the kind of statement that such ignorance allows me to make unashamedly. I can’t begin to remember all the places I saw today, but I did really get a good look around a substantial amount of London. To begin at the beginning, or at least, something approximating the earlier part of the middle, Tasman was overcome in the morning by a supreme wave of lethargy, and so opted to remain in the flat for most of the day. Coupled with this, once the rest of us had made our way into London, Lucy departed to visit a family friend, leaving Tina and I to basically explore one of the greatest cities in the world.
I won’t lie, most of my own navigation was based on finding and sticking to streets mentioned in Dire Straits songs, and as a result, we got an excellent idea of the layout of the Covent Garden area, making a few short stops in vintage stores before finally moving on to Oxford street, which had always been our goal, but which I had forgotten to mention earlier. We stopped for Brie and Salad baguettes at a brilliant little shop whose name I don’t recall on a street I don’t remember, and followed that up with a sort of nutty-custardy croissant kind of thing, which was also brilliant.
The Christmas decorations here, and on Oxford Street in particular, very much put our own to shame. Seeing the changes around Christmas time when I was a child was always magical, but naturally, the excitement palled over the years. I can imagine finding the English Christmas exciting for the rest of my life. It’s not just decorations though, it just fits so much better in the winter. I recall long, hot summers at school colouring in pictures of Santa with a stubbie in shorts, sunglasses and thongs and thinking it was just wrong. It was. A white Christmas would be just amazing…
After some 5 and a half hours of shopping, we made the decision to walk to Harrods. Fortunately, the way was paved with interesting buildings and shops (if not public toilets), because the walk was long and arduous, and ne’er a single man hath followed its length and lived to tell the tale. I have no way of verifying that last fact, but neither can I rule it out, so for the sake of completeness, it remains.
Eventually we reached Harrods, thanks to a helpful man, and their no-expense-spared signs, with thirteen minutes to closing time (thanks to a detour to take photos in Hyde Park). We did get a great look at the toy department, if nothing else. Definitely somewhere to go back to.
And there my writing ends somewhat abruptly because other people want to use the laptop. Also because we then had dinner and went home, which is uninteresting.
Finally, it is important to me to mention the monopoly Stephen Fry seems to have over television voice-overs in this country. More interesting though, every single game show seems to be hosted by Noel Edmonds, so much so that there is scarcely an hour where it isn’t possible to find him on at least one channel.