Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas in London

This year, like the two years before, I'm staying in London. As much as I love Canadian Christmases, the unpredictability of the weather combined with the exorbitant prices means just getting there can be a stressful trip. One year, the man and I almost missed Christmas with my parents due to a snowstorm in Toronto that had grounded all connecting flights to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Luckily, we made it, but let's just say I wasn't a happy travelling companion for a while there. Nothing brings out my irritability more than airports!

I love London at Christmastime, actually. The city drains of all its usual frenetic energy and leaves behind empty streets you can amble down without fear of being elbowed aside by a frantic commuter. The man and I make a big feast (LOVE M&S Christmas food!) with mulled wine, sit under our £35 tree that only lasts one week, and listen to Christmas carols on the BBC. We keep meaning to go to the Christmas Eve midnight service at St Mary Abbots down the street, but I usually flake out on the sofa after stuffing myself with mince pies and yes, you guessed it, wine.

One year we decided to go for a walk on the South Bank. It was a cold Christmas day and we wrapped up warmly. Driving through a deserted Piccadilly Circus and down the empty Strand, we were at the South Bank in a record ten minutes. We walked along the river, crossed the Millennium Bridge and stopped at an open pub for some wine before heading back to stuff ourselves silly, falling into bed with the windows still steamy from all our cooking.

Last year's rain foiled a repeat, but hopefully this year we'll get out again. So yes, I'm staying in London for Christmas. And I couldn't be happier!

No comments: