18th November 2018
After my walk through the deer in Richmond Park I caught a train from Mortlake to Waterloo to see some of the Xmas lights in London. Crossed over the Thames and had a quick coffee and phone-charge I walked up to Charing X Rd. and Strand.
Rather traditional lights on Strand, giant baubles with blue stars suspended across the road above the busy traffic.
Irving Street has nets of myriad tiny white lights suspended above the West End crowds below. Though these may not be just for Xmas as some central London streets have permanent decorative lights - Villiers Street next to Charing Cross Station is another.
Leicester Square has been taken over for an event "Christmas In Leicester Square" in order to extract maximum cash from the tourists and the trees have been dressed with stars (or are they snowflakes?) and vertical strings of fairy lights. But there is too much light from below so the effect is somewhat lost.
Oxford Street's shopping canyon has again its simple but effective white and purple baubles. Possibly the classiest thing in the street. Apparently new lights are planned for 2019.
Christmas is calling at Oxford Circus, between the Oxford Street baubles an animated display of multi-coloured "laser flashes" radiating out from the middle of the road.
Not real lasers though as in 1978 which to be fair were fairly unimpressive though did concern one American tourist I met then that the lasers might cut the tops off the double-decker buses. A level of intelligence that might explain the election of the current POTUS.
Regent Street has again its large "winged angels" flying up John Nash's sweeping curved shopping street from Oxford Circus to Piccadilly Circus.
Carnaby Street this year has a suitably flamboyant Bohemian Rhapsody theme to its lights - a promotion for the recently released film of the same name about the band Queen.
Foubert's Place (part of what I see is now branded "Carnaby Sohoho") is a bit more Christmassy though.
Ho Ho Ho!
Though from the other side the message appears to be more X rated than Merry Xmas - reminiscent of Meg Ryan perhaps.
And while William Shakespeare looked down upon the Soho revellers from the corner of Great Marlborough Street some of us had to get a train home so headed to Green Park Station to get the tube back to Richmond.
There to find Southwestern Railway definitely not running to schedule and having nearly an hour's wait on a freezing cold Ascot station en route to Camberley.
They could at least unlock the sodding waiting rooms.
Or provide a seat on the covered over-bridge which was the only shelter from the wind.