‘I need to see the Christmas lights’ said Madam.
I looked up from my iPad. I had been reading how we would only get a return of unicorns to our green and pleasant land if we had a hard Brexit and privatised the NHS. I’m not at all sure that was what the Leave supporters promised. Somebody definitely promised me that unicorns would return immediately the day after a vote to leave.
‘Christmas lights my sweet’, I replied, ‘I think they are in the garage.’
I actually thought they were buried under several other boxes and had almost certainly rearranged themselves into an elaborately tangled mess that would take me all day to sort out. Then I would plug them in and there would either be a sudden flash and a smell of burning or a complete absence of even the slightest twinkle. I would spend the following day switching and swapping bulbs before throwing the whole lot in the bin in exasperation and going to the supermarket for a new box.
‘No! I want to go to London to see the lights’ said Madam.
That will be quicker than trying to sort out the lights I thought.
I won’t go into a lot of detail since it mostly involved lots of walking, dodging pedestrians more intent on peering into their phones than looking where they were going, looking for a place to sit down, and searching for a free toilet. We walked about eight miles in all, even though we used the underground for longer trips. Not a great distance normally but the ankle I sprained back in Oxford decided it was a good time for a relapse, so I was limping much of the time.
Here are a few pictures:
Covent Garden. Forty mistletoe chandeliers, seven-hundred glistening berries inside the hall and a giant reindeer outside. We were there during daylight so didn’t see much in the way of lights. It is probably better after dark.
Seven Dials. Apparently they are having a light festival in January so they may have been holding themselves back.
Oxford Street and Regent Street Lights. Seemed familiar. Are these the same every year? It’s been a few years since I was in London for the lights so I may be wrong. Madam told me they were supposed to be angels. I took her word for it.
Carnaby Street Lights. Wonderful. Everything lights should be and more besides. They have a “Queen” (the band, not the royal) theme this year to coincide with the release of the Bohemian Rhapsody film. The lyrics of Bohemian Rhapsody shine bright in a colourful neon arch above your head as you walk along the street. Is this real life? Is this just fantasy? A pop-up shop at the end of the street showcased photographs, prints, Queen Live Aid footage, the drum kit used by Roger Taylor and costumes worn by Freddie Mercury. Go there immediately if you are in London.