*** It’s hanging on our Christmas Tree ***
It was my idea, rather than that of my wife, or two year-old daughter, to spend two days and three nights in London. As much as I love the big city, and wanted any reason to go again, I had ulterior, less selfish motives as well. I wanted to take my family away to some place where there is a hell of a lot to do for a start. But also, my wife is a sucker for Christmas, and there are aspects of London that make this time of year a perfect city to visit. Namely, the Christmas lights, in particular at Harrods. Add to that I had unofficially promised my little girl she would see Big Ben, the red buses, and the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum with her own little eyes.
Seeing the toddler’s delight and shock when she did see that tall structure with the huge clock, made the whole thing more than worth it. As did seeing how my wife rushing on ahead with her camera at the ready when she could see the lit-up Harrods in the distance.
London is like most cities I know. Except that it is not. There are buildings and people and traffic. People live their lives, and go from here to there, and often back again. In London, though, everything seems bigger, and faster, and louder. To me it is both the kind of hectic you just don’t need, but also has that buzz that energizes you, keeps you moving.
Sometimes as we walked through the varied London streets I was aware this was just a city with people, like hundreds of others in the world. Part of you thinks that you won’t be able to take the hustle bustle of this big place. You wonder if most of those people rushing around you are that eager to get to work or to their homes, or whether they too are just trying to fight their way out of the bedlam.
On the underground journey alone there is work to be done. Especially when you consider that underground journey generally consists of such little time actually on a train. We did a lot in forty-eight hours, and visited many different parts of London. So we also went up and down a lot of stone steps. Went up and down a lot of escalators. Got off and on a lot of trains. Walked back and forth down many corridors, echoing footsteps from the acoustics of the underground. I don’t know how many shoulders or bags must have brushed or banged against me in that time.
But even with the now tight calves and sore feet, you still have to appreciate the convenience of that form of travel. And be proud of my daughter and wife, for allowing me to drag them around like that. We certainly would not have seen so much of London in such a short space of time otherwise.
But I still love London, even as our train pulled out of King’s Cross and I was relieved to be leaving so we could get back to our home, and collapse. We hardly stopped moving while we were there, and I liked it like that, no matter how frustrated or organised I was. We certainly made the most of our time there, that’s for sure.
Our next break will likely involve as little movement as possible. We’ll put our feet up for longer and watch a lot more TV. Snuggle up at Christmas time, in front of a warm fire, instead. Sounds great to me.