Our younger son and his sweet bride most often come north to us for the Christmas holiday. But this last Christmas we met in London!
In the clear days of January, when we are all looking ahead, it hasn’t seemed right to write about the holiday past, but I know London thoughts that cycle in my head will find their way into posts. (With pleasure I will save the Christmas bits for the blog next December, and just say that from a “Love Actually” beginning at Heathrow Arrivals Hall to a Charles Dickens walk on Christmas Day, it was so much fun to be in London for the holiday!)
Anglophile I am – and my fondness just grows. Mrs. Hughes summed up part of why in a text message from home: “all those literary references and everyone dressed like a page from a Boden catalogue!” Especially in the winter!
People appeared in countless variations of the same winter theme: black wool coats or black down coats, short black boots or tall black boots, scarves of festive red or – the scarf of the moment – a trendy hound’s-tooth check. Stylish young men and women with briefcases, scarves wrapped about their necks, and open overcoats flying behind. Hats or hoods, mittens or gloves, grannies and toddlers – all bundled for London days. Riding down to the Tube, the escalator opposite was a fashion parade.
Inclement weather prompted all that layered dressing – cold clear days with sunshine of sorts, or wet, blustery days with wool gone damp and umbrellas turned inside out. Just enough adversity to make coming in from the cold and wet a huge pleasure. Nights were early dark – by 4 p.m. the lights of the city began to glitter in the wet.
And by that time of day we were looking for food!