Christmas time in London 32


A surprising number of people have asked me, ‘why would you go back to England during winter?’. Well, that famous song from the 1960’s answers that question perfectly, ‘it’s the most wonderful time of the year’. Yes, the weather can be miserable and it’s freezing, but with the fairy lights, little girls dressed as angels and trees full of enchanting ornaments, winter in England is beautiful! It’s Christmas!

I travelled to London for two days to see some of my dear friends, I had such a wonderful time! The naked trees full of mistletoe and the English countryside flashed passed my window before my train reached the bustle of London! Arriving in London, the smell of the cold air in the city, the distant sound of Christmas carols, everyone rushing around and I stood in the middle of it with a huge grin on my face. 

The London Underground (source: BBC)

The London Underground (source: BBC)

I have a passion for the London Underground (and the Paris Metro!), there is something about underground tunnels which link the entire city together, I love it! I have written about my unusual passion in a past post, but when I found myself looking at the map, seeing which line to take to meet my friend- I had a complete mental blank. My grin faded into a kind of gormless expression, I stood there for a long five minutes. I wanted to get from London Paddington to Waterloo, I knew it was a simple journey but being faced with this familiar map, I felt like I had never seen it before. Once the what would have been obvious twelve months ago dawned on me, I started walking in the direction of the Bakerloo line, towards Waterloo (clue is in the name, Lauren). I then had trouble with the automated ticket barriers, I was trying to put my ticket in where it should come out. My brain was behaving like a plate full of jelly, thankfully I soon got back into the groove of things!

london eye ferris wheel

London Eye

St. Pauls

St. Pauls

Seeing my old friend’s again was overwhelming and emotional, I have missed them so much. The huge disadvantage about living abroad is that you are far away from so many people you care about, so much has changed since I last saw them! I met a gorgeous little girl, who is now six months old, last time I saw her she was a tiny bean in her Mummy’s belly. Gorgeous babies have been welcomed into the world, new careers, fresh relationships, failed relationships- and I was so far away to be able to be there for them.

I was also so lucky to be able see some wonderful new friends, Hanna and M, who both write great blogs about their intercultural relationships! I was so happy to meet them, and I am hoping to see those two lovely girls again before I return to India, unfortunately they also bore witness to my jelly brain!

st pauls river dusk colourful

There was a beautiful Christmas tree on the banks of the Thames, decorated with personal Christmas messages, a beautiful idea from Macmillan, a cancer support charity. Two of my friends and I donated some money and wrote messages and hung them on the tree. Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, it’s a time for receiving presents and eating too much food, but most importantly it’s a time for giving and charity.

“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive'”

Acts 20:35, The Holy Bible

macmillian tree london eye christmasmacmillan tree messages

london eye blue lights

london eye light

Just before I left London, I had some time alone, my train wasn’t due to leave for another two hours (my time management skills are awful). I found myself retracing some of the steps I took with my husband when we first met in person, nearly two years ago. Walking those streets made me miss him more, I wish he was able to come to England with me to experience ‘the most wonderful time of the year’.

big benbig ben treetree

I walked from the London eye, passed Big Ben, to Leicester square and finally, I found myself in Piccadilly circus. Piccadilly circus is where my husband and I arrived first when we took our short trip into central London, we walked up from the underground and into the outside world and saw Anteros, the Greek god of requited love, pointing his bow straight at us. I stood there alone, surrounded by Christmas shoppers, and looked up at Anteros, now decorated for the festive season.

nelson red bus

Leichester Square

Leicester Square

piccadilly presents

Anteros, the view from one of the Piccadilly Circus underground exits

anteros

My train from London arrived at my station at around ten o’clock, it was cold and dark, a white blanket covered everything outside the train. The cars parked outside the station, the road, the platform and the benches. I turned to the nearest person and said, ‘oh, look I think it’s been snowing!’. The middle-aged gentleman to my right looked offended that I spoke to him and didn’t reply.

It hadn’t been snowing, it was actually frost. Frost makes everything glisten, as if it were covered in glitter. I walked from the train station to the bus stop, a short walk on the sparkling pavements, the world had been sprinkled with fairy dust. Walking through the dark park and over the bridge, I watched swans silently glide through the black icey water. I looked up and gasped, the stars were shining so bright, brighter than I can remember. As I stood with my face to the universe above, a star fell out of the sky, a shooting star, and I made a wish.


About Lauren Mokasdar

Lauren fell in love on the internet, took a one way flight from England, got married & started a new life & bicultural family in India. She writes about finding happiness & balance between two very different worlds, when her baby takes a nap.


32 thoughts on “Christmas time in London

  • kreacherspeaks

    It is hard to be a part of 2 worlds. When you’re in one, you miss the other and vice versa. Had that middle aged gentleman been an Indian, he would spent the better part of the 2 hours talking of this and that 🙂 Although, the best part of being a part of 2 worlds is that you get to see and learn so much more than anyone else!

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Aww! Yes, it is really hard but really wonderful at the same time!
      My heart is in England but my soul is in India, it feels something like that 🙂
      I hope you are well and having a Merry Christmas xx

  • Deepa

    This made me so nostaligic for London! I lived there for 2 of the best years of my life and every time I visit it fit’s again like a comfie old pair of boots. And like you, I get annoyed at myself if I can’t work out where to change lines on the tube 🙂
    Merry Christmas Lauren!

  • garga sarkar

    london and most other first world cities are so well maintained.alas that our cities are so chaotic .well you are now indian so it is okay to criticise india a little bit with you.

    • divya

      Hey ! I love Christmas and the way the first world countries are decorated (like this 1) but there are so many factors that make India chaotic like history, population etc.. that do not feature in these first world countries. Despite being poorly maintained India still manages to host an array of Indian festivals (that are mostly Hindu) on such an enormous scale of grandeur that it is also a visual feast. In fact I don’t think any other country in the world partakes in the numerous amount of celebrations like India does. I don’t even live in India but I just feel like its unfair to dismiss the country because of poor governance (which is also currently undergoing a major transition).

  • garga sarkar

    wishing you a merry christmas lauren sister.when i was very little and used to reside in my ancestral village,this festival was one of the rare occasions when the shops in my village sold cakes.though they were very cheap cakes still it holds a very special place in my memory. eating cakes was considered to be luxury those days.anyway a good post.please post some more pics of london.

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Oh how lovely, I hope you get some Christmas cake this year!!!!
      Thank you for sharing that lovely memory with us!
      Take care (more pictures soon 🙂 )
      Merry Christmas

  • Nicola

    Excuse me for sounding like your mother… but hearing about you “walking through the dark park” alone makes me feel anxious for you.
    Lovely to hear about your experiences back in the UK though (other than the above-mentioned!) 😉

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Hey Nicola,
      Lovely to hear from you!!
      Haha, it is a very small park and I’ve always walked through it any hour. Thank you so much for your concern though, walking around in dark parks is not really advisable 🙂
      I hope you are well and having a lovely Christmas!!!
      xx

  • Akshay

    Your passion for the Underground reminds me of my passion of famed Mumbai Suburban railway. Its a saying in Mumbai that once you master the art of boarding and alighting the train while in motion, you can survive any situation.

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Hey Akshay!
      I hope you are well!
      Yesss, I haven’t been on a train in India yet! It should be an experience. I have seen lots of tv shows about them though!!!
      Thank you for your comment,
      Take care,
      Lauren

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Yesss!!! It was fab, I wish I had more time!
      Still not sure when I’ll be back, argh! I have two weeks left in England, time has flown!
      I hope you are well!

      Take care and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! xxx

  • The Los Perspective // Los Media Studios

    LAUREN! It has been a long time since I comment on one your posts! 😀 I read each one, believe me. I’m really happy that you were able to go back to England for the holidays, and you know it always feels good to revisit a place you were away from for quite awhile. I truly miss London, and I wish I could go back to visit soon. Maybe for next Christmas, I may walking down Piccadilly Circus and enjoying the bright, neon lights once again. 🙂

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Hi Los! How you doing????
      It’s been lovely being back for the holidays but I miss India too :). I hope you get to visit London again, I must say Piccadilly is my favourite place in London!

      I hope you are well and having a fabulous new year!!!! Lauren

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