Friday, 19 December 2014

Christmas in the City …

My home is in a sleepy little village – living a quiet, almost reclusive, life – where I am lucky if I see three people a week.  So when I agreed to go with a friend to London for the day – it came as quite a shock to be amongst a seething mass of humanity.   Chel over at Sweetbriar Dreams advised me to go with the flow – in fact, I had no choice.  People, people, people – swarming through the streets, filling escalators and lifts – standing nose to nose on the Tube – twenty deep at the road crossings – all nationalities, speaking in different tongues – rushing or ambling – eating as they walked – carrying packages or luggage – it was, to put it mildly, totally overwhelming.  Below are some images of a day of contrasts to my normal life.

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All very exciting – but oh so tiring – my poor feet are suffering today.  All in all, it just confirms the fact that city life is not for me – I was so glad to return to the relative peace and quiet of the countryside with no traffic jams, no bright lights and no people – it was an experience that I wouldn’t want to repeat too often but I’m glad that we went if only to see how the other half lives.

As this will be my last post before Christmas I should like to take this opportunity to wish you all A Very Happy Christmas and thank you for visiting my blog and leaving comments – each and every one of them is appreciated.

 

Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth, and transport the traveller back to his own fireside and quiet home! ~Charles Dickens

66 comments:

  1. Dear elaine,
    Super photos of hectic london life and the streets at Christmas.
    I live as you do. In the middle of no where. Country life and living.
    I was thinking of going to Lisbon to do some shopping. but I just couldnt face all the stress and hustle and bustle.
    Life is so peaceful in the country.
    Love the little poem of Dickens.
    Wishing you a very happy peaceful christmas Elaine..
    val xx

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind wishes - I hope you have a happy Christmas too.

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  2. Have a smashing Christmas and all my best wishes to you and yours for 2015.

    Jean
    x

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    1. You too Jean - thanks for visiting.

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  3. I couldn't agree with you more! We live in a relatively sedate seaside town and make several trips to London through the year. I am always delighted and relieved to get home. No matter how many lights they string across the city, there is nothing more lovely than the little Christmas tree in your cosy home. Happy Christmas!

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    1. It was an interesting experience but I felt stifled amongst all those people - give me the wide open spaces any time. Have a lovely Christmas.

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  4. Happy Christmas! I love London for a day or a weekend and try to go regularly but I also love coming home to my quiet little home in Suffolk :-)

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    1. I'll second that Su. Happy Christmas to you too.

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  5. I'm not a city lover either. When it is crowded or busy. I just want to come home. Have a lovely Christmas.

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    1. It wouldn't do if we were all the same would it. Home sweet home. Have a lovely Christmas.

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  6. I do love your special effects! I love the city buzz but would never want to live there. I hope you enjoy a wonderful and peaceful country Christmas Elaine and thank you for all your interesting posts, and comments on mine.

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    1. Thanks Freda very kind of you to say. Wishing you a very happy Christmas too.

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  7. It's ages since I've been to London. I enjoy the excitement (briefly) but like so many others here, nothing beats coming home.
    Have a very Happy Christmas Elaine, and look forward to catching up with you again in the New Year.

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    1. Thanks Jessica - have a peaceful, stress free Christmas.

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  8. Just come back from Amsterdam, Elaine and had a fabulous time. But would I want to live there? Nope. Happy with muddy knees and chafed fingers. Merry Christmas. Dave

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    1. A merry Christmas to you too Dave - enjoy the break before you have to get back out there.

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  9. Thank you for those wonderful photos of London. Although from a small Surrey Village I was working in London prior to setting sail for New Zealand in the 60's.

    I must admit I am happier with the quiet life and the countryside but those photos are a reminder of a great city.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours.

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    1. I had forgotten just how wonderful the architecture is - I could have taken hundreds of photos. The country is definitely where I feel most at home now.

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  10. MERRY CHRISTMAS ELAINE!!!!! What a beautiful city though I hear you on the hustle and bustle!! The shops up there are so neat as I have never been to London. I'm glad you got to see some wonderful festivities happening in the big city! I would love to follow your footsteps and move my family away so that we could have some land. I have actually been looking at houses with land and am thinking more and more about it. I will keep you posted as I always love visiting your serene home and garden here! All the best dear friend! Nicole xoxo

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    1. I just love the wide open space where we live - I did feel slightly claustrophobic being closed in by all the buildings and masses of people - it was nice to have a change of scene though. Hope you have a lovely Christmas with your family - and thank you for visiting regularly and leaving such lovely comments.

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  11. When I lived in London I loved all that. Home was only a tube-ride away, and my refuge could be easily reached. Nowadays I look at all the hustle and bustle with horror..... but give me a little S Ken mews house and I'd be back like a shot.

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    1. I can see the attraction of being close to where all the action is - I used to be a bit of a city slicker myself - but I gradually grew out of it.

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  12. Elaine...it sounds like you were a fish out of water and I totally understand your desire to live the life you normally live...these sort of adventures are meant for the brave! But I truly enjoyed your pictures as I've never been to London and would absolutely love to go!

    I'm a lover of city and country life as you will see if you visit...I find a great balance in both.

    Merry Christmas to you!

    Jane x

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    1. It is so long since I have even visited my own home town never mind London - so it was a bit of a shock to the system - but I lived to tell the tale. Have a lovely Christmas Jane.

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  13. Great shot capturing those large twinkly christmas lights just as a bus below was advertising Swarovski - when returning home to the country from London I appreciate my little spot there even more. Happy Christmas Elaine and may you and your family have a wonderful time.

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    1. I spotted that myself Rosemary when I was going through the photos - pure fluke! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas too.

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  14. I sympathise as I've never felt comfortable in the the city and I'm rather thankful that I live out in the suburbs nearer to the country. Wonderful pictures.
    It's always a pleasure to read your blog, and comment. Thanks, and happy Christmas to you too. Flighty xx

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    1. Thanks Flighty - I was relieved to see home again after a very tiring day. Merry Christmas to you.

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  15. I'm glad that you had such a good time! I find London overwhelming and my feet ache after a visit too!! I love your sparkly shiny starry tree, how beautiful!! Happy Christmas!! xx

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one Amy - I am just about recovering now.

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  16. I'm with you on the insanity of the crowds. Give me a snow filled path through the woods, the faint hint of woodsmoke in the distance and the silence except for the beautiful cardinal chirping high in the trees any day.
    Wishing you and yours a lovely, peaceful celebration Elaine. I'm so glad I chanced upon your other blog a few months back...
    Susan x

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    1. Thank you Susan - I enjoy reading your comments when you visit. Have a lovely Christmas yourself.

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  17. Always enjoy your posts ~ especially the previous one, a Childhood Christmas, which brought back sweet memories. You have such a lovely way of writing and sharing your thoughts. Wishing you and your family a delightful Christmas :)

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    1. Thank you Glo - very kind of you to say so.

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  18. Ages since I had a day in London I used to love going for the day but was always grateful to be home again in the peace and quiet. Your photos are super and show the excitement of city life at this time of year. I hope you and yours have a wonderful, peaceful Christmas:)

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    1. When I was younger I was always visiting but the desire has lessened with age.

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  19. Lovely to see London in all its finery, made me nostalgic, but not for the crowds.
    May this Christmas bring you comfort, peace and happiness to last throughout the coming year

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  20. Our small villages are sanctuaries, aren't they. I guess we have to go to the city to remind us why we live where we do. When we visited London in 2006 for the second time, we were so anxious to get to the country. I hate the Tube, too. I have so enjoyed reading your narratives all year. And thank you for visiting the Garden Spot and leaving such kind comments. Merry Christmas.

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    1. I do find the Tube a wee bit scary but my friend is quite experienced on getting around London as long as I kept her in sight I knew I'd be OK.

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  21. I do agree with you, city life is not for me either, I think I would have darted into the white lion and stayed there until my train was due!
    Lovely pics, the reindeer and the Christmas puds especially! Glad you are home in your lovely village!
    Wishing you and yours a wonderful Christmas....and thanks for a year filled with lovely posts that have never failed to provide good reading!xxx

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    1. The scene outside the White Lion attracted me because all the men were in a huddle and all wearing long overcoats - like a scene from Men in Black or something. Many thanks for all your kind and thoughtful comments throughout the past year. Wishing you a peaceful and stressless Christmas Dina.

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  22. Happy Christmas Elaine. I have to brave the crowds and the frenzied pace just one more time before I retire thankfully to the peaceful retreat that is my home.

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    1. Me too - one last shop for fresh veg etc. and I'm done. Hurrah! Wishing you all that you wish for yourself this Christmas.

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  23. Oh Elaine - I certainly understand your feelings regarding the hustle and bustle of the city. Like you I am a country gal and so it is rare that I experience that many folks in one place as well. I certainly hope though you took time to sample those delicious looking pastries - I know I would have had to stop and have one! Hugs and a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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    1. No - I didn't partake of the pastries - the queue to pay for them was too long. Although they were tempting! Best wishes to you for a wonderful country Christmas.

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  24. I loved to see the pictures of London at Christmas time, but I'm also certainly not a city dweller. I go to our city Rotterdam 4 times a year, I love to go, when I am there I am excited, then after a few hours bored and want to go home, outside our country village.
    Wish you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS AND ALL THE BEST FOR 2015!

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    1. Great minds think alike - hope you have a lovely time this Christmas

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  25. How fun to see London all decked out for the holidays. I'm glad you went with the flow and enjoyed what you could before your feet gave up! I don't mind city life in very small doses and maybe with someone holding my hand ;-) Happy Christmas to you and your loved ones, Elaine.

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    1. Thank you - hope you have a happy Christmas too.

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  26. Happy Peaceful Christmas Elaine xxxxx Nicola x

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    1. Thanks for visiting Nicola - a very happy and peaceful Christmas to you too.

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  27. Sweet memories of younger days....born and raised in London it was my playground :)
    Love Liberty and Covent Garden...

    BUT no thank you.........like you, the quiet life is for me. Been there, done that and most definitely have the 'T' shirt.

    Our son lives in London so we do go around once twice a month...........

    Happy Christmas Elaine.....have a wonderful time.............

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    1. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas too - see you after the break.

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  28. I too find city life over whelming! It's nice to visit but even better to come home. Wishing you a your family a very Merry Christmas. Sarah x

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  29. :-) I did say go with the flow didn't I! It is a shock when you are first met by the frantic Christmas London crowds (especially Oxford Street and Covent Garden - I even have trouble with those two places at this time of year), but I tend to just take my time and take it in my stride. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a very happy and healthy New Year xx

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    1. You are much more relaxed about visiting London than me - but you do visit rather more often. Thank you for your kind Christmas wishes.

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  30. Oh how beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing. Merry Christmas to you Elaine.

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    1. Nice of you to drop by Lona. Wishing you a very happy new year.

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  31. I used to be as much a city girl as I was a country lass, but now I'm happiest away from the crowds, just like you.

    I hope you had the best Christmas Elaine and that 2015 is good to you x

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    1. Thanks for your good wishes Annie

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  32. Some fantastic photos from London. Like a lot of your commenters I appreciate living in a peaceful place (except for the road traffic) like Somerset. I've visited London several times and lived there for a few months many years ago. City life, not for me. I visited Buckingham Palace a few years ago but wouldn't want to live there either because its in London.

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    1. I think you appreciate the peace and quiet more as you get older - the country wouldn't have suited me at all when I was a lot younger - I was definitely a townie then. Hope you had a good Christmas.

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