In my book, it’s still the holidays until we hit New Years, so one more set of images is allowed. This time around it is the star at Seven Dials, and some more stars from just a few blocks away. Blocks is kind of a lose term in London, and any other city that is a thousand years old or better, I suspect. The place wasn’t exactly planed and designed, but just kind of grew there as people built stuff. So no two blocks are the same size, and roads rarely meet at 90 degree angles, which looks kind of strange to anyone who grew up in a city laid out on a grid. Seven Dials itself is a perfect example; 7 roads all intersect at a single circle, pretty much at the same angles as the points on that star, hence the name of the neighborhood.
I hope this day finds you well and you are enjoying the company of your nearest and dearest. These images of the Xmas Tree are once more part of the holiday decorations in Covent Garden in London. If they look crisper or more in focus than some of the earlier pictures, its because my friend Jenn has much better cameras and a lot more practice than I do; these are her work.
What Santa would leave Rudolph behind on Xmas Eve? You can see the building behind it to give it a sense of scale, but to make it more obvious I am including a daytime snap with people all around. Jenn took the night time shot, I took the daytime. Besides her having the better cameras, there wasn’t any fog at night. I had always thought the scenes of foggy London streets in TV and Movies was done for effect with dry ice; not so much, it turns out.
I took a ton of pictures while we were there, and I think I am beginning to understand my dads tendency to whip out the slide projector at the drop of the hat and share his photos with everyone. There was a Christmas Fair that started at the base of the London Eye (that giant Ferris Wheel across the river from Big Ben which was featured in the very first episode of the new series of Doctor Who in 2005) and ran on for a number of blocks along the Thames. One of the things they had was a booth full of Gingerbread Houses, some of which were quite complex. At the far end of the fair there was a old world intricately decorated carousel, the blue thing you can see above and behind it is the Eye in its lights.
A few more pictures indicative of the season I took while in London. These are some of the lights from the display at Covent Gardens, which was completely transformed from the way it normally looks. The first is one of the entrance ways around the edge of this shopping center that is older than my entire country. You would actually enter through one of the archways to the left and cross through an equivalent archway on the right to get inside the mall area, but I liked the visual effect of looking down the hallway perpendicular to traffic. The second image is inside the main mall, which they filled with giant Christmas ornaments and a couple of disco balls to flash highlights all over them. It was quite impressive.
When I was in London a short while ago for the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary I was completely amazed by the holiday lights that city puts together. Not that the concept was anything unusual, since every city does it, but the scale and sense of style seemed quite beyond what I am used to. So, for the next several randomly chosen blog entries, I will do my best to post a picture or 3 here, in the hopes everyone might get a grin out of them.
The first one is your basic snowflake motif, hung in a local ally, not even on a real road. The way things were blocked off, there was never a fear of any vehicle traffic down this byway, and yet it was as festive as could be. The reason I finally got a good picture of it after 200 shots was because it was the ally between me and Trafalgar Square, with the place we stayed at one end of it. Since I passed by it pretty much every time we went outdoors, a few of those shots had to eventually look good, and this one did. Did I mention London was amazing?