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Saturday, 15 December 2012

Christmas Shopping in London's West End

Still no travelling. Things are difficult here. But after an afternoon of Christmas shopping, I emerge into the street at twilight, and look up at the big store in the dusk.   Bye for now, John Lewis. 


The bus home is a welcome sight.as it looms up out of the traffic.


So I get on, and up to the top deck. Pity someone's sitting in the front seats, my favourites. Yeah, I always pretend I am driving the bus.  I've done it all my life 


The windows steam up, reflections, a bit of fogginess....we set off home past the big department stores. Now we're passing Selfridges. . 


And a No. 23 bus is going the other way



So many twinkling lights, it feels almost dreamlike up her in the bus, floating above it all.



And something exciting about watching the lights and traffic too.


The traffic's so thick that our bus takes ages to crawl through.   For speed, I should have gone on the tube, but never mind.  The light fades from the sky, the shop windows that we pass seem brighter and brighter


Another bus lumbers slowly past...


Passengers there, talking on their mobile phones...


Now we're away from the shops, passing a garden square with illuminated trees and lights twined through the  iron archway that guards the entrance.


And the bus windows are getting foggier as we pick up speed, heading towards home


This is where I start gathering my bags to get off the bus.  The windows are truly fogged by now but I recognise it because I know it well.


Off the bus. My local high street is still busy. I turn down a quiet side street and am glad to see my own front door. 


And that's today's London Christmas shopping experience. Cup of tea, I think.

61 comments:

  1. Delightful!
    Now I need a cuppa

    Weekend Aloha from Honolulu
    Comfort Spiral
    ~ > < } } ( ° >
    > < } } ( ° >

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  2. Wonderful photo journey, Jenny! I grew up in London, so you really took me back. the foggy windows, the lights - just everything. Some of these photos are beautiful too. Very arty and stylised. Well done!

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  3. Wonderfully festive photos. It reminds me of New York during the holidays - - only London has more flavor (so to speak). It's my cup of tea.

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  4. Well the trip home seemed fun anyway. Having bought all my presents this year on-line my photos would be a great deal less exciting than yours!

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  5. Oh, I do miss the Xmas atmosphere! But you've made me feel as if I were there, Jenny - thank you.

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  6. Hi Jenny. I loved riding the bus with you. Let's do it again. SOON!!

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  7. So Fabulous !
    I loved your ride home.

    cheers, parsnip

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  8. Love riding the bus! I've never ridden on a public bus before, would love to be on the top, seeing the sights from that advantage point. London looks lovely, ready for the holidays.

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  9. Completely jealous. Completely!
    I love London.
    I was there 2 weeks ago and miss it dearly.
    Oh yes... and the Custard, I guess we do call the "Yellow stuff" Custard as well, but we call all other flavors "Pudding"...
    I really do enjoy your blog, and I look forward to much more of it.

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  10. nice...what a wonderful trip...first to be on the bus...i love public transport...so many people to watch i would have missed the pictures....lol...love the views though...nice glimpse of christmas in your town...

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  11. Reminds me of when I used to travel by bus. No mobile phones then or digital cameras then. It seems a wonderful way to get out and I can use my Bus-Pass a bit more.

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  12. Hi Jenny,

    Oh how I yearn for another journey to the magical city of London. You have captured a wondrous Christmas ambience and nothing like a ride on a double decker bus. Nice to have ridden along.

    Enjoy your Sunday. Time for a cuppa', me thinks....

    Gary :)

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  13. This was a nice bus trip! ^^

    But ... cuppa tea? I'd need a few glasses of red wine or at the very least very strong coffee to cope with Christmas crowds. Yes, even here in Tokyo, where Christmas is celebrated as a day of primary importance on the calender of capitalism.

    I'll be working on the 25th. Sigh.

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  14. Hi Jenny, I enjoyed that little bit of excitement. I haven't been to London for years. I am glad you got the bus and not the tube, your pics wouldn't have been half as twinkly. Yes I definitely recommend the Annie Sloan, if you google her, you will find she has a blog, and there is loads of info on the net about it. Good luck with the painting, and thanks for the visit. Love Linda x

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  15. What wonderful pictures, Jenny - I love London coming up to Christmas, but I can't handle crowds of people so I haven't visited London in December for about - gulp - 25 years!
    You won the book on my blog :-) x

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  16. Ah, London ... *sighs* ...

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  17. I spent a very short 4 years living in central London; I loved it. Late evening shopping in Oxford Street at Christmas time was really special.

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  18. Brilliant idea to record your journey on film. I've settled into a quiet life yet I still miss the Christmas lights and the throng of shoppers. Such excitement that once was!

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  19. Hi, Jenny! I love London in Christmas time, busy people, gifts, traffic, lovely shop windows, bright lights.. You have no snow, I see. And here we're in real winter. Thanks for a trip, I enjoyed it with you!
    Nadezda
    http://northern-garden.blogspot.com/

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  20. This is exactly why a Christmas in London is on my bucket list :)

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  21. For speed, the tube. For a nice ride home, with lots of beautiful things to see, the bus.

    You make me want to see London at Christmas (i've always been at other times of year).

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  22. Oxford St is better seen from a bus than on the ground.

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  23. Nice shots from the bus. I like this perspective. For me, at this time of year, sitting in the bus looking out is the best way to get through the West End.

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  24. I'm in love with this post! because this special mood, at the end of a day, before Xmas, when lights begin to shine while night is arriving, is one of my favorite moments in life! And your title , with London-shopping and Christmas in the same phrase!! OMG, it rings so many bells in my heart! Thank you! :o)

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  25. Hey Jenny,

    Thanks for sharing. I love London during Christmas time. All the lights and decorations - so pretty. Cup of tea sounds good, I'm gonna have myself one now. ;)

    Cheers from Canada

    Dani

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  26. Thank you Jenny, sitting here in bed in Blackheath NSW I feel I have just taken a most exciting ride home with you through London. One of my most favourite cities in the world and one I wanted to return to many years ago after I left to return to Australia. Never felt like I belonged in the southern hemisphere always longed to return home to where my roots lie.....but life did its thing and I am still stuck here.....you just gave me a secret, silent gift and a return trip for Christmas. Thank you from a lonely heart and may the joy of the season be with you.....Colleen O'Brien

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  27. That was simply wonderful, Jenny. I felt as though I was riding along with you, and I enjoyed all the sights, the lights, the sparkle, the traffic and also your very lovely and warmly lit, welcoming front door!

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  28. There's just something about the anticipation before Christmas when you see all the lights and decorations in a big city, bustling with people and activity. You captured it well with your pictures!

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  29. Hello Jenny

    I am delighted you opted for the bus as opposed to the Tube.It is a beautiful way to unwind as your journey home. I love your images and you have brought me back to a time when I took the double decker bus in Dublin.

    Wishing you a week of joy

    Helen xx

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  30. Oh, Jenny -- I feel like I'm right there with you! How fun -- I hope you got lots of things you were looking for -- I know everyone will love them (especially when they see this post!)

    And thanks for your recent comments on Marmelade Gypsy! I love when you visit!

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  31. Thank you so much for bringing us on this magical mystery tour through London Christmas-decked streets to your very front door. I am so glad that you opted for a splendid double-decker ride rather than descending into the crowded mole holes of the underground. Wonderful pix:such a treat to see the big city lights and feel the pulse of this special time of year.

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  32. I love all the festive lights and so many people out shopping. No wonder no one is on the bus.

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  33. I was beginning to wonder how you could have taken such great shots until I read about the traffic. That must have been a wonderful ride. Thanks for sharing.

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  34. The name “Golders Green 13” has an air of mystery to it. I would love to ride high up in one of those buses and watch the lights with all their reflections turn city streets into a wonderland. Even your front door looks intriguing and a touch golden. :)

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  35. Riding a bus you can see so much as is evidenced by your photo's. I love big cities at Christmas time with all the lights and people.

    Darla

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  36. enchanting!!--i hope you enjoyed your tea :)

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  37. Thank you for taking us on this shopping trip with you!

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  38. The front seatsare not only your fafourites:) have you seen Carnaby Street and its decoration this year?

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  39. Bus is the best way to travel down Oxford St. By foot and you become a homicidal maniac by the end.

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  40. So did you get everything you wanted or did you still have other Christmas presents and what-have-you to buy? I can well remember how long the buses took to get anywhere when I was living in London. But I always enjoyed having an interesting view instead of just a dreary tube tunnel.

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  41. Oh gosh, I just loved 'our' bus ride with you Jenny... thank you. All the beautiful Christmas lights too. A lot of fun.
    Have a very Merry Christmas won't you, and all the best for a Happy New Year. Kind regards, Susan xx :D)

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  42. I have just come here from Vintage Jane and was so excited to discover this London bus ride through all those beautiful Christmas lights which I so enjoyed. A great introduction to your blog.

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  43. Thanks for the journey, Jenny! As for me, this year I did everything on line...sad but true...

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  44. i like taking the bus in london but i cant anymore. the last time there was this thing called the blitz going on and we had to leave the bus and take the tube. something involving germans i think. even santa was down there and he was not drinking tea i can assure you. a funny guy when he is in his cups... we had a jolly old time though and when this german thing stopped, we all went up and went home quicker than bob is your uncle.

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  45. I would like to be Christmas shopping in :London....on the top of that bus!
    fun photos...
    Merry Christmas!

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  46. Oh, thank you. It's been 14 years since I spent Christmas in a city, and I long for it at this time of year.

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  47. I miss so much London, Jenny. You made me a little sad, :)
    I lived for a just year in Willesden Green but I´ve never forget that beautiful and busy city, so thanks for show us it.
    Merry Christmas.

    I leave you my new blog´s address.
    http://elviajeinacabadodeohma.blogspot.com.es

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  48. Ah, thank you for that lovely tour. I feel like a cup of tea myself now. (And oh how envious I feel of your London adventure:)

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  49. Thanks for sharing your ride on the London bus. Its something I could never do otherwise Jenny - Dave

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  50. Thank you everyone for the nice comments. I am sorry I am not so much in evidence as previously... things are still hard I am afraid as my mum is needing a lot more visiting than usual and she does not live nearby, and there are also other issues in my world. Sometimes life is just busy....

    When I read your comment, Bonnie, I thought of an old Peter Sellers sketch, "Balham, Gateway to the South" Guess it wouldn't mean much to non-Londoners but it is a spoof travel documentary about an un-glamorous part of London, Balham,and describes Belham as "A rose red city, half as Gold as Green" ("Golders Green").

    Hm, actually it's hard to explain, maybe I'll do a blog post about it one day and revisit Balham.

    Hey Garry sounds like you visited London not too long before that Peter Sellers recording was made - there may yet be a tube station around with a few folks sleeping on the platforms. I'll look into that too.

    Thank you Ohma for the new address and I will be along tomorrow.

    Muriel and Nick, I have also resorted to Amazon. I tried pretty hard not to use them because I disapprove of their attitude to tax, but it is quite hard to get some of the stuff I wanted NOT on Amazon. However, I made another visit to Foyles and got 6 books there and so my shopping is almost done.

    It's lovely to know that my post stirred so many memories in so many people. Isometimes think even those who do not like cities can't help responding to that Christmas feeling. It makes even rather ordinary places seem wonderful.

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  51. What a nice sight from the bus. All the lights.

    I'd daydream while the bus makes its trip to my destination. :)

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  52. It's wonderful. I am jealous. I can feel the spirit!

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  53. I've been missing my blog-hopping time, and I wanted to pop in with a quick hello. I've been missing you. I hope you are having a very, very wonderful holiday season. Merry Christmas, friend.

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  54. Oh, I just love the festive spirit with all the twinkling lights in the shops. London looks so glitteringly lovely. Downtowns are all decked out here too, but I don't enjoy the traffic jams and seeing the worst from people as they battle for the rarest of parking spots. So I've been unromantically online shopping or going to less glitzy surroundings preferred by old ladies digging for deals. But hey, they don't elbow me out of the way!

    Loved that foggy window shot with all the red car lights! Wishing you a lovely Christmas with your family. We've been entertaining non-stop (quite a few Dickensian parties!) and hosting out-of-town guests. But it fills the house with life and music which I totally enjoy. - Jenny

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  55. I love Christmas - but not the shopping bit.

    Working over Christmas (and New Year)so will be sitting down to the festive fare on Boxing Day. Yum-yum - can't wait!

    Have a wonderful Christmas Jenny.

    Anna :o]

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  56. I like Christmas. I was in London this time last year and made a point of going to Oxford Street and.. 'discovered' John Lewis where I bought 2 green coffee mugs for my husband. They are a rareity, I have discovered. So I walked with you, crawled the bus route with you and wish you a very good Christmas and prosperous new year

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  57. "An English Travel Writer" has been included in the A Sunday Drive for this week. I hope this helps to point even more new visitors in your direction.

    http://asthecrackerheadcrumbles.blogspot.com/2012/12/a-sunday-drive_23.html

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  58. Just came back over to say "Merry Xmas", Jenny. x

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  59. A cup of tea, indeed :)
    I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

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  60. I enjoyed these Pictures. Maiden name Wilkinson.

    Real English I am. My friend lives in London. She is my first computer friend seven years or more. Still on line friend.

    Yet I have never seen any pictures you have shown me from her. I guess that is the way sometimes. Like a painter. They paint everyones home but their own.

    Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed them. I viewed twice.

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