2011 Oxford Street Christmas Lights London UK

Christmas in November

Arriving in London in the middle of November from Sunny California, I hadn’t expected to be greeted by the Christmas Lights.  It just seemed way to early, and I bemoaned their early arrival with the cabbie who was delivering me from Euston Station to my hotel on Jermyn Street.

London cabbies are great

During our journey, we had a lengthy conversation about the European economy and, of course, the weather.  Both British stables of any parlor conversation.

I always look forward to my London-arrival black cab rides.  It’s a great way to ease myself back into the familiarity of my old stomping ground, and to see if I can pass for a local — after all these years in the States.  I usually get sussed!

Oxford Street Christmas Lights, London 2011Most cabbies are adept at recognizing a regional accent at 20 paces.  This particular driver picked up my hybrid Home Counties accent tinged with American terminology, peppered with a twang of Manc’ (thanks to Red, who’s Manchester born and bred).

Between heated discussions around the economy, and listening to glowing reports of the mild winter, I only managed brief glimpses of the lights as we shot across Oxford Street and headed down Regent Street, but it was long enough for my bah-humbug dismissal of this year’s Christmas Lights to be replaced with childhood wonder and appreciation.

It’s amazing how a few million twinkly lights can put you in the festive mood, and I knew that no matter how short and frantic my quick trip to the City was going to be, I needed to make time to let these lights shine on my parade down memory lane.