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In Search of Dickens: London at Christmas

In the two years that the Barefoot Blogger has lived in France, I’ve returned to the US at the holiday time to visit with family and friends. The first trip back I experienced Paris with its festive lights and Santa’s village strewn along the Champs-Élysées. This year it was London.

The infatuation with seeing London at Christmas was tied to my earnest belief that Charles Dickens characters would be on every street corner. I was so certain the city would be overrun with Tiny Tims and Bob Cratchits that I didn’t sign up for Dickens Tours or stage plays of A Christmas Carol.” It would be a waste of time and money.

Tiny Tim and Scrooge

Tiny Tim and Scrooge

Foolish me.

Marleybone Station, London

Marleybone Station, London

 

 

 

 

Yes, there was “Marylebone” Station.

 

 

 

Borough Market had a Scrooge lookalike …

Burroughs Market

Burroughs Market

 

A “sort of” Dickensian figure was at South Bank  — a street musician with a fire-breathing tuba.

London

London

 

 

IMG_9292Friends Hilda and Ian even joined in the search and gave it more that a jolly good try.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Embankment.

The Strand

The Strand

Covent Garden.

White Chapel.

London White Chapel

London White Chapel

 

We looked in every inn, pub and wine bar we could find that hinted Dickens had been there.

 

The Dickens Inn

 

Through the bars at Embankment we searched.

 

Underground trains.

London underground

London underground

 

We even looked from the Shard’s 31st floor bar to get a bird’s-eye view.

Shard's 32nd Floor Bar

Shard’s 32nd Floor Bar

 

Day Two was no better.

Although there was a giant Santa that could have passed for one of Scrooge’s nightmare apparitions.

Trafalgar Square Santa

Trafalgar Square Santa

 

If Yoda alongside him hadn’t spoiled the effect.

 

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square

 

There was no little boy with a big fat goose in front of Buckingham Palace.

Buckingham Palace Christmas 2015

Buckingham Palace Christmas 2015

 

Not even Dickens ornaments at the Queen’s Gallery Shop.

 

Was I disappointed? Admittedly yes. That is, if a Dickens experience was all I was getting out of the London visit.

 

Yet the memories I will keep are the days with friends in a city that never disappoints.

 

A full English breakfast that took me back in time.

Full English Breakfast

Full English Breakfast

 

Roasting chestnuts over an open fire.

IMG_9412

 

Even without Dickens, the holiday message in London rang loud and clear:

 

“God bless us every one.”

god-bless-us-every-one

 

 

12 replies »

    • So glad to hear from you. It’s hard to believe we were all in Nepal last year. So glad we were there before the earthquake. Hope you’re still traveling and having fun. Happy holiday!

  1. My first trip to London was in Dec. 1973, and I bought Christmas decorations at Harrods…which I still use. Christmas and London will always be special.

    How long will you be in the US?

    • I brought back a Christmas pudding which we flambé-ed tonight. Andrew thought it was fab! I’m here til the new baby girl arrives in the spring..so til june 1. Hope you’re on your way to France by then!

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