Christmas day in London is one of the quietest days, well, for the likes of us who don't celebrate. The husband has been taking on work the last two weeks of December every year which makes me plan a bit more about what I can do with myself.
I find it odd when people wish us Happy Holidays as this is the time of the year when we both are very busy in our own ways - he with his long 14hr days of work and I trying to get the year's quota of getting through a 100 things I had in mind.
Working at the charity during Christmas in the past few years has to be one of the best things I could have done with this spare time I have and this year too I decided to do a few days at Crisis.
I picked Christmas day this year as I knew HE is at work and I will otherwise end up watching a lot of television or browsing way too much and eating more than I should. The catch at picking Christmas day was that as there is no public transport and I STILL don't drive, the only option was to walk back home or hire a cab and I decided to do the former.
A 4km-odd walk on any other day would mean nothing to me, but this day it was going to be interesting. No buses, no shops, restaurants open, everyone either tucked away in their cozy homes or away from London visiting families things had to be different on the streets - funny to think that the 7 years I have lived here I had never stepped out of the house (if I was here) on Christmas Day! (I can still hear my Dad-in-law going there is no point in getting out, no one will be out, nothing will be open and you know the flow)
I walked back after finishing another satisfied day at Crisis. The first sight of a convenience store being open caught me happy. I got my share of snacks almost thanking God...what if the road ahead was hard! I was pleasantly surprised to see the bespoke restaurants open and pretty full. The traffic on the streets too was not that low. The best thing I noticed was other fellow walkers - it was not the usual hurried pace, the rush and push to get to the destination. You could actually see people notice things , stop and have a look and actually observe other people on the streets too. A very un-Londonlike behavior.
People seemed to enjoy their walks holding hands, giving cuddles and some perhaps were trying to offload a bit of the turkey meal they might have had that afternoon. Passers by smiled at each other and walked on. The Christmas lights, the decorated trees stood still- it was all put up for this big day and yet, they stand alone, all by themselves with no sense of celebration around them. It was great to NOT see the city lights and instead a dark sky with a bright moon. It was surreal not to hear the traffic or avoid the glares of harsh headlights of thousands of vehicles which claim the streets. I am a believer that walks can only do good to us and a walk in one of the most beautiful cities on a day when we can say 'London is closed for Business' is mesmerizing.
I would definitely relate to this picture on a Christmas day and yes! when London does not work, it gives you an opportunity for one of the best days to walk around.