Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Monday 24 December 2012

Time was, a trip "to see the lights" was a semi-compulsory part of the season, but fell by the wayside in the face so many other distractions. It was by chance that a walk through Seven Dials and Covent Garden suggested it might still be worth it, if you choose the right time of the late afternoon.

Forget the disenchantment of the most-hyped displays, in Oxford St and Regent St, which have mostly seemed not quite enough or too commercial (who thought it would be Christmassy to have the lights in Oxford St advertising Marmite?). Here, the lights are just that, with Seven Dials and the surrounding streets in a more modernistic orange and yellow, and
Covent Garden in more traditional red baubles with silver (and, appropriately for the weather, those lights that look like dripping rain), complete with a red-nosed reindeer and Lego advent calendar.

Trafalgar Square is the most traditional of all, with just the Norwegian tree and its austere plain lights. I arrived in the middle of a carol concert underneath it. Part way though a small commotion and applause among the crowd on the steps revealed a marriage proposal, greeted by a call for three cheers from the choir leader.


  1. I had only a brief time in London, so only saw the Oxford Street lights...in exile from Marmiteland I rather appreciated the squat little bottle being celebrated.
    Your photographs make me wish I'd seen more...i particularly liked the reindeer.

  2. Merry Christmas, Mr Auty!!