Archive for November, 2010

Winter Wonderland

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

Over the weekend Lee, Matt and I wandered down to Regents & Oxford streets for a bit of street photography.  The city was kind enough to close the roads to traffic on Saturday in order to encourage the Christmas shoppers to come out and play.

And come out they did!

Oxford Street, closed to traffic for some serious Christmas shopping.

It was essentially an orgy of advertising with loads of branded freebies being handed out and big screen televisions reminding us of what products we need to buy and which musicals we should see.  I know, musicals?  I was surprised too.  Those crafty thespians are getting wise.  There were some folks who were there just for the fun of it though.

Chirstmas Storm Troopers and a festive Boba Fett.  Obviously.

Move over Santa, this year I’m sitting on Boba Fett’s knee and telling him what I want for Christmas.

From the throngs of shoppers on Oxford street, we decided to make our way to Hyde Park to experience the Winter Wonderland and the throngs of shoppers there.  The second group of shoppers were slightly more bearable, I think due to the close proximity to mulled wine, beer and Bavarian sausages.  We managed to find a bit of beer ourselves.

Myself, Matt, Lee and Lee's fancy new sign

The Wonderland is infinitely better this year than it has been in the past.  Previous years had a sorry showing of maybe a dozen stalls and a few standard carnival rides that had been smothered in Christmas decorations to make them seem festive.  I’m sorry, but putting your 15 foot Grim Reaper in a red jumper doesn’t automatically mean your haunted house ride becomes full of yule tide joy.

This year they pulled out all the stops.  At a guess I’d estimate there were over a hundred shops and stalls and most were fairly unique and interesting.  There was no end to the sausage stands or mulled wine vendors, you almost had to feel sorry for the lonely Chinese food stall that was set up.  Nobody comes to a German Christmas market for sweet & sour chicken balls I’m afraid.

Skating at the winter wonderland.

Saturday was actually my second visit to the Winter Wonderland, and I don’t imagine it will be my last either.  Definitely worth a visit or two, even if you’ve already finished up your Christmas shopping for the year.  Yea right!

A carousel in the winter wonderland.

There’s a few more photos in the gallery.

Lord Mayor’s Fireworks

Friday, November 12th, 2010

A quick afternoon along the south bank which ended at Doggett’s for our annual viewing of the Lord Mayor’s Show, and a few pints to celebrate Brian’s bday.  I had to forego the pints due to my voice-box crippling sore throat, but I did manage to get a few shots of the fireworks from Blackfriars Bridge.

I managed to get set up just as the fireworks started, so not much time to get the settings right but here are a few of the shots from the evening.

Lord Mayors parade fireworks.

It was a short display, and not very colourful but any fireworks are better than no fireworks!