I was walking across the Square in the freezing cold this morning, and they've finished putting up the Christmas tree and were backing up the cherry picker to start stringing the lights.
In the absence of any even slightly fantastic public lights this year, I find myself noticing the shop displays. My friend and I wandered around west London last night, and took in some of the Christmas windows - Harrods' didn't really stick, but Harvey Nicks are sort of 70's steampunk robots and the like - random, but cool. And here, have Londonist's write up of the Selfridges set. I'm still pretending hard that it's not less than a month till Christmas, but starting to feel it anyway - I do love this time of year, I just never have enough *time* to do everything I'd like.
The weekend's been a good one, with a visit from a friend from out of town. We wandered around the Natural History Museum, discovering whole new species of mammal(1) and realising just how many species (ones I have heard of) look like they belong in a fantasy novel instead of the real world (2) and then the whales(3), which are still mind-blowingly big, and then a final detour in to the dinosaurs, to see the new animatronic T-rex. No small children were maimed or eaten. Although possibly one or two were traumatised.
We also signed ourselves up for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Darwin Centre, aka millions and millions and millions of Things In Jars : giant glass jars with unhappy looking head-fist eagles, or three squished echidnas, or four foot lengths of soft coral..... The lady showing us around was really chatty and informative too, which more than made up for the fact that the giant squid was in a giant box and not available for viewing.
We roamed West London in search of non-expensive coffee for a while (and accidentally wandered into Hotel Chocolate which was delicious but not coffee) before we decamped back to central London for dinner at Ed's, and a visit to Foyles, and then, finally, back home, where we chatted until the early hours.
All very good indeed.
(1) (Pink Fairy Armadillo! They really exist!)
(2) (anything which is basically animal x on stilts, for starters. And lemmings, who would clearly be fighting on Aslan's team.)
(3) (nothing like a stuffed elephant to put your whale in context.)