Over the winter holidays, I spent a few days in London.  The past few visits have been busy with work, or just passing through, but this trip was more touristy, hitting some of the big venues.  The mobs were a bit challenging, but the easy to navigate, London Underground, made getting around the city fairly swift despite line closures for maintenance.

The quiet of the city that literally shuts down for Christmas was wonderful.  Boxing Day was akin to the post-thanksgiving black Friday with shoppers everywhere.  I don’t need anything and for the most part don’t enjoy shopping as a sport, so the frenzy was a bit wearing, but ducking out of the fray for a good cup of tea midday, and a quiet dinner made it tolerable.

There is so much to see and do in the city and the environs to satisfy nearly every interest-the arts, architecture, parks, museums, history, and all sorts of international influences.  Just walking through little neighborhoods is enjoyable entertainment.

British sensibilities are very appealing to me as I am a bit of an anglophile.  I enjoy tea, the BBC-at times watching repeats of my favorite programs just to see it one more time, the look of the Union Jack, even though on the whole I am not big on nationalist symbols of any country.  I drive a little, British designed car and dream about living in a place where driving an old Rover would be a practical choice, not just another suburban, SUV.  I love rugged, and sometimes referred to as scratchy British wool, classic tana lawn, Liberty prints, a freshly baked scone, lemon curd, the wilds of the Yorkshire Dales, Northumberland, Cornwall and the southeast.  And, although technically part of Britain, yet deeply rooted in their own cultural traditions-I am absolutely smitten with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.  I see myself living in the UK at some point, just haven’t figured when and how that will happen, but it will happen.

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Fortnum and Mason, an icon, for all sorts of essential, and non-essential provisions was all decked out for Christmas. london (26)

The Liberty of London flagship store is beautiful.  london (2)

Love Liberty prints!london (3)

Enjoyed a fantastic breakfast here in Kensington. london (4)

Westminster Abbey is spectacular. london (5)

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Big Ben-makes me feel at home for some reason. london (11)

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Spent an evening at The Britannia in Kensington-great upscale pub fare and this very, interesting book (13)

Pinecone graphic wallcovering.  Love (14)

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I liked the London Eye more than I expected I would.  Although I didn’t enjoy the big crowds or the big ticket price, the big city views were fantastic especially on a brilliantly clear winter (18)

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The British Museum is vast and wonderful.  It would take several visits to cover all of the ground (23)

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Much ado with the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace-more crowds.

Need to plan my next visit.