Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Libby's Christmas Challenge

Does anything get more festive than snow? There is just something magical about these cold, white crystals that float from the sky and stick to your eyelashes. Snow has the power to transform, and this morning London was beautifully transformed. Luckily I had no lectures today, so as soon as I woke up and pulled back my curtains to reveal a bright blink of white, I was wrapping up to head out to London Fields and Victoria Park.

Outside, everything seemed still and quiet as I wandered between tree skeletons and down icy paths. I couldn't help but think of one of my favourite poems...
She tells her love while half asleep,
In the dark hours,
With half words whispered low;
As earth stirs in her winter sleep
And puts out grass and flowers
Despite the snow,
Despite the falling snow

Robert Graves





Dressing for the snow is always problematic. Going out in the snow is to accept getting wet and frozen, so this morning wasn't a day for the little dress or high heels. Accepting the weather had thrown any possibility of style out the window I gave in to gaining a stone in wool via my man's jumper, woolen tights, socks, mittens, scarf, hat and coat, accessorised with nothing more than a big fat smile. Sometimes that is all even a fashionista can do. :)





Libby

Monday, 29 November 2010

Libby's Christmas Challenge


I am writing this whilst tucked up in my room in a man's jumper and thick tights with a Christmassy Mariah Carey blasting from my laptop (need I say which song?). I have a tube of pink smarties on my desk, and am savouring the thought of hot rice pudding that I will make later this evening. Outside, an Arctic blast has just hit London. Perhaps I should take a trip to Smythson and stock up on beautiful notelets and envelopes so that I can keep in touch with the outside world. Winter hibernation commences here...

Libby

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Libby's Christmas Challenge


Don't you just want to see what is behind the door of No 55? I'm hoping a big fat Christmas tree covered in golden lights.

Libby

Saturday, 27 November 2010

A Day in the Life

This morning it would have been very easy to stay tucked up in the warm embrace of my duvet. With all my work finished for my deadline on Monday, a day in bed watching films and reveling in laziness was a tempting option. Instead I decided to brace the cold, wrapping up warm as camera and I headed out to explore London. Just because.

From a heaving Oxford Street, (where the power was with the pedestrians for one day only) to the hush of Green Park and St James' Park, I walked and walked. As I walked I joined tourists wandering around the frozen lakes in the parks or admiring the guilded gates at Buckingham Palace. It made me realise that most people living in London don't actually SEE London. So maybe I looked like a tourist, but I was very happy to look like a tourist for the day. Little did they know my delicious secret. I live here. :) <3

On my way I made detours into second-hand bookshops that smelt of dust and forgotten words, and magazine stores where I stood and stared at the walls of glossy covers. I strolled down the red carpet at the Burlington Arcade and paid a visit to the National Gallery, loving how small I felt beneath the towering canvases. Wandering past Fortnum & Mason meant enrapture at their decadent window displays.

There was no purpose to my wanderings, so perhaps it was a day wasted. But returning home with a huge smile on my face, I would have to disagree. After all...

"A poor life this is, if so full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare."



Libby

Libby's Christmas Challenge



Today Oxford Street and Regent Street were closed to traffic, and shoppers, elves and musicians took to the street instead. These pink hatted players warmed the hearts of the chilled shoppers. With carols and Christmas spirit in the air it would have been impossible to avoid succumbing to festive cheer on Oxford Street this afternoon.

video

Libby

Friday, 26 November 2010

Libby's Christmas Challenge



Have a GRRRRReat Christmas. (Sorry, it had to be done.) Butler and Wilson's bear filled windows in their South Molton Street store put a huge smile on my face. Finally, a Christmas tree you can cuddle without risk of pine related injuries. :)

Libby

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Libby's Christmas Challenge


After the quirk and colour of Selfridge's windows, Ralph Lauren wins on tradition. With its pine trimmed windows and ample scattering of twinkling lights, I want to disappear into the warm glow of the wood-clad interior and drink hot soup in front of a log fire. At Ralph Lauren you are transported to a log-cabin in a snowy wood where you can snuggle up out of the cold. But this isn't about tracksuit bottoms and men's jumpers... At Ralph Lauren you snuggle in style.

Libby

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Libby's Christmas Challenge

If you are a bit of a Scrouge, or prone to Gringe-like sentiments, then look away now.

Perhaps it may be a little early, but living in London it would be impossible to escape the festive spirit. Tinsel shops follow me home, there is a twinkle in every window and the heady smell of gingerbread wafts from open Starbuck's doors. Winter Wonderland has opened at Hyde Park, and ice skaters skid and spin outside the Natural History Museum, couples and families holding hands and sharing cold kisses. As I plunge mittened hands into my coat pockets, ears bitten by the cold and my breath rising in misty clouds, it is these signs of winter creeping its way towards Christmas that put a smile on my face.

I think I was a Christmas Elf in a past life. December arrives and I have an irrational urge to take to the street with a basket and distribute freshly baked gingerbread-men and cookies to random passers by, so eager am I to spread festive cheer. Anything red or sparkly suddenly seems not just appealing, but completely vital. I know all the words to Christmas Carols. I know the names of all the reindeer. My favourite smell is that of Christmas trees (because as a Christmas Elf a Christmas tree isn't a Christmas tree unless it has real branches).

Since October, when the first decorations started appearing around London, I have been fighting a battle with the Elf inside of me. But today, with a month to go until Christmas Eve, the Elf has won.

For the next month I have set myself a challenge to test my dedication to this cinnamon-scented season. When I was younger it used to be a Christmas ritual to come up to London and look at the lights and the Christmas windows, so being here for my first year is an occasion not to go unmarked. I plan to post a festive London photo every day between now and Christmas Eve.

I hope you enjoy, and that by the end of it you will understand why it is impossible to live in London at this time of year and not have Jingle Bells as a permanent soundtrack to your life.

When it comes to Christmas windows, Selfridge's seemed a natural place for me to start, not least because of the sheer PINKness of one of their windows.



















The Selfridge's windows were certainly eye catching and packed a punch on colour, but they didn't deliver that much on Christmas in the traditional sense. However, fear not... there is plenty more of that to come :)

Libby