LIGHT UP THE STREET


Yesterday, I headed into London for a much needed catchup with three members of my uni family. We ate and drunk and laughed and I left the city drunk on love, happiness and festive feelings.

It also gave me the opportunity to do the one thing I always love to do at Christmas, that being, visiting the busy streets of Oxford Street to catch a glimpse of the Christmas lights.

It's always a magical feeling for me. That moment when you're trudging along the winding tunnels of the underground, your feet practically being carried along the ground by the moving slog of commuting bodies around you.

You scan your ticket, pull your bags through the gates and start ascending the stairs back up to civilisation. All you see ahead of you is a sea of climbing bodies, stomping in unison. Until all at once, it hits you.

The cold air grazes your cheeks as the bodies disperse, and in front of your eyes: A street, bustling with tourists, frantic and laughing, their cameras and eyes pointed to the sky.

Red busses and taxis rolling down the road just steps ahead, towering over the people, but cowering under the multi-story buildings. These buildings are glowing, their signs screaming of deals and offers. Christmas shoppers flitting from door to door, coffees in hands and beanies on heads.

Street vendors yelling over one another, the smells of their goods filling the air and causing a giddy euphoria.

And the sky. It's a sky that only December will bring - great gold and silver spheres, strung between the buildings, twinkling down at the bodies below as twinkling eyes gaze back up. Glowing lights, dancing in the cold December air, flickering against the deep black sky.

I always stand there, fresh from the dark and dusty tunnels of the underground, chin tilted to the sky, thinking to myself,

"Holy Hell, I am so unbelievably happy to be alive."

Even after living near London for the majority of my life, I find it an impossible place to take for granted. It is always so completely alive with colour and noise and happiness. It's a place where cultures come together and anything feels possible. It's a place full of constant surprises, always shifting and never twice the same, and yet, still always able to feel like home. And to me, that's exactly what it feels like. Home.

Merry Christmas, London, you old sort.

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