Christmas Shopping in London

The reason why I love the Greeks…. I had lunch yesterday in a Greek restaurant in Bayswater, London (W2). The waiter – who was quite a character – remembered me from the last time I was there, which must have been about 6 months ago maybe?

I’ve had waiters at restaurants in Athens remember me years after my last visit. The Greeks are great at remembering customers. The phrase “enter as a stranger, leave as a friend” springs to mind.

What was I doing in London yesterday? My Christmas shopping of course!

I left it a bit too late to order what I needed online (I was rather hoping Boris might prorogue Christmas – thanks to the MATT cartoon in the Telegraph for that one) so when I got up on Saturday morning I made the decision I was going to hit the shops – and the Greek grocery store I use, to top up on supplies (that’s how I came to find myself in Bayswater).

The journey in was quite quick, a little traffic on the M4 and going past Harrods, but otherwise it was a clear run; even Hyde Park Corner was traffic free.

I spent some time wandering around by Marble Arch, in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, and then made my way to Bayswater. I feel like the entire Greek community of London was at the shop, stocking up on their Christmas supplies!

Once I’d finished shopping and eating in Bayswater I put my bags in the car – parked in the underground car park at Marble Arch – and then went in to the crowds. I have to say that walking along Oxford Street and Regent Street on the last Saturday before Christmas makes being on the M25 seem almost pleasant! (It was quicker to take a road running paralell and get out of the crowds).

However, I got what I needed and managed to get safely back to the car. The journey back home… well, I crawled most of the way from Marble Arch and only broke free of London traffic once on the M4. That was London having its last word and getting me back for the quiet journey in during the morning.

Traffic jam in Knightsbridge. The car in front had a Kuwait numberplate.

Merry Christmas and Bah Humbug.

FH.

Fred Hart

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