Trafalgar Square Christmas tree review
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The Trafalgar Square Christmas tree looks very pretty. It's not lit up yet. It's the first time I've seen it and it's not as skinny as I thought it would be. Lord knows how they managed to ship the thing over from Norway — it's huge! It must have been a bloody big boat. The ship is probably covered in pine needles now.
The singers are out now... they're having a little practice and tuning up their voices. The marshals are busying themselves with setting out the seats for the big-wigs. It looks like it's going to be quite a good show.
It's 4 o'clock now... two hours to go. I hope they've checked all the fairy lights work. There's nothing worse than stringing them on the tree only to find out that they don't work. I wonder who untangled them all. Imagine trying to find the dodgy bulb on the Trafalgar Square tree.
I've had to take cover in the National Gallery cafe for a while because someone has done something to upset the sky — the whole lot has just emptied onto our heads and cleared the square in ten seconds flat. Every drop of water in the world has come to London to die. No joke — a storm of water has come in sideways. The rain is three feet deep on the pavement. Waves of water are rolling across the paving slabs. It's impossible to brave it and everyone makes a beeline for the insides, in the cafes, in the church, sheltering under bus stops. It looks like Christmas might be cancelled!
I have ventured out again... The rain has stopped but there is worse to come — bagpipes! A bagpipe man has obviously got his eye on the big crowd and thought he could make a tidy sum of money. He has set up shop right under the National Gallery steps and is treating us to his wailing tunes, blowing and droning and whining and crying and making a hell of a racket. Where's all the carol singers? We want silent night and jingle bells, not bagpipes!
The square does look quite pretty at night with the National Gallery all lit up, and St. Martin's all bathed in yellow light. There are no lights on Nelson though. He's standing up there all alone and soaking wet. Is this how we treat our heroes? Someone fetch him a coat!
It's half-past 4 now, and the roads around the square are clogging up with cars and cabs and buses and bikes. We're surrounded by a bright ribbon of headlights weaving their way down Whitehall. I suppose the traffic lights are a bit Christmassy... all red and gold and green. Someone should have wrapped a bit of tinsel around Nelson's Column. Hang some baubles off his hat. Fill the fountains with ice and snow.
Jesus Christ it is cold now. I'm glad I've got a crowd around me because they're keeping off the wind. It is freezing. I don't think I'm going to make it to 6 o'clock, my hands are turning blue. I hope you appreciate what I'm doing here... I am slowly turning solid from the outside in, like a frozen turkey. Only one more hour to go... Still no signs of life on the stage.
It's half-past five now and the square is still pretty empty. I think the rain has scared everyone off. It's just going to be me, the bagpipe man, Boris Johnson and the Mayor of Oslo at this rate.
Quarter to six now... and we have some action! The Salvation Army has got their band in place and are playing some Christmas carols. Then a crowd comes marching across from St. Martin-in-the-Fields to take their place in front of the stage. They must be the big-wigs because some of them are wearing fancy hats.
The show is over now... it only lasted for half-an-hour. I couldn't really write anything whilst it was going on because I was crammed in elbow-to-elbow with everyone else. But this is what happened... the Sally Army band played a few nice tunes (no bagpipes, thank God), and then the Mayor of Oslo and the Lord Mayor of London took their places on the stage. No sign of Boris Johnson anywhere though. I thought he was turning up but it was actually the Lord Mayor of London — the ceremonial one that lives in Mansion House. She said a few nice words, and then handed over to the Norwegian guy.
Here are some other Christmas events I’ve seen in London…
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