Christmastime in London

England during the holiday season is a delight.

A retired call box in Chichester

A retired call box in Chichester

I don't know the reason or the history, but I don't think I've been to a more festive place during the holiday season (I'm sure the Christmas markets in Germany give it a run for its money, but I've yet to have the opportunity to visit there). Everywhere you turn, there are light displays, trees, ornaments, and holiday cheer.

I returned late last week from a week-long trip there with Lauren and her family, where we had a wonderful time.

We spent a fair bit of the trip in Southern part of the country visiting family, and even got to attend our first Premier League football (soccer) match (in Southampton).

The second half of our trip was spent an hour and a half train ride away in London, which, turned out to be the photographic highlight of the trip.

London

Waterloo Bridge & Trafalgar Square

We braved the chilly evening air to make our way from Waterloo Bridge, and it's dusk views of the city, to Trafalgar Square. From there we enjoyed the Christmas lights that adorned the streets and retail shops along Regent, Brook, and Bond Streets before finishing our evening with dinner at gastropub near where we were staying. It was all quite festive and fun.

London, full of holiday spirit

London, full of holiday spirit

Sky Garden & Covent Garden

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Our second and final morning in London, we awoke to forecast of rain, but made the most of our day, with a visit to the Sky Garden, which despite the weather and low visibility, gave us some fun views of the city.

Rainy London

Rainy London

A late morning breakfast and wander through Borough Market (I never knew that 'Shake Shack' sauce was something that I needed on a bacon sandwich) was a highlight of the day. We also managed to sneak in a visit to Covent Garden before the rain sent us packing.

Our brief London stay ended that evening with a festive bang at the Royal Albert Hall for a performance of Christmas Classics by the London Concert Orchestra, Royal Choral Society, and Fanfare Trumpeters of the Royal Logistics Corps. A late evening pint at the pub near our hotel was the evening's finale, and we went to sleep quite content with the week that was.

See these all these images (and a few more) on my Flickr: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmaUZmiG

Royal Albert Hall

Royal Albert Hall

Loyal Companion

The moon is a loyal companion. It never leaves. It’s always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Every day it’s a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human.

Uncertain. Alone.

Cratered by imperfections.

-- Tahereh Mafi

The moon, as seen from Alexandria on December 2, 2017.

The moon, as seen from Alexandria on December 2, 2017.

What I've listened to in 2017

A few years ago I began a personal, annual tradition of choosing 50 songs from the year that I felt spoke to me. I won't claim that these are the best, or necessarily all of my favorites, but, to me, they are 2017.

In addition to the playlist of songs, I'd like to call out a few of the albums that I particularly enjoyed this year:

Why I Love this Wedding Picture

I'm not a wedding photographer, but this photograph encapsulates what I love about photography: finding a unique moment in someone's life journey, and freezing it forever. Life's memories or precious, and while today its easy to move on to the next moment, tomorrow's reflection will be all that more enjoyable when you can hold a bit of history in your hands.

I stumbled upon Kevin Mullins's work sometime in the last year, and make sure to check out all of his new posts. The way he takes his subject matter (weddings & families), and figures out a way to make each story unique is inspiring. In addtion to his great wedding work, his Day in the Life shoots are an inspiration, and somewhere I'd eventually like to get to with some of my clients.