Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
Christmas Time in London Town
"I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a school-boy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. A merry Christmas to everybody! A happy New Year to all the world! Hallo here! Whoop! Hallo!"
- Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Anna and I made what's sort of turning into maybe our quad-annual sortie out of Kensington & Chelsea – this time to check the Christmas lights, the Christmas window displays, and the general Christmas vibe of central London. (*) Neither did we neglect the cosy pubs and bars along the way. The only thing we didn't do was shop. (*) I toted the camera.

This was prretty much the first pub that presented itself after we'd been out in the cold ten minutes. Everything was more fun with a pint in us. Perhaps things were even bigger. The inimitable London winter sky. There's a particular bag Anna likes to visit in Mulberry. She calls it Roxanna. She hopes they'll be together one day. A reminder that this was all going to be nicer when the light failed. Which was going to be in about five seconds, at about 2pm. Coincidence? You decide. The hotel bar at Claridge's makes an excellent spot for people watching while carefully nursing 17 cocktails. Spectacularly weirdly, I ran into an ex-Pep Bander, John Raynor, in here. He's apparently working for a genomics lab at Oxford now. This is Christian Dior's idea of a Christmas tree, done for the Claridge's lobby. We think he might have confused Jesus with Neptune. This is South Molton Street. It's, basically, a mall. This is New Bond Street. I don't suppose I'd call it precisely a mall. Let's call it a shopping district for Saudi princes – and the 10k-a-night prostitutes who love them.

As noted, Regent Street. They typically do a good xmas lights display; though, in recent years, it's always a movie tie-in. I much prefered the winningly animated Incredibles lights to these lackluster Narnia ones. This is Liberty, where people who are smart enough to stay out of Selfridges and Harrod's go for an over-the-top shopping experience. It's a great building – and some of the interior beams were taken from the hulks of a ship that ferried troops to fight Napoleon, and a prison ship. You can find them if you know where to look. Tilda Swinton's seen more flattering likenesses. Liberty again. This seemed like a window dressed for October, actually. This is Carnaby Street, which is, basically, a mall. But kind of a cool one. We weren't 100% sure the Santa-naut motif was quite coming off. I've stopped shaving, in protest, until it warms up. Or until I stop running out-of-doors. Carnaby Street can also boast of this great diner, where my friend Jacqui and I sometimes go after visiting the Photographers Gallery. They have a very tasty Canadian lager, Sleemans, on tap. A good day.


  anna     drinking     joy     london     photography     video  
about
close photo of Michael Stephen Fuchs

Fuchs is the author of the novels The Manuscript and Pandora's Sisters, both published worldwide by Macmillan in hardback, paperback and all e-book formats (and in translation); the D-Boys series of high-tech, high-concept, spec-ops military adventure novels – D-Boys, Counter-Assault, and Close Quarters Battle (2014); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of spec-ops zombie apocalypse dark action thrillers. The second nicest thing anyone has ever said about his work was: "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt put in a firefight'." (Kirkus Reviews, more here.)

Fuchs was born in New York; schooled in Virginia (UVa); and later emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived through the dot-com boom. Subsequently he decamped for an extended period of tramping before finally rocking up in London, where he now makes his home. He does a lot of travel blogging, most recently of some very  long  walks around the British Isles. He's been writing and developing for the web since 1994 and shows no particularly hopeful signs of stopping.

You can reach him on .

THE MANUSCRIPT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
PANDORA'S SISTERS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
DON'T SHOOT ME IN THE ASS, AND OTHER STORIES by Michael Stephen Fuchs
D-BOYS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
COUNTER-ASSAULT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book One - Fortress Britain, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Two - Mogadishu of the Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Genesis, by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Three - Three Parts Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Four - Maximum Violence, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Five - EXODUS, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Six - The Horizon, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Seven - Death of Empires, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Eight - Empire of the Dead by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
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