I took the train across the Channel over the weekend and decorations bloomed everywhere. They ranged from ornaments strung over the tracks in Maastricht to the tree in Brussels’ Grand Place and evergreen garland in Waterloo Station.
Last year, Brussels skipped having a real tree in favour of an abstract sculpture of a tree, all green cubes and synchronized lighting. It was ghastly and roundly criticised, and the city fathers have wisely reverted to tradition for 2013 with a towering tree anchoring the square. The cabins are lined up along the streets and holiday chocolates fill the store windows.
In London,the Christmas Market has returned to Southbank, with carousels, pulled pork sandwiches, and mulled wine. It feels much improved over last year, larger and more varied, with a lot of interesting gifts and good foods to browse through.
The concurrent Jazz Festival and good company with the w.wezen doubtless contributed to the enhanced feelings this year.
And it was nice to arrive back in Poole to find the elves had been hard at work throughout the house as well as across the lands.