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Christmas market sweets near the Thames ©KatkaTravels

I’ve never been to London during the holidays.  I’ve been in summertime, and in the dead of winter in February, but London on December 13th is charming and nostalgic.  Storefronts are bedecked in Victorian-themed Christmastime window scenes, pine needle garlands wrap around lamposts and hang above on electrical wires.  And then, there are the markets.

I do so love a good European Christmas market.

Dana, her friend Roger and I meet at Fishcoteque, the greasy fish ‘n chips shop I used to frequent while a student at King’s College.  Dana and Roger are studying music and television production at the University of Buckinghamshire – although they’ve been in the United Kingdom for three months now, this is their first time ever visiting London.

We decide to do some touristy things – take a ride on the London Eye, walk to Westminster Abbey.  From Fishcoteque I lead them on the familiar path towards the river Thames, past the National Theatre where in the summer, Shakespeare is performed for free.  I can see the Oxo Tower, looming in the background, where I was stood up one time after my date was arrested for dealing drugs.

God, I miss London.

The Thames is brightly lit tonight.  Market stalls selling festive wares make me smile, putting me in a rare holiday spirit.  One kiosk in particular catches our attention –


Rows and rows of British candy neatly sit within nested boxes.  Dana, with her perpetual sweet tooth, immediately digs in.  She collects enough sweets for all three of us and explains how much better the London Eye will be, now that we have gummy worms.

Later that year, Dana discovered she was hypoglycemic.  All I can picture is her viciously tearing through the buckets of British sweets, and eating half of the bag herself that very evening.