Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Romantic Era

The phrase 'just 12 shopping days until Christmas' is sending me flying over the cuckoo's nest today. I can't bear it anymore. Moments of odd, awkward silences in lifts and loos are now unapologetically filled with tripe from relative strangers about Crimbo parties, present dilemmas and holiday drive time competitions. As if anybody cares how drunk Roger from accounts got last night, whether a scented candle is too impersonal a gift, or how jammed the M3 gets on Christmas Eve.

All of which inspired me to post today's photo taken recently in London's Soho: the black-clad villain look being a rather appropriate symbol of festive renunciation. Doesn't he look the part of a Truman Capote and Winston Churchill love child? No? Okay, maybe Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Leonardo DiCaprio? Cynicism still undeterred? Well, for those of us who think it would take hell to freeze over before a seasonal romantic goth could restore our festive spirits, our day of reckoning has come.

Centuries ago - back when this chap's clothes would have been Topman trendy - the Thames used to freeze over and Londoners would take to the river to skate, eat, drink and make merry. And whilst this worryingly balmy December it is more likely that hell will freeze over before the river, London is not bovvered and the Frost Fair is back - albeit this time on the riverbank. Enjoy live bands, a husky sled ride, a Neal's Yard aromatherapy workshop, or just tuck into some winter food and present shopping at the 40 traders on hand.

That should help defrost us.

Frost Fair
When: Fri 15-Sun 17 Dec
(Fri 4pm-9pm, Sat 10am-9pm, Sun 10am-6pm)
Where: Bankside (SE1), near Globe Theatre/Tate Modern

15 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds wicked. See you there CS.

But how will I know it's you? Damn you blogosphere...

7:53 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow how cool? I am a Londoner and never heard that the Thames used to freeze over.

7:54 pm  
Anonymous Ella said...

See you there as well.
What a great idea.

7:57 pm  
Anonymous honkman said...

Although there were many cold winters in the past, the Thames froze over only because of the old London Bridge.

The frost fair of 1813-14 was the last. In 1831 the old London Bridge was replaced by John Rennie's new bridge.

This had far wider arches, which improved the flow of the river and made it impossible for the Upper Pool to freeze over, even during the most severe winters.

8:01 pm  
Anonymous Anna said...

A definite. For those interested to read more about the history click here.

See you there

8:02 pm  
Anonymous Tanya said...

Frost fairs could never be predicted, but when they did happen they were amazing. My grandfather has pictures.

8:03 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This guy freaks me out. Almost as bad as that scarf tie guy. Damn never thought London fashion had gone so retro.

8:21 pm  
Anonymous Juan said...

This guy IS Leo Dicaprio. Case closed

12:17 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds good
Found you from The Guardian
Cheers

12:28 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice one
Should we plan a CS reunion there?

12:36 am  
Anonymous Geoff said...

The Thames frost fairs were a source of great pleasure for most Londoners, but they also generated some of the worst poems ever written in the English language.

12:39 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The River Thames no longer freezes - the design of the bridges allows the river to flow more quickly, and the modern buildings keep the city's temperature higher.

12:44 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The River Thames no longer freezes - the design of the bridges allows the river to flow more quickly, and the modern buildings keep the city's temperature higher.

12:44 am  
Anonymous Jan said...

If you are going to this and want to combine with a trip down the Tate slides definitely get there early. They are still popular!

11:57 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the hottest year on record I doubt frost is a worry.

1:45 pm  

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