It’s a winter wonderland! Yes! In Hyde Park! But where to park? NOWHERE!
OK, shouldna oughta took the car, I know, but I thought, I thought… and I was wrong. An hour sitting in traffic from Tottenham Court Road where my car sleeps to Hyde Park? [Editor’s note: it’s three stops on a direct line or a short bus ride, so there’s really no excuse Karen!]
Lured by the huge glittering whitey silver ferris wheel and the red bulbs slung on the trees, Ms E and I made our way through the crowds to see what the park’s big glittering holiday festival The Winter Wonderland had in store.
Well, except there were no crowds. I felt sorry for a guy selliing cappuccini all alone at the front hut but soon cheered up as the Christmas Haribo display hove into view, smelling of sugar and E numbers. ‘Why is Haribo a Christmas item?’ I asked Ms E, who replied, ‘Because kids and grown ups love it so.’ Ms E knows too much.
There was a circle of huts made from special inexpensive tree bark and each hut had its own special selection of crap, er, treasures for sale: gingerbread hearts that ask for marriage, dangling balls and more! Few were buying the wares: the man selling rubber stamps I am sure slit his own throat out of depression and bankruptcy. Bet he wished he had the franchise for the Red and White Sausage Hut. Sausages were de rigueur, even if they were next to the Special Barbecue Hut (where they sold goulash soup which I read as galosh soup).
Fully intending to ride something, we stood and looked at the Haunted Mansion, bedecked for Christmas with tinsel. Ms E said, ‘Let’s see if anyone comes out looking frightened.’ They did not.
The reindeer ride was a horse ride with antlers. I felt cheated and dirty. Ms E and I sat down despondent after learning that the big ferris wheel was 7 clams a ride. ‘I would ride it for £5,’ I said. Ms E nodded in agreement and sucked on a Benson. We ate our marzipan potatoes, made our excuses and left.
On the way out, I asked, ‘Was this a Winter Wonderland or just a land?’ No winter, no wonder.