Monday, December 25, 2023


It is a memorable life experience for us to celebrate the holidays in all sorts of ways and rejuvenate ourselves with the Christmas spirit up.

t is a quiet Christmas morning. I walked around nearby and almost all stores were closed in this very busy street. I didn’t expect McDonalds to be closed, as I planned to have my breakfast here. So I had some cookies and juice I bought yesterday for breakfast. The subways and buses were also not operating on Christmas Day, I planned to have a walking tour, capturing some unique vista points and doing some exercise as well.

I listened to the tower bell ringing in the street, and I walked into the nearby Kensington Garden. Although the trees had fallen out of leaves, they still look great; standing straight on the chilly winter day. The garden looks very spacious and harmonious, with birds chirping and people chatting. After walking deeper, surprisingly, I saw another swan lake inside the park. I walked through the garden a few times before, but didn’t see it before. What a Christmas delight here.

There are hundreds of swans and birds flying around the lake or swimming inside the water. They are colorful -white, black, gray, yellow brown etc. I fed them some cookie pieces, the swans stretched up their long necks to tick them up. Some even walked up to the river bank to get them and smaller birds flew up to the sky to swallow them up, very delightful. More people came here to meet with birds and Swans. Quite many birds walk on the meadows; it’s vibrant, energetic and cheerful on the lake side. Suddenly almost all birds big or small started to fly back to the lake; it’s a teamwork. it seems they received some secret signals, very impressive. Those are all well trained birds. Obviously there are bird masters behind the scenes to orchestrate it.

What a lovely Christmas morning, birds cheer up people and people entertain with birds we co-share this wonderful world and sustain a dynamic and healthy ecosystem. I walked around the lake and kept moving forward. There is the sign that directs towards Paddington. If bicycling it took about six minutes so I walked, it might take me about fifteen minutes to get there. It took me quite a while to reach another gate of the park nearby where there was a fountain and statue. After exiting the gate, there was the Lancaster subway station. Honestly, I was lost again, as my phone was out of the network, I had to count on the global strangers’ help and a few signs across the street to get there. I walked around back and forth a while and arrived at the shopping streets in Paddington. It’s about 11 am, most of the stores are not open but a few small coffee shops and restaurants are open, very encouraging. I passed through the statue of a group of imaginary figures, and went to the local fish and chip shop for lunch. There were very few guests there. Their fish cakes are delicious and their tea is sweet; it’s a simple and tasteful brunch for me on Christmas Day.

And I decided to walk back to the street I came from; but got confused again on the way, even though I tried to follow the street signs. I passed through Hyde Park with the Swan lake as I visited there a week ago to go to Winter wonderland. More people came into the park to greet the swans and birds here. Perhaps hundreds of people spread nearby the lake, more people joined the crowd. Since I already came here not so long ago. I asked a senior couple about the direction to go back to the street, and the gentleman pointed out the shortcut. Actually I need to go back to Kensington garden again and then walk back to the high street. I passed the same swan lake I went to this morning. I saw a beautiful black swan joining the group of birds I saw in the morning. A pair of black and white swans captured lots of attention.

Going back to the street, there was a food court, and a few smaller grocery stores opening. Quite a few people walk in the street, but all other stores are closed on Christmas Day. It was drizzling, so I took a rest and went to the nearby Holland park in which there are castles and parks inside the park I came here before. So I revisit the Kyoto garden. There were geese swimming around and when I stepped up to watch the mini waterfalls, I also saw colorful fish swimming around, squirrels jumping on the ground. It is a mid-sized park with a healthy ecosystem. I passed through the park and went to the coffee shop sipping my afternoon Jasmine tea and wrote something, surfed the internet for a while and greeted my family. The day turned dark, the rain hadn’t stopped yet; the holiday lights were still on, I felt calm inside.

My Christmas Day with a walking tour in London is cheerful with Swans and peaceful with wonderful parks and quiet streets. It is a memorable life experience for us to celebrate the holidays in all sorts of ways and rejuvenate ourselves with the spirit up.


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