The German Market in Hyde Park in December is a very busy affair, thousands of people milling about a relatively small area, each person seemingly going in a different direction to the other. You have to develop a different mind-set when entering places like this and that mind-set is basically don’t have any particular place to be, just go with the flow, that way you will keep your sanity and your temper in check.
And so I found myself at dusk on this December evening walking slowly through this market. The chill of the winter air made my face feel hot and my nose water I am in no rush. I am with her and I go at her pace just enjoying her company. I am having fun just watching her get excited like a kid on Christmas morning.
Kids are squealing with delight at the ice skating rink, several people trying to show off their skills but being hampered by the fact that it is overcrowded. Small huts are dotted along the path way, the sizzle and smell of onions and sausages fill the air along with clouds of grey steam, our taste buds are working overtime. People queue patiently waiting for their food and drink.
We join one of the shorter queues; the smells are making us hungry. She faces me and my arms go around her waist between her jumper and her coat and she does likewise. I am a little taller than her, she looks up at me and smiles, her nose is a little red from the cold and she laughs as I give her a kiss on her nose. The queue moves forward by a few people and we shuffle forward, reluctant to release our embrace.
We get to the front and order our food, 2 hot dogs, lots of onions, ketchup and mustard (French in this case) and a couple of hot chocolates. They are given to us on a little cardboard tray which I hold as she pays the vendor. We walk away and find a park bench close by, there is one person sitting there but still plenty of room for us. She sits, pulling her coat forward so that the cold from the bench doesn’t seep through her jeans, she takes the container. I sit next to her remove my gloves and take my drink and food.
Although only mid afternoon the sky is darkening, grey, low clouds hover almost within reach and the darkness of night creeps slowly overhead, hundreds of lanterns hang from the trees, their yellow light creating little portals of warmth as far as I can see. I look over to her; she is taking a sip from the hot chocolate, steam rising from the liquid mixing in with the steam from her breath as we sit precariously on the edge of this bench having what would essentially be our dinner.
“You OK” I ask, as she looks cold despite being in a thick coat with jumper and an off cream woolly hat, she looks over and nods as she takes another sip.
“Yeah, all good” she says smiling as she pulls the cup away.
We finish our meal and drinks, placing the rubbish in a bin. We stand and I taken her hand in mine again as we set off through the crowds, we’ve plenty more to see and do.
Do you get anything from this picture? Is it just a bit meh for you or do you find something rich and interesting in it? Please share your thoughts either way.