Christmas shopping. The weekend before Christmas. What a nightmare. Well, this past weekend these caring people (somewhere) made it just that wee bit easier for us but blocking off Oxford street to made it a pedestrian paradise for one day only. So instead of watching our backs for oncoming buses as we nip into the road to circumnavigate the family with two buggies and the man with ten oversized shopping bags, we could stroll in peace down the middle of the road. Yes we really could, because at the Marble Arch end, it was like somebody had forgotten to remind shoppers that it was pedestrianised, whilst they stuck inexplicably to the pavements. Or maybe they were staying close to the shops so as not to lose that elusive bargain. Oh well. it helped the shopping to be done with relative ease.
Down at the more crowded Regent Street end, annoying stilt walkers were harassing small children and bad jugglers were trying to avoid knocking passersby out with their clubs. One regular feature of Oxford Street however was conspicuous by his absence. Where was Phil the evangelist? Surely Xmas shopping is the perfect time to harangue shoppers who are glorying in all that mammon can offer. Maybe he was doing his own shopping. So instead of Phil, we got other megaphone-wielding zealots at Oxford Circus who instead of warning us to repent, were dressed in yellow stewards’ tabards and warning us about moving beyond barriers and crossing the road. And there were megaphone clowns (literally) pleading with us to enter Debenhams too. There’s just too much competition these days.