It was cold. That’s true. Not many others were braving the weather to visit this corner of the world. The wind was forcing them to wrap their scarfs tighter and their glove covered hands were well and truly hibernating in their pockets.
The Needles, that’s where they were visiting. She had never heard of them, and to be honest, they didn’t look like how she imagined, but that bit’s not important.
Unexpectedly, before the landmark, they walked into an amusement village. A bricked street with wooden, shabby small shops each side, all closed, of course. It was cold.
Her step slowed, the wind quietened but her surroundings felt alive.
She heard a Christmas song, already half way through. It must have been playing the whole time but it was only just noticed. She looked around and saw little speakers at the top of each shop. All of them turning cream and weathered, playing a classic.
She could see into the deserted shops at the trinkets and sweets. Little glimpses of a world but frozen in place like photographs.
Everything seemed right.
She felt like the world had stopped, for just one second.
A little glance at peace.
Something had changed in her. She took a step forward and the world started again. She could hear the wind, the sea slapping The Needles, her Dad calling her to hurry up but no longer the music.
Nothing would be the same.
I once visited The Isle of Wight for the first time near Christmas time. I must have been 16, or there abouts, so parts of this memory is hazy and I think I filled in the grey parts with my imagination.
I have written about it before too, which seems strange I’m obsessed with this imagery in my brain considering there’s a less colourful truth and, most importantly, nothing happened. It’s one of those things I have never shared but plays out in my mind.
The imagery I made up has just stuck with me.
I’ve Googled The Needles since and it doesn’t look like this. Nope. Over the years this idea has transformed into something it isn’t, and definitely inspired by The Polar Express.
Everything should be inspired by The Polar Express.
These photos were taken in Rochester at 5pm. This is the closest to the idea in my mind and I felt ever so Christmassy.