After the Christmas Eve service in Cambridge, we traveled back to London (via taxi, train, tube, and finally foot) and our hostel for Christmas Day. In one station, B was looking around for the window to purchase children’s fares for the underground. A helpful officer walked up to us: “Can I help with anything?”
B: “Yeah–I need to buy children’s tickets.”
Officer: “How old are the children?”
B: “16, 14, and 11.”
Officer: “No offense young man, but just for today, you look like you could be just under 11.”
B walked up to the ticket agent at the proper window. “Okay, I’ve got a 16-year-old, a 14-year-old, and two adults.”
Ticket agent: “So you’ve got two 15-year-olds.”
B: “No, a 16-year-old and a 14-year-old.”
Agent: “Work with me here!”
Christmas morning, we slept way in, opened a couple of gifts, and made a delicious brunch of eggs, British bacon, and tomatoes. Meanwhile, the hostel staff were preparing their shared Christmas meal of boiled ham with rosemary, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and savory scones. Everyone in the hostel kitchen and dining room watched everyone else in a kind of casual way, interested in what an itinerant Christmas looked like for others.
In the afternoon, we set out on a brisk walk to hear the gorgeous Festal Evensong service at St. Paul’s Cathedral.