LONDON SLEEPS: POET’S FILM CAPTURES CAPITAL’S DESERTED STREETS

I used to love reading the poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas when I was child. The idea that ‘not a creature was stirring’ in my house made the idea of Father Christmas’s arrival even more exciting. I would stare out of my bedroom window and convince myself that he had magically turned the sky red as his reindeer flew above our sleepy town.

I live in London now and have a child of my own. It’s a very fast-paced life and it can take what feels like forever to get from A to B. The idea of ‘not even a mouse’ stirring in the capital is almost unthinkable.

Yesterday, however, a British-Somali poet called Mohamed Mohamed and the Museum of London captured the unimaginable. A film he shot from his bicycle shows the streets of London almost deserted on Christmas Day and is set to Mohamed’s original poetry, which, to me, evokes that poem I loved as a child.

See London as you have probably never seen it before: peaceful and still, with children still nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.