Santa's Lap: A to Z for the 21st Century

By Julie PH Last edited 175 months ago
Santa's Lap: A to Z for the 21st Century
If making fun of tourists were a long-distance race, we'd be Paula Radcliffe

Every day this month the Londonist team will be pointing you in the direction of a Christmas present that (with a bit of luck) you won't already have on your list. Climb up onto our collective lap and we'll see what we can move from our sack to your stockings...

We have a love-hate relationship with our A to Z.

Love it, of course, because it’s an indispensable resource in the lives of all good Londoners. Tattered, dog-eared, carelessly tossed into work bags and purses before trips into unexplored London terrain, the A to Z has helped us navigate our way down obscure alleys to random clubs and led us home from countless late-night pub crawls. And how do we repay it? We sing its praises, sure, and recommend it as a gift for the Ghost of Santa’s Lap Past. But we also grin apologetically as we pull it from our bags and sheepishly declare ourselves lost, for it somehow feels like a bit of a personal failing that we haven’t memorised every inch of this vast city. We’re legitimate residents, after all, not tourists.

Wouldn’t it be nice, we thought, if the A to Z went all digital on us, so that we could discreetly locate our whereabouts on our mobiles or PDAs whilst appearing to just be texting away like all the other city dwellers? Brilliant, in fact – finally, the golden ticket that would reap us millions!... Except that the A to Z folks got there first. Well, okay, it is their product. And one that we’re anxious to try (did you hear that, Santa?). Downloadable to your mobile or Pocket PC, compatible with Bluetooth GPS systems, and costing no more than £24.99, it may not be the most sentimental of Christmas presents – ‘Darling, I downloaded the A to Z onto your mobile for you this holiday’ – but it sure is bloody useful.

Plus you just never know what will bring a tear to your techno-savvy sweetheart’s eye.

Image courtesy of’s Flickr photostream

Last Updated 21 December 2007