Festive times in Cambridge

Friday, 5 December 2008

This week I decided I'd bite the bullet, take a day off work and get my Christmas shopping sorted. Over the past couple of years I've come to the conclusion that I can't cope with any city centre on a Saturday during the run-up to Christmas. Last weekend it was Peterborough by packed bus, on a credit crunch-initiated expedition to get a week's fruit and veg as cheaply as possible; two weekends ago I was on an ill-advised jaunt through the unholy trinity of Oxford Street, Regent Street and Piccadilly with the added bonus of endless queues every time I wanted to try something on. I'm not the sort of person who enters December with every present already bought, wrapped and tagged and with a busy couple of weeks ahead, I thought 'today's the day'.

Cambridge has been one of my favourite cities since I was a teenager and spent innumberable days there buying cord flares at the Alternative Clothing Sale, taking bad photos, mooning over studenty young men and thinking about Rupert Brooke (yeah, I was that sort of teenager). Everything was feeling particularly festive today - sparkling lights, a brass band playing somewhere and hoardes of shoppers clogging up every aisle and escalator. The enthusiasm with which people spend hundreds of pounds on items no-one needs, wants or even thinks about during any other month of the year never fails to amuse me - particularly at a time when we're supposedly cutting back, making do and mending and all that. By lunchtime I'd managed to get one present and a dress for the upcoming party season (I like how that makes my social life sound somewhat hectic). By 3pm with two more presents purchased, the crowds were worse so I admitted defeat and got back on the bus.

Every December I get ridiculously excited over decorating the tree, planning food, singing carols and wrapping presents. This week we should be buying our tree ready to decorate next weekend. I'll be getting the mulled wine out specially. As this is only my second Christmas in my own house I'm still accumulating decorations. I got the bulk of my things at John Lewis last year with bits and pieces from Gisela Graham and Liberty. I found some gorgeous decorations and gift ideas (particularly for children; sadly I have none of those yet) at Ark in Cambridge but left decorations well alone as funds need to be conserved.

I don't really feel this has much point as a blog post but I've had this thing kicking around for weeks now and needed to get it started off. Expect posts on a variety of subjects as I don't think I'm very good at sticking to a theme!

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