Sunday, 23 November 2014

Early Preparations

We are surrounded by 'Christmas' now, on all fronts. In fact have been for over a month. I frustrate all around me with a determination not to buy into it by way of even purchasing a bauble. It becomes tricky, because by the time I think it's the proper time to start doing things in earnest, around the first week in December, the shops have cleared ready for their Easter displays, and even trees have become scarce. It's an unfortunate consequence of us all being led by the retail sector. But truth be told, one doesn't have to buy into it to the extent that a good Christmas has to depend on the shops.

My Christmas shopping is going to start on Saturday 6th, whereupon I shall take a good part of the day to do a few hours shopping. Lunch out is a necessity, and of course a couple of pints of beer in the festive German bar, now a fixture in Bournemouth Square for the next few weeks. Shopping can be fun, easy and relaxing, as long as not too much is done at any one time.

For now though, the latest batch of blackberry wine has been bottled. It's turned out rather good. Sweet, slightly effervescent, and strawberry red in colour. The glass is the one I mentioned in the last post, my favourite one that is no more.

The interior of the new shed is coming along, with shelving now in place for the home made stuff. At the moment only Blackberry and Elderberry wine, with some jars of pickled onions (there are now three more, made to 'Gary's Blow Your Head Off' recipe. I like a nice hot pickled onion.

We did venture into Bournemouth for some new clothes, as London is on the cards for next weekend, and a particular event requires us to wear finery. It's nice to sit at the cafe, sipping coffee and watching the world and all of it's people go by. We discuss fashion, and what people wear, and it never ceases to amaze both of us at the lack of style in the menfolk of the UK. Ladies, often immaculately dressed for a day on the town, are all too often accompanied by the obligatory gent dressed in nothing but the tracksuit bottoms and football shirt he probably also slept in, and all finished off with dirty trainers. Don't get me wrong, I am not a fashion snob, but guy's, do your lady the honour of at least bothering to make some sort of effort eh? 

The German bar was opposite. A rather stereotypical and cheesy set up, complete with a giant, joke telling robotic moose head above the door. There's hot Gluhwein, coffee, hot chocolate and a range of German beers, all rather fun when taken along with the moose and some Christmas music. The Christmas market comes alongside it, where traditionally made things can be found, from Peruvian knitwear to giant cooked Bockwurst, and French crepes to hand made toys. I often think back to my childhood days when sat here, and the centre of Bournemouth, and it's population, was so much different.

That will all have to wait until the 6th for me though. Yesterday was dull and wet, and so we stayed in and made Pina Coladas, as you do near Christmas. Maybe I haven't let go of summer properly yet?

Chin Chin!


  1. Am loving the shed shelves
    Every man should have his own shed

    1. Thank you John. My dream is to have a shed that I can truly personalize.

  2. last week someone asked me if i still had Christmas shopping to do. Um, yea, all of it!

  3. It's a good thing you had a title "Early Preparation" or I would have taken your post the wrong way. To play devil's advocate, why can't the girls dress down?

    1. 'Why can't the girls dress down?' Crikey Red, you will be suggesting all wear 'Fruit of the Loom' sweatshirts next.

  4. Early December is when I prefer to begin all things Christmas. Seems poor Thanksgiving gets almost missed with the retail hubub here. I like Thankgiving a lot. Good food, time with family and being thankful for what we have not making lists of what we want as Christmas gets more and more each year.

    Your shed is looking very together with the shelves.
    I'll trust your review of the pickled onions.

    Pina Coladas on a wet day? Hmmm. I guess they could imply sunshine.

    Be well!

    1. Good morning Sherlock,
      Thanksgiving is a bigger thing in the US than here in the UK, and that's a shame. The shed is nearly finished, but could do with being twice the size.

  5. As I have packages to get out to Japan and the UK I have all my shopping is done.
    I am drawing my Christmas Card right now and a few handmade gifts to finish.
    We have Thanksgiving this Thursday and then Christmas starts.
    Pickled onions ? I love any pickled veggie.

    cheers, parsnip

  6. Hello Parsnip,
    Gosh, you must be busy. I suppose it's easier to take things more slowly when I haven't got to send things to other countries as you do. If I thought the jar wouldn't break, then I would send you some pickles lol for sustinence lol

  7. I am with you - we don't have to buy into the retail madness. Retail ruins Christmas!!