The title of this post doesn't refer to anything immoderately extravagant.
It owes more to WWI trench warfare.
Having managed to do most of my Christmas shopping online, the remaining 10% required a hands on attitude, which necessitate us going into town and braving the hordes.
As predicted, Hastings was heaving. The area around the festive ice rink was 6 deep with children desperate to risk life and limb by donning skates and gripping onto a safety penguin before being launched out onto the icy wastes.
It wasn't much better in any of the shops, as we were swept along in the melee, occasionally surfacing momentarily for air, before being submerged in a sea of harrassed looking women bearing armfuls of carrier bags filled to overflowing.
A few bemused-looking men stood helplessly at the perfumery counters, eyes out on stalks at the price of Chanel No. 5 and doubtless wondering if they could get away with a small bottle of Yardley's Lavender Water instead.
As is traditional at Christmas, I had to run the gauntlet of the annual panic attack in the pound shop, which resembled nothing so much as Dante's seventh circle of hell, with queues right round the shop and legions of screaming children throwing their umpteenth tantrum.
Four hours just flew by* and we were then able to stagger back to the car and come home.
So with just two days to go before the family converge for Christmas it just remains to do the main food and wine shop, enough of both to last 6 people for three days......
Oh, and the present wrapping.
And the house cleaning.
And the bed changing.
Ho ho ho.......
*insert heavy irony here