Despite having declared that nothing would entice me to go down into town in the week before Christmas we did do that thing today.
I don't know WHAT we were thinking.
I actually only had two things on my shopping list, one of which was Araldite Rapid. Not very seasonal I know, but the balcony for La Mignonette is pure doing my head in and I'd run out.
The other thing on my list was a 2013 desk diary, and in a moment of madness I decided to see if I could get one in the pound shop.
I normally avoid pound shops like the plague, especially around Christmas, following an unforgettable panic attack in the pound shop in Eastbourne. It was only the crush of bodies which held me vertical as I desperately struggled to reach the door. Since then I've had an understandable aversion to the places, and normally nothing can induce me to go in.
However, the prospect of a new diary for just £1 held sway, although I peered cautiously through the windows first to assess the situation before committing myself. Apart from a bank of around 20 tills it seemed reassuringly empty so I ventured inside.
The reason for its emptiness soon became apparent, as shelf after shelf revealed itself to be similarly empty. Perhaps the denizens of Hastings have got wind of an impending Zombie Apocalypse and rushed to stock up on 'necessities'. The seasonal aisle was particularly stripped out, with only a few desultory garlands of mangled tinsel rolling around the floor like festive tumbleweed. There was nary a single plastic santa to be seen.
Happily, the fact that a 2013 desk diary is of questionable use in the aftermath of both the Mayan 'end of the world this Friday' prophesy, and the aforementioned Zombie Apocalypse, so I was presented with the full gamut of choice..... from kitten encrusted to fluorescent zig-zags. After several minutes of rooting around I managed to unearth a plain electric blue version, which I carried aloft through the echoing aisles to the phalanx of tills occupying an entire corner of the store where I was able to select from any number of cashiers vying with each other to attract my eye.
I can only assume that at some point in the recent past, every one of these tills had been going full pelt to cope with the hordes of shoppers. So, well done to Poundland. It was the only shop I entered today with no queue at all. Granted, apart from diaries there wasn't much else to buy, but my entire diary-buying experience was exemplary and scores 10 out of 10.
Diary purchased, I waited to rendevous with PP by the seasonal ice rink, complete with snow machine and obligatory Slade/Wizzard/Mudd Xmas compilation on a loop.
I'm not a skater myself, and not even the prospect of clinging onto a plastic support penguin would have encouraged me to venture out onto the ice. However I spent an amusing 10 minutes or so watching people who should know better fall down repeatedly, with what sounded like bone-shattering results. One teenage boy crashed spectacularly backwards at least half a dozen times, his skull breaking his fall on each occasion. The people 'supervising' consisted of two young men who were obviously very proficient skaters but completely oblivious to the carnage occurring around them. I was mostly amazed at how nobody seemed to be seriously hurt, but staggered good-naturedly upright after each fall to do it all over again.
Our final stop was the pet department of ESK to try to find a new harness for Small Dog's Christmas present. She's still wearing the rabbit harness she had when she was a puppy but it's been let out as far as it will go and it's definitely seen better days, so we want to get her a nice new adjustable padded one. Sadly the smallest one we could find would have gone round her twice so we'll have to go to the pet superstore as we've left it too late to buy online.
I don't think she'll be very impressed with a new harness. If her presents don't squeak, or she can't eat them, she's not that interested....
So, as you can see, I'm still some way from being awash with Christmas spirit.......