Friday, 16 December 2011

Christmas is coming ... and tempers are getting worse!

My wife and I had to go to the local shopping centre this morning ... and really wish that we had not. By 10.30am it was already filling up, and motorists were having rows in the car park about who had the right to park in the decreasing number of vacant parking spaces.



I managed to avoid this by pre-booking my car into with the on-site car valeting service. They wash and wax the outside of the car and clean the inside as well ... and then leave it in one of their designated parking bays. It is worth the £40.00 to have a clean car that will cope with forthcoming bad winter weather and to avoid trying to find a parking space.


Inside the shopping centre things were hardly any better. I gave up counting the number of times my feet were run over by parents pushing baby buggies the size of a small family car. They all seemed to have the same look on their faces ... determined desperation! They looked at you ... and then straight through you. They were on a mission to do their Christmas shopping, and nothing and no one was going to get in their way!

We finally managed to survive an couple of hours before we felt unable to cope with the rising tide of humanity that was filling the place up. I understand that over last weekend over a quarter of a million people visited this particular shopping centre ... and it felt that they had all come back today to have another go!

I thought that Christmas was supposed to be the season of goodwill to all men and women ... but I saw little of that today.

If this is what the run up to Christmas 2011 is going to be like, I will be echoing the words of Ebenezer Scrooge and saying ... 'Bah! Humbug!'

19 comments:

  1. Shouldn't you be doing your shopping online? Apart from nipping into Sheffield to collect some stuff (en route to the Wargames club...) that's what I have managed.

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  2. Hi Bob,

    That looks grim and no mistake and the shops wonder why so much of Christmas is purchased online!

    'God bless us, every one!'

    (A Christmas Carol is one of my favourite books)

    All the best,

    DC

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  3. Man that looks terrible. As retirees we do have the option to not shop on or near the weekend. This allows my wife and i the chance to avoid the "human press". On a war game note, your tanks looked very impressive the other day.

    Don

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  4. Hi Bob,

    It's odd that you quote "A Christmas Carol", because the solution to the Holiday crush of Humanity, grimly determined to be jolly, is also proposed by Mr. Dickens - "Keep Christmas in your heart all year long."

    Rest, relax, and recharge.

    Martin

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  5. Tim Gow,

    There are just some things that you cannot buy online ... and those are the things we were trying to buy today.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  6. David Crook,

    If it wasn't for the fact that there were things that I had to buy in person today, I would not have gone to Bluewater!

    I suspect that it will get worse the closer it gets to Christmas, but certainly won't be going there again this side of 2012.

    All the best,

    Bob

    PS. Good quote, by the way. The book is my favourite Dickens story as well.

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  7. I live about 20 minutes from the Metro Shopping Centre in Gateshead and I'm proud to say that I have never visited it and have no plans to in the future... I hate shopping (ask mt wife. I won't even go to do the weekly shopping!) . I especially hate Christmas shopping with all it's forced joviality..... Bah, humbug!.... Roll on January.... Merry Christmas everyone!

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  8. Have to admit, generally try to get everything in by the beginning of December. Only things left this late are last minute fresh veg types.

    But still haven't written out any Christmas cards!

    Rob

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  9. I can't take the holiday crowds. Small shops, a targeted list, and in and out like a commando raid is about all I can handle. Xmas shopping is war after all.

    Take the extra muppet fluff and the Michael Caine singing bits out of The Muppet's Christmas Carol and you have in my opinion one of the best screen translations of the story.

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  10. Bluewater? A week before Christmas? Are you mad!!

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  11. Brigadier Dundas,

    Unfortunately we had to go to this particular shopping centre on this particular day because we had to pay the balance for a forthcoming cruise by today to a travel agents who are based there ... and we were not able to go earlier in the week.

    I will certainly not be going there again in the near future!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  12. Martin,

    If only people did, the world would be a much nicer place!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  13. Steve's Wargame Stuff,

    I have been to the Metro Shopping Centre ... and I can assure you that you have not missed much!

    As to shopping at other times ... well I do it when I have to but it is not something that I particularly enjoy.

    Have a good Christmas!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  14. Xaltotun of Python (Rob),

    We had bought all our presents by the end of October ... but today was a special visit to pay for a forthcoming cruise ... and today was the final day on which we could pay.

    All the best,

    Bob

    PS. We sent our Christmas cards out last week ... which is the earliest we have ever done it.

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  15. Pat G,

    I have a similar attitude to shopping; straight in, buy, straight out, no hanging about.

    I have not seen the Muppet version of 'A Christmas Carol', but I like most films that Michael Caine has done and I will look out for it on the forthcoming holiday break.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  16. Ray Rousell,

    Well at least it wasn't Lakeside ... which is my idea of hell on earth at the best of times and especially at Christmas!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  17. It's the most horrible time of the year.
    With the nights getting longer,
    the Evil is stronger,
    and there's much to fear...
    It's the most horrible time of the year!

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  18. Don't think of the shuffling crowds of commercial dazed humans as a holiday annoyance (Goodwill to all, unless there is a sale on...)

    Think of the event as a very cleverly stage simulation of a zombie outbreak, complete with mindless shuffling human zombies. I think that might help the time pass better!

    Have a wonderful Chritmas
    Miles

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  19. Good lord--and I thought Northern Virginia was crowded....!

    Best regards,

    Chris

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