... because life's too short to do anything ALL the time . Creativity and positivity are my "hiraeth"

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Taste of Things To Come

I had a Christmas experience this morning. Where in rural South Wales might you find a jolly Santa, surrounded by elves, trudging through the deep and crisp and even fresh snow to feed Donna, Blitzen et al?

Sadly not THAT sort of Christmas experience. I had to go to our local town and went to one of these cheap sells-all-sorts-of cheap-stuff shops as I needed some drain cleaner and a mini bottle of brandy to feed my cakes. By the time I got out of there it was nearly upgraded to a large bottle.

There were multiple small children screaming in protest at not being able to have sparkly plastic tatt, I had to wait in a queue of six or eight people with trolleys full of "novelty items" and total junk, while the tills groaned with effort processing the card payments. A smelly old man repeatedly pushed his trolley into my back, legs anything he could find without so much as an apology or acknowledgement while I sweated under my winter coat, enduring the Christmas music and being mentally, audibly and physically assaulted in every direction.

I made a mental note to myself that from now up until "the big day" I should avoid town at peak times and at all if possible, then I remembered that it was 10.00 on a Tuesday morning. There really is no hope.

So before I reconstitute my stress headache from earlier, I will move on, knowing full well that you'll all know exactly what I'm on about.

The success of my blog and my "year of endurance" took me to another unusual place yesterday. I took a junior school assembly, courtesy of my good friend who happens to be a teacher. I don't mind telling you that I was more nervous going to do that than all the interviews, radio and filming put together! I was really nervous! But it went well. That's twice now I've been surrounded by children in three weeks - the epitome of out of my comfort zone! Those who know me know that I'll look after your Granny for a month, just don't ask me to mind the kids for half an hour. I don't do kids, but these, in fairness, were bloomin' lovely. I actually quite liked one of them. I think that's probably because he was ginger, though.

I wondered if the kids would think I was barking, they did. Result. But they seemed very receptive to the idea of a challenge and generally making stuff. Apparently my friend and the teacher spent the duration of her playground supervision being told what they were all making for "National Buy Nothing Day".

Well i for one look forward to seeing what they come up with! That's what we like - star 'em young!


  1. Sounds like a good idea! Kids do seem to enjoy being creative and I know grandparents especially enjoy recieving something a bit wonky and painted but made with love :-) Parents should encourage their children more to make things instead of just passing money over the counter.

    I still need to go xmas shop but I'm not going to get stressed about it. I'm going to make some things, and I'm asking people what they actually want so although it might spoil the surprise, they get to have something they will actually enjoy, and I won't be trapped in to buying some tat just because you have the get them something...

    For my son, I plan to look in the charity shops. He's 2 so at the moment, toys are toys whether they come in a box or not. My mum has gotten him some lovely toys from her local charity shop but for some reason feels bad about it so he plays with them now in stead of having them for xmas. I told her not to be so daft! They're all clean and there might be a few bits missing, but he doesn't care! Neither do I!

  2. That's quite right - charity shops can produce excellent gifts. I have often used them. I'm not sure exactly what my policy will be for Christmas next year but I have considered buying people experiences rather than presents. And I don't mean the £150 boots "experience day" junk, I'm talking Groupon, cinema tickets, maybe ebay vouchers, National Trust membership, that sort of thing, but I am as yet undecided. Another thought was to try to buy people the smallest item possible.

    My year is an extreme example but I think it's not about not spending any money, or busting a gut, it's about being in control of what you spend and not having your spending dictated by the marketing people. We've all bought junk to make it look like you've spent more, or picked up something unwanted and thoughtless for someone we love. How many times have we received a gift and said "ooo lovely (but were thinking "ooo lovely that'll make a great raffle prize")!

  3. I do agree with you but have a very materialistic set of in-laws who would not be pleased by anything that was not bought on the high street. I know I have done the whole baking lots of Christmas cakes and making chutney thing and got a very frosty reception. But I do hate the everything to excess and looking perfect commercialization of Christmas. Can I swap relatives please?

  4. Ha ha ha ha well, erm, no!!! I guess all we can do in that respect is go along with it. Sometimes familial harmony reigns supreme! I have to say, though, I thought that about some of mine, but it turns out they are in full appreciation. Good luck xxx

  5. Great to hear from someone not caught up in this materialistic world.

  6. We all have far too much and half the world is starving.Let us spend less on ourselves and make sure we remember the poor children.

  7. Hear, hear. Well said. And THANKS :) xxx