Thursday, November 15, 2007


Stitch and bitch last night was the quietest ever.

So having waited around til nearly 6pm, and having consumed what was possibly the nicest tea ever (made all the better by the freezing wind outside) while looking a bit like a crazy lady who brings potted herbs to talk to, I made for home.

Not without making a 10 step detour from my bus stop first. Ah, the things I do for my readers!

This is Belfast City Hall, and this photo shows perfectly one of the reasons I think Belfast should get an award for most fabulously illuminated city. While standing in front of it, you can't see the spotlights, and you're not left temporarily blinded by one while walking past either.

What's that, you say? What's that, peeking out of the corner? Could it be...?

Why yes! It could!

This is the Belfast big wheel. More like London's Millenium wheel than a 50 cent ride at the local fairground, this beautiful piece of engineering will be around til New Year. The booths, up close, look like horse-drawn carriages, without the wheels.

Or the horses.snort

I am so totally going up in it at some stage. I'll probably hang on til the Christmas markets open at the end of the month, also in the grounds of the City Hall. Can't wait for that.

I love late November into early December. Everything is starting to get decidedly festive, I can wander around cinnamon-scented markets and drink eggnog latte til I go up a dress size. Knitted items get worn as soon as I can get them cast off. For at least a week, everyone seems to bask in the glow that is knowing that they have a week off to eat, drink and fornicate be merry in the not too distant future.

Then the panic sets in.

I have seen otherwise dignified, fully grown women have fights in toyshops over the seasons "must have" chunk of overpriced plastic. I have myself been elbowed out of the way as the fingers of my outstretched hand grazed the last box of chocolates on a shelf.

It's 'effing ridiculous.

The stores close for ONE FECKING DAY PEOPLE!!!!!
Try explaining that to the man doing an impression of a rugby player (or an NFL player) as he sprints to the checkout with a Furby clutched so tightly to his chest that it may require surgical removal.

If money and my vacation balance for the year were no object, you know what I'd do?

I'd hire some plush cabin in a beautiful mountain area for the two weeks covering last-minute shopping, Christmas and New years. I'd hold up in there with my nearest and dearest, without a computer, mobile phone or cable connection. I would cook and bake, and do crafty things. Go for long walks and come back to an open wood fire with hot whiskey and talk until the wee hours. Watch old movies on dvd. Play board games.

And forget that most of the world around seems to have gone batshit crazy.


Laura said...

The getaway sounds like a fantastic idea! All that time to knit, knit, knit.

Dixie said...

I actually did that once, when I'd gotten to the end of my rope September last year. I told my boss I was taking the week off, then skedaddled off to Idyllwild (essentially a mountain community that makes its living providing a place for overstressed LA people to get away to) for a few days. (Not the whole week. I couldn't afford it, and I ended up working secretly for half the week I "took off.") No computer, no phone, just lots of my knitting, a book, and clean, cold air. Since it was off season, I didn't have to pay much for accommodation, and the room had a fireplace.

My boss was unimpressed, but it did me a world of good.