Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Festivities and all that jazz

Jordan and Peter Andre are on this week's cover of OK! Magazine once again prostituting their children posing with their family in some weird medieval getup. Junior, who is about three and a half years old, looks like he has had highlights put in. How the hell do you get a three year old to sit still for foils? I can't even sit still for foils.

Anyhoo, they say a bunch of inane crap as usual, and as usual you read it and think, 'Why the hell did I buy this magazine anyway?' Suckers, all of us. OK, maybe just me.

OK, so now it really is almost Christmas. I have done practically all of my Christmas shopping. Roberto has been dispatched to the arcades of St James's to do last minute bits and pieces, but praise the lord, we don't have to hit Oxford street. The only thing Oxford Street should be hit with is a large stick. I hate it with a passion.

I went to London's Transport Museum in Covent Garden yesterday to meet up with my friend Lucy and her two children. It was a lot of fun for the kids, and a fairly impressive display. A visiting foreigner may even be fooled into believing that our transport system is pretty amazing. OK, I'm being sarcastic, it's actually not that bad. That is when you aren't waiting for forty minutes in the rain for a bus to arrive, or sat on a stuck tube next to someone who smells of raw meat. (Something that actually happened to me). On a trip to Japan a few years ago, Robert and I were amused at how the Japanese were tut-tutting and looking at their watches with scornful expressions when the Shinkansen (bullet train) was 40 seconds late. Seriously.

I used to love Christmas as a kid, even though I never, ever, got what I asked for. My parents believed in getting us what they thought we should have, rather than what we really wanted. This may sound like a middle-class problem to have, but as we only ever received non-essentials for our birthdays and Christmas, a year of waiting could often yield significant disappointment.

I don't even think money, or lack thereof, was the sole motivating factor either. For example, one year I asked for a Barbie Doll (I asked for a Barbie Doll every year and failed to get one) and received a Donkey Kong handheld game thing instead - not exactly an inexpensive gift. I had never displayed a remote interest in one, and wasn't even sure what it was initially, but there you go. It turned out to be a rare and happy accident and I enjoyed it immensely and got rather good at the game. By the time I did get a Barbie my friends and I had largely moved on to more interesting things, namely boys. But I loved her regardless, and can still remember the smell of her which reminded me of her namesake, 'Peaches and Cream.' (PS: Finding this link gave me a big lump in my throat. It is this exact doll that I got given).

Julia isn't aware of the full capitalist magnitude of Christmas yet. She enjoys removing things from the Christmas tree and looking at the lights, and occasionally she will attempt to chew a tag off of one of the presents, and that's about it. I've been told to enjoy these moments, because even the most saint-like children can become consumer-driven demons at this time of the year.

If I don't manage to blog before, then I'd like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas. Let's hope the coming year will mean a safer, cleaner world for everyone and a nice full tummy at the end of each day.

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