upon us! Eek! For weeks I have manfully tried to ignore the signs- the cards sneaking into M&S in early October, the mince pies and red cups in Starbucks, the illuminations being hung, Last Christmas on constant repeat- but now even I must admit defeat. And to be honest, I can’t decide whether I’m happy or sad because, no matter how much I sympathise with the Christmas curmudgeons’ whinging about the horrors of commercialisation, somewhere deep in my heart I just love it and all its gaudy horrors. So, I say hooray for the tinsel and turkey and repeats of White Christmas- I’m ready for you December!
What I am not looking forward to so much is the whole Christmas shopping experience and this weekend officially marks the beginning of my annual retail binge. And this year it’s going to have an added dimension; I’ve been reading What Was Lost and now cannot go into a shop without thinking of Catherine O’Flynn’s hilarious and, well, sad portrayal of what it is really like to work in a shop. As someone who worked until very recently in retail (and book shops are clearly no different from record shops in this respect), as with the first time I read the book, I was struck by how remarkably accurate it is; the long thankless hours, the menial and pointless tasks (stickers on/ stickers off), the stupidity of senior management, the penny-pinching, it’s all there. And how refreshing it is to read about the real world of work as it is an area of life completely missing from most modern fiction. She also captures the sheer spookiness of empty shopping centres- I worked for a very miserable month in the MetroCentre and walking its corridors morning and night was truly strange. It was impossible to ignore the pointlessness of the place when was empty, somehow.
Anyway, I hope it’s giving you all food for thought and making you spare a thought for those poor souls behind the counters this weekend. And, remember, curling up with a book is always a fantastic way to while away the festive season! Keep reading and see you soon. x
AND PLEASE ALL REMEMBER THE MEETING IS THE 10TH DECEMBER AND NOT THE 3RD!!