Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas card 2009

The Cannon Hill boating lake has frozen over in the current cold snap.  Birmingham is fortunate to have had just enough snow and just enough sun to make this kind of weather pleasant.  For walking in the park, anyway.  Although, the Canada Geese are angrier than usual.  Blaming passers by for the frozen lake.  And frustrated geese lack Christmas spirit.

If you're somewhere that has had far more snow, and your life has been as disrupted as that of the geese, you have my sympathy.  But I hope you'll forgive me posting a pretty picture.

After all, a significant number of the real Christmas cards I've received so far feature pictures of snow.  It's unusual in Britain to have actual snowfall so close to Christmas Day.  So how could I resist using this icy image to accompany my virtual card? 

Whatever the weather with you, I hope you have a happy Christmas. 

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Postcard from the arcade

It is a well known fact that High Streets are hell and shopping centres are soul destroying.  So, when undertaking Christmas shopping, both are best avoided.  Lucky me then, that I managed to support some independent traders in Birmingham's arcades and markets, and am now wearing the smug expression of she who has completed her Christmas shopping.

I also got to enjoy the 'even brighter than New Street's' lights on Birmingham's Piccadilly Arcade (pictured), having spent the previous weekend shopping with a glass of mulled wine in hand on York Road and Poplar Road in Kings Heath during their Christmas shopping event - an experience which can be recreated any evening at the German and Craft Markets in the city centre.

Of course, in Birmingham city centre, much of the shopping available is of the identikit chain type.  Smaller towns fare better.  For those in southern England, may I recommend Antique and Contemporary Furniture and Gifts in Princes Risborough?  OK, I admit to a family connection, but it really is a lovely shop.  And, while I'm confessing, I also admit that I did some of my Christmas shopping online; so now have the tense wait to see if everything arrives on time.  Perhaps a glass of mulled wine while I'm waiting will help...