Thursday, 3 January 2008

Panic Buying then Christmas festivities

It is all over now for another year - the Christmas holiday rush of panic buying. I can never understand it. The shops are closed for 2 days, why does everyone need 12 or so loaves of bread and trolleys stacked to capacity with other items and queues at every counter as I stand there with my two small loaves of bread and whatever other bits I manage to get. By Christmas Eve the food stores are nearly empty! Why? Why?

Good for the stores perhaps, but where do people store all this food?

I went out with my daughter to do my last minute Christmas present shopping and because it was almost Christmas and we shopped in the morning/afternoon, it was fairly quiet and the decorations and Christmas music was delightful and made for a beautiful seasonal astmosphere and for once I enjoyed Christmas shopping. So that's it - wait till it is nearly Christmas and then shop. It was relaxing and there was still lots to buy - at reduced prices too! But food shopping is something else. One just has to join the crowds for food, even if your needs are modest and reasonable - if you don't buy in time you don't get! The panic buyers have raided the shops.

Chritmas day was a delight at D & J's. Christmas is family time. We had each other. We had the most enormous, fresh, succulent turkey and all the trimmings and Christmas pudding that flamed for longer and bluer than I have ever known, mince pies and many other delights. Champagne, wine, crackers and funny games all helped to make the day enjoyable and memorable even though I missed my absent children and grandchildren but we were in touch with mobile text messaging and phone calls. Distance does not really matter when there is love and togetherness of mind.

Well done D & J and thanks for a wonderful day.

NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTY WITH TIARAS AND TUXEDOS again at my family's invitation.
Same venue as Christmas Day - only we all had to dress up and nearly all the guests played up to it. There were many sparkly tiaras, ball gowns and cocktail dresses and lots of penguins in their bow ties and dress shirts. It was a party with a difference. About 20 or so compatible guests, lots of wonderful food provided by our hosts, conversation flowed (almost a lost art now), music too, suitable and not too loud. Hilarious games, competitive with the men and fun with the gals. A wonderful night was had by one and all. Some of us left at a respectable - 1am, January 1, 2008 but I understand that more guests arrived later from other parties and the festivities continued till 5 am!

Well done again D & J and thanks for a wonderful time.

The Highlight of my day

Even though it was my husband's birthday and we had a lovely lunch with Champagne, the highlight of my day was meeting a child of four years or there about.

My sister and I were out shopping in the afternoon and we visited an exotic African store where it is possible to buy fruits and vegetables, spices etc. that are not available elsewhere.

Whilst we were checking in our groceries, being served by an African woman, quite traditionally dressed, a little boy came rushing in from the Arcade. Looking up at the lady serving us, he called, 'What is the time please?' As she was busy at the til concentrating on our groceries, she perhaps did not hear him and so I answered him, 'It is 3 pm.' He smiled and said, 'I still have time to play before I start work.'

He was cute in his dress and manner. One could see that he was a well brought up little boy and was perhaps of mixed parentage. His complexion was quite light and his eyes were brown and bright and he had the usual very short cropped hair. His whole demeanor was animated and full of enthusiasm. He was an attractive child.

I was amazed that this little mite of four years of age could possibly be concerned about time and work.

'Where and what work do you do?'
'I work here in the shop.'
'And what do you do in this shop?'
'I help my grandmother.' (The lady serving us obviously).
'Well now - that is great and what kind of work do you do?' I was totally curious at this little child's attitude and was captivated by him.
'I tidy the shop.'
'That is fantastic! Do you get paid for working or do you work just for love?'

He looked at me, slightly puzzled and spent a few seconds in thoughtful consideration, probably not having been confronted with this type of question before. He pursed his lips, cocked his head and looked upwards, contemplating my question - one could almost hear his little mind ticking, then he beamed, glanced at his grandmother and said, 'I work for love.'

I could not resist him and asked, 'Would you give me a hug, please?' He spread his little arms and I bent down and was duly embraced with a tight hug. The spontaneity of his gesture and the joy in his face sustained me all day and I continue to thank God for little children.

Helen Renaux