Tuesday 23 December 2008

All downhill to Christmas

The amount of Londoners who have started their Christmas break already has had a noticeable impact on public transport. The buses and Jubilee Line were extremely quiet this morning, leading me to wonder momentarily if I was in fact mistakenly taking myself off to work on a Saturday.

The office is also winding down for Christmas. The usual pre-Christmas panic doesn't seem to have materialised this year. Maybe it is the effect of the economic slow-down? Usually, despite the fact that everyone has known it is coming since the previous year the Christmas shut-down seems to take us by surprise... but this year has been very calm and organised. I'm not complaining... although I suppose there is still tomorrow morning for it all to go pear-shaped, so I shouldn't count my chickens. Tomorrow we're having a tidy-up of the office - clearing the decks for 2009.

Tonight it is time for the annual ordeal of the Christmas food shop. Apart from my flying early morning visit to B&Q and Sainsbury's on Saturday I actually managed to keep to my 'no shopping the weekend before Christmas' rule. Sadly the food shopping has to be done. I can't rely on the delivery service to bring meat and vegetables which conform to the dates on which I want to use them, so I have no alternative but to go and choose them myself.

My solution to the overcrowded stores full of panic shoppers (honestly, the stores are barely shut for two days) is to go late at night. They may be halfway through shelf-stacking but at least it is (relatively) quiet. It's late night shopping or run the gauntlet on Christmas Eve, which I have done in the past, and I'm definitely not doing that ever again!