Barry and I haven’t engaged with Christmas shopping for some years now, unsurprisingly it doesn’t feature on our ‘essential spending’ list! Years ago, when my children were growing up and we were surrounded by close family, I found aspects of the festive season enjoyable.
However, we’re keenly aware there’s no escaping the craziness of Christmas here in the western world. Whether we like it or not, we also have to sustain ourselves financially – and this year we’re caught up marketing and selling to all those people who DO love and actively participate in the festive season.
We’re over half-way through our Calendar Club commitments, and enjoying the simplicity of the work. So much so that we’re seriously considering applying for our own ‘shop’ or ‘mall unit’ next year.
On Saturday I left the boat moored at Merry Hill embankment, jumped on the X10, and sauntered into the big city to meet a very dear friend. It was packed full of merry-makers, eating their Bratwurst and drinking their Gluehwein gathered snuggly around wooden tables at the Birmingham (German) Christmas Market.
We met there and made a hasty retreat to a slightly quieter pub for lunch and a catch up, walking past the Big Wheel and Ice Skating Rink near the Library – actually quite a magical scene.
Afterwards we treated ourselves to a pastry and coffee on the balcony at New Street Station. We did get a little freaked when an announcement was called as we finished, stating the there was a security alert and to leave the building by the nearest exit. We swiftly went back down the escalator, noting that no-one seemed to be panicking, and once down there nothing else was heard. Strange, not sure what was going on. I made a hasty exit to the bus stop, and Arlene continued to her train.
Christmas Shopping Show
Tomorrow I’m travelling to Tamworth for my Calendar Club shift, then jumping on a couple of trains and a taxi to get to mum’s overnight. I’ll drive from there on Thursday morning, back to the boat, to collect my facepainting equipment – then head back down to Malvern to set up for the Christmas Shopping Show at the Three Counties Showgrounds Malvern, 2nd to 4th December.
I’m rather childishly excited to be returning there, it’s such a festive atmosphere and painting faces and arms, and glittering folks so they shine and shimmer, is quite a special ‘job’.
Birthday boy and the Floating Market
I’ll return to the boat on Monday 5th December, in time for Barry’s 61st birthday – last year for his milestone I was at Malvern facepainting, so I’m happy the dates are different in 2016!
After that things will be busy, busy, busy …
Barry will be trading as The Home Brew Boat at the Roving Canal Traders Floating Christmas Market, from 10th to 18th December, outside the National Indoor Arena (or thereabouts!). So I get to cover HIS Calendar Club shifts at Merry Hill (lucky wife that I am!), as well as mine at Tamworth. The week before Christmas we’ll both be calendar sellers, and a couple of days afterwards too. Christmas Day we’ll have off – and be driving up to Malpas to spend the day with my eldest daughter, son-in-law, and gorgeous grandsons.
Don’t feel in the least sorry for us – we’re loving what we do, and have many amazing adventures planned for 2017 which will more than make up for the focus on bringing in some much needed money!
Have fun everyone in the madness of the merry-making build up.