November 30, 2006
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This time last year I was in Salzburg for the Christmas market. God, I love Salzburg! And at Christmas it was amazing, everything Christmas should be – bitingly cold but crisp, with glühwein and jacket potatoes for sale on every corner and hot chocolate and cake and fried things with meat and carbohydrate in cafes. What I loved about it most, though, was that Christmas felt right and proper there. Tasteful. Wooden decorations. Elegant strings of white lights across streets and round trees. Braziers. Which might be why I always end up stomping round London at about this time of year like Scrooge, being really annoyed about the Christmas tree in All Bar One last night (I’m sorry, but Christmas trees do not belong anywhere before 1 December. Unless you’re in a Germanic country where they just do these things better).
My local supermarket had mince pies on sale when I moved in – on 22 September. My Dad saw Christmas cards for sale in August. These things anger me. Maybe it’s cos it feels so tacky here. Gaudy lights. Bright colours. And the warmth doesn’t help – hello, global warming! – it’s just wrong that I was able to walk around at the end of November with my coat flapping open last night, and that if there’d been room outside All Bar One we would have sat there (when’s the smoking ban coming in again?). But now that December’s (nearly) here I’m going to immerse myself in buying nice things to decorate the flat and go to Somerset House and Greenwich and the Natural History Museum’s Christmas market (even though the London ice rinks are very nice, they still can’t beat the one in Salzburg, which was completely empty) and think of lovely things we can eat and generally get into the Christmas spirit. *sigh* Would still rather be in Salzburg though…