Monday, December 19, 2005

a question of observation?

The last two saturdays I have spent in London. The first one was because I needed to book plane tickets with my travel agent. This was Sta Travel on Kings Cross. After we'd booked, my friend and I decided to head to Oxford Street and see if we could pick up anything good in HMV.

this saturday gone, I and a different friend headed down to Camden Lock to pick up a few slightly odder gifts. Following this, we headed down to Leicester Square and Charing Cross Road because I needed the loo and wanted to look in the bookshops.

Both days I expected it to be manic. I expected Oxford Street and Leicester Square to be full of insane people who want that bargain or ticket and are prepared to kill me if it means getting there 0.2 seconds quicker. This is what Oxford Street is normally like. I've been there on non-seasonal occasions and, within 20 minutes, been quite ready to spill the blood of the next person who pushes me.

But, the 2 last weekends before Christmas, and the place was... relatively quiet. I've been on busier days. much busier days. Apart from the 300 odd people dresses as santa and protesting that they want Christmas and want it now (genius) and singing carols that are slightly altered, such that they are about booze (also genius); it was pretty empty.

This tells me one of 3 things.
1) everyone is so efficient that they all finished their Christmas shopping in July.
2) everyone has ordered their gear from the internet.
3) people aren't buying as much.

I hope it's 3. Very much. So my inner cynic is at war with my inner optimist....

May you all have a Christmas and New Year full of peace and devoid of debt and materialism.

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