Monday, November 25, 2002

Watty's thinking of Christmas (stop groaning at the back)

Now, the only reason I'm thinking of Christmas this early is the almost famous Christmas Letter. From something we always said we wouldn't do, it's taken on a life of its own. There will be no clues here as to its contents or style, mainly because i've not really worked it out myself yet, but those of you who have seen one before may rest assured that there will be something or other in the Christmas cards...

The other thing which has focused me on Christmas was the trip to Costco on Sunday. Now, I know it is getting a little late in the year for this kind of thing - Costco is busy at the best of times, and 5 weeks out it's only going to be worse, but it was only going to get busier, so Conor and I put on our body armour and our steel toecapped boots, and went for it. In reality it wasn't bad - we spent less than we had budgeted and we didn't have to queue for long to get out, and there was only superficial bruising from trolleys, so I think we did well. But I was struck by a particular stupidity which continues to irritate me. Costco have the most sensible, logical carpark arrangement I've ever seen in a place like that - the aisles are all one way, and the spaces are angled so that you always park nose first, to allow access to the back of the car for loading. It's clearly marked, and all the spaces are wide enough for doors to be opened, and children loaded and unloaded and so on. It's so sensible that it's a wonder more places don't do it. Except, of course, it's not a wonder, because the average British motorist is incapable of following a simple set of painted instructions. Every aisle I turn down is blocked by a car facing the wrong way. Usually they're trying to manoeuvre round into a space which is deliberately angled away from them, or even more intelligently, are crabbing round to reverse into the space. These are the people you see later, passing television sets and Christmas trees along a human chain, scratching the sides of their own car, to try to load up in a space which is already full of the people behind them who are doing the same. Me? I park a few feet further away from the entrance, and you know what? My legs don't fall off during the walk. Pah. Merry Christmas, everyone.

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