02 December 2007

Just like Brian Wilson

Yesterday they shut off the traffic mains to Oxford Street, Regent Street and Piccadilly Circus in order to give free reign to the recent swell of super-charged shoppers on foot. And then out floated the colossal, inflated displays and slow, ethereal air dancers; the silken, chilly-sleeved jesters ambling spider-like on their stilts, galaxies of modern decorations winking on and dimming to pockets of music, live and in stereo, while the blue-faced sky passed out into night.

It was a bit like Mardi Gras, except with more clothes, better manners and fewer beads (so nothing like Mardi Gras, then). Being in London over the holiday season is a little bit like being a child again, because everything is designed to excite your imagination and take your breath away. And then empty your bank account. But wow, what a way to be bamboozled!

We’re doing most of our shopping at Spittalsfield Market, though, and this afternoon I managed to find gifts for the entire Films clan with nary a tear shed or a vacant stare at an incense burner (I always revert to my fifteen-year-old brain in moments of extreme desperation, when meditation balls, alligator-shaped mitts and handmade imports begin to seem like perfectly reasonable gift solutions). I think it helps to know that a gift is neither a help nor a hindrance to familial harmony in my case, and that Bruce is very good at helping me to reach a decision.

Sometimes I need to be gently dislodged from the stall pushing eco-friendly household detergent, or even blocked entirely from an overpriced condiments set nestled cheaply in its wooden gift crate. I don’t care if it’s a pair of day-glo stirrup pants stuffed inside an empty cereal box – I will probably stop to consider it if it’s sitting out on one of the many identical plywood tables you find curtained off in an open-air market. And it is the thought that counts, yeah? I will think long and hard about these wares, if I'm allowed.

But that’s an entire weekend gone, and I honestly don’t know how we’re almost back to Monday again. The only thing that keeps me going is the vague anticipation of landing on terra domus, where we will be greeted with open arms by a merry band of wrinkled servants my parents and a bed I plan to stay in unless there is food, drink or something to unwrap.

Can I get a fo shizzle! No? Alrighty.


Lass. said...

Spittalsfield? Is that its real name? Sounds...unsanitary. :)

Friday Films said...

Funily enough, that IS its real name, and I keep expecting people to laugh when I tell them where I've been over the weekend because I forget that British people are the ones coming up with these things.