Saturday, 22 December 2012

The tradition of Christmas shopping


Friday evening well spent wrapping presents and writing cards while the parents were out dancing the night away; my life is too exciting. Night before I had my first trip to the new Sainsburys in town... I know it’s Christmas and time to relax but I need to get out!

So spent the day in Cambridge yesterday finishing off Christmas shopping with mother – always a tad tricky when the only person you still need to buy presents for is the person you choose to go with! All the same it was a successful trip, although I was officially slightly disappointed by the city for the first time and my appreciation for Norwich was very much heightened. Tradition foretells that mother (or Dad on the odd occasion) and I visit Cambridge in the week leading up to the holiday for a spot of last-minute Christmas shopping. Cambridge always has such a lovely feel to it and whatever the weather, lunch is had sitting on the wall of King’s College and people watching. In all honesty, it’s the architecture and how pretty the lights look at this time of year that has the biggest appeal but for shopping purposes I was less than inspired this year! It may just be a case of not knowing where to go in Cambridge combined with a case of now being much more familiar with where to go in Norwich, but Cambridge city centre seems to distinctly lack independent businesses! The only reason I did so little shopping in Norwich this year was because I had so few opportunities to go into town, and wandering aimlessly around Cambridge yesterday all I could think was that I knew exactly where I would have gone if I’d still been in Norfolk!
With the vintage shops like Prim Vintage, Goldfinches and Antidote for my every clothing and accessory need, little boutique, art and craft shops like Lisa Angel, Follies (which I am very sad to see go), Elm Hill Craft Shop and The Jade Tree for my every jewel, ornament and stocking filler need, and most importantly great food places like Louis’ Deli, Amaretto Deli and Jarrolds for my lunch and Norfolk product present purposes, we’re spoilt for choice in Norwich – and there are SO many more to choose from, not to mention the cafés and bars for rest stops! Having now lived in Norwich for 3 years and nearby for 15, I honestly thought I was bored of the city, but on reflection I don’t think I could now settle anywhere without such a vibrant and eclectic mix of independent businesses because they make shopping, eating and drinking such a treat!

Maybe, just maybe, tradition may take a turn in a different direction next year.

P.S I suppose the all important question of the best busker remains? Think ‘man-in-a-bin’ is officially in the running, first encountered in September and still stuck there yesterday... (still wish I’d seen him get in!)