Thursday, 3 December 2009

Christmas Shopping

One of the minor arts of life, thought Mrs Miniver at the end of a long day's Christmas shopping, was the conservation of energy in the matter of swing doors.

I decided to do most of my Christmas shopping online this year.

With patience and careful timing it was very seldom necessary 
to use your strength on them.

I settled myself in front of the computer with a cup of tea.

You could nearly always follow close behind some masterful person who had already done the pushing;

Amazon was my first port of call.

and if you were too late for that and the door had begun to swing towards you,

The phone rang.

then it was well worth pausing for a second

I returned fifteen minutes later.

until it swung away again and needed only gentle encouragement.

I consulted my list,

This seemed obvious enough;

but it was not very helpful.

but there was an astounding number of people

I had not got further than question marks beside most of the names

who seemed to glory in taking the line of most resistance,

and those names did not include some lovely teachers
whose presents were the most pressing

hurling themselves against an approaching door 

since term ends in less than two weeks time.

and reversing its direction by brute force,

I put in a bulk order for Schott's Almanac

as though there were virtue in the act.

because it's not chocolate,
it's not a scented candle,
 and it's not a mug.

Placing herself neatly in the wake of a bull-necked woman in tweeds,
she slipped out of the shop.


  1. I've got that list of names with question marks. The question marks are heavily inked in as if going over them again and again in pen will somehow release the perfect idea for a present. I do wish I hadn't scoffed at the people who did their Christmas shopping in August!

  2. I tend to buy things that I like, so I end up with a big basket of miscellaneous presents, and then shuffle them around until I have matched pairs of gifts and recipients!

    Pomona x

  3. Well done! I think I will have to print this out.

    - Elizabeth