Derby - Top Tips For Christmas Shopping
w/e 10 December 2006
All this week's pictures were taken
with a Kodak DX6490
It's not that
I dislike shopping but at Christmas I do find the hustle and
bustle and jostling in shops somewhat frustrating and at times,
even depressing. I also find hunting for that special present
for someone when you have no idea what to get for them puts a
damper on the Christmas spirit. So following a trip to Derby
I thought I'd offer you my slightly tongue in cheek top tips
to avoid that shopping stress. These two images captured one
day last week both show the view towards Iron Gate with the Cathedral
in the distance and surprisingly few people.
So my Top Tip No. 1 - Shop midweek and avoid the crowds.
The absence of people makes it much easier to see and enjoy the
decorations. This may not be possible for much longer if the
politically correct brigade have their way and their diktat in
the workplace where Christmas decorations have been banned by
almost three out of four UK employers "for fear of offending
staff from other faiths" overflows into public places. Bah!
Humbug! What about the offence banning them causes to the Christian
majority? In case you missed it a survey found that 74% of managers
were not allowing any festive decorations in their workplaces
this year, an increase on 71% in 2005. If someone has gone to
the trouble to make the shopping experience pleasant as seen
here from one of the entrances to the Eagle Centre, take advantage
Top Tip No. 2 - Enjoy the decorations while you can.
One of the prerequisites
of any shopping trip and especially at Christmas when you could
be trudging round for hours on end, is to find a shop that sells
a good cup of coffee like Derby's Grand Cafe Caruso also in the
Eagle Centre. There are many varieties on sale here from espresso
to cappuccino and all strengths and flavours in between but though
tempted by a rum flavoured Mexicana I was truly decadent with
a Viennese Vanilla complete with whipped cream and chocolate
chips. As the old saying goes "Naughty but nice!"
Top Tip No. 3 - Make time for a coffee break.
There are two indoor markets in the centre of Derby - the one
above is in the Eagle Centre and if all this Christmas shopping
gets too much for you, you might even come across a log cabin
where you can hide for a while to recuperate. Santa has a home
here in December but as I'd seen him in another part of the Centre
(right) the 'No Entry' sign at the cabin door would have ensured
a peaceful half-hour or so. But business was slow for Santa on
this particular day and his little helpers looked bored to tears
so there was no telling when he would return to his cabin!
Top Tip No. 4 - Scour the markets for bargains.
Now for some inexplicable reason we ended up with far too much
dried fruit when we came to make our Christmas cake this year
so when we bought some nuts for Christmas from this stall in
the market we chose the mixture without the added fruit. That
way we got more nuts for our money and we can add as much dried
fruit as we like to suit our taste. Probably works out cheaper
in the long run anyway.
Top Tip No. 5 - Add your own dried fruit to your Christmas nut
The Eagle Centre is currently being extended and the enlarged
shopping precinct is due to open next year. At the moment much
of this part of Derby is a building site (top right) but it is
beginning to resemble the artist's impression (bottom right)
on view in the Centre. Signs of the redevelopment are also visible
high above the dome where the Centre's Christmas Tree stands
(above left). Through the glass, a huge crane can be seen. This
time next year there will be even more shops after our custom
- mind you with a larger shopping area to go round and only a
similar number of people, it might even make weekend shopping
bearable - especially if you're working to a list and know exactly
what you want!
Top Tip No. 6 - Plan ahead - the best way to stay sane whilst