Derby - Top Tips For Christmas Shopping
w/e 10 December 2006
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Iron Gate

Iron GateIt'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.
Eagle Centre Decorations

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 of it.
Top Tip No. 2 - Enjoy the decorations while you can.

Coffee ShopOne 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.
Santa's Cabin in the Market

Santa & His Helpers 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.
Fruit & Nuts

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 selection.

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 shopping.

Home Page
Back to Christmas Pages Index
Special Features Index

Terms & Conditions of Use
This website is copyright but licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence.
Please credit the photographer Garth Newton, or add a link to these pages.