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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Tuesday, December 14, 2004
    Life just bounces
    Christmas shopping complete. Parcels parcelled. Cards for posting, posted. Behind my right eye something aches. Muscles behind my kidneys too. I'm shattered but happy that it's a job now done.

    Essential rule of Christmas shopping #1: Buy in Liverpool. Feed the local economy. For the last two years it was all done in the little shops of Bold Street. I shopped around a bit this year, but all within the Liverpool postal area.

    Essential rule of Christmas shopping #2: Ignore people's Christmas lists. Saves any possibility of overlapping with other family / friends and means that the exchange of a gift between two people allows an element of surprise (admittedly I note sometimes shock or despair is part of the recipient's response).

    Christmas shopping delight this year: Trying applying generosity to my buying. How did I do? You'll have to wait and see.

    Christmas shopping gaffe this year #1: Buying what I thought was a blue santa hat from the Everton FC shop only to discover on getting it home it's a Santa stocking. Can't wear that on me head at Blackburn next Saturday;

    Christmas shopping gaffe this year #2: Buying cards in bulk from a charity which twice, over two months, failed to deliver to my address - a bloke twenty houses down the road was bemused / annoyed on both occasions. The cards went back both times - I never got the delivery;

    Christmas shopping gaffe this year #3: Buying cards from a shop to get them home to discover they had Happy Birthday inside them;

    Christmas shopping opportunity this year: Due to above card gaffes, I made me own cards last-minute and photocopied them. Hope they'll do.

    Christmas shopping treat this year: After completing my shopping, a purchase from Probe - Perverted By Mark E., a truly wonderful celebration of Fall music. Probe's sticky label calls it an "ace double cd set of U.S., U.K., German and antipodean indie misfits paying tribute to the mighty Fall - a load of great cover versions and a heap of fantastic originals inspired by Mark E."

    The drive home after Christmas shopping this year: A celebratory journey, singing along to Perverted By Mark E., waving my Everton club shop bag at friendly flag-bearing Blues car drivers and, at traffic lights, in the rear view mirror of cars bearing LFC stickers. "And green grow the hedgerows along the walls / And I see that my problems are really small / And life just bounces so don't you get worried at all".