>Braving Murderhell

>I have a very early start this morning as I’m doing my Christmas shopping at Meadowhall. I’m on the bus and train too as (a) I don’t want to drive a strange car in this weather if I don’t have to, (b) traffic may be a nightmare, and (c) parking will be nigh on impossible. I can jump on a bus at the top of my road and that will take me to the next village where I can jump on a train, then the train takes you right on in to Meadowhall. I may be standing all the way home, but that’s preferable to unnecessary stress on the roads.

It’s going to be hell, I can tell. And I’ll be way too hot in my outdoor coat (I don’t normally bother with a coat when I drive as it’s all indoors). But hopefully the Sally Army or the Grimey Colliery Band will be there playing carols, hopefully the shops won’t be sold out of everything on my list, hopefully I’ll be able to grab a nice hot chocolate and a mince pie, and hopefully all that walking will do me good. I’d take my pedometer if it didn’t keep falling off.

There are lists coming with me (waves at Carol) – I have a list of the bus times, a list of the train times, a list of the shops I want to visit, a list of the gifts I hope to get. I only have 6 to buy for, plus something for the cats if I see anything, and something for me if I can afford it. I’m strangely quite excited. I can’t remember the last time I went on a shopping adventure.

Later I have to collect my car, so I’ll go home first, drop my packages off, then do battle with that crazy hire car. When I get my own car back I’ll probably do my grocery shopping on the way home, or wait until 10pm tonight when it should be quieter.

I walked up to the village yesterday and got Jehovah’s Witnessed on the way. Honestly, I have no problem with other faiths and religions, live and let live is one of my mottoes, but give me the same courtesy back, yeah? I suppose it happening in the street is better than it happening on the doorstep but, really, if I’m interested, I’ll let you know. The footpaths were quite good, not slippy at all, and it felt quite mild too.

No skimmed milk, though. Not from the mini-market, not from the petrol station, not from the corner shop. I pick up full fat milk and they say: “Surely the semi-skimmed would be better?” So I say: “This is for my cats,” and I pick up the semi-skimmed for me anyway. Then they try to sell me cat milk, which is about 4 times dearer than ordinary milk. My cats are fine with cow’s milk, thank you very much, so long as it’s full fat.

My treat was a fresh cream strawberry tart, which I had with a turkey sandwich for my midday meal. But they had no mince pies. Three days before Christmas and they have No Mince Pies? Amazing.

Today’s picture comes from Applebys Holidays. Imagine that, they do a coach tour to Murderhell.