Driving (riding) home for Christmas

Post length: 656 words, almost 3 minutes.

It may be a day later than I had planned, but I’m on my way.  The penultimate train, in fact.  I appreciate that for normal people, saying that would be a little strange, but given it takes me 3 trains and two tubes to get back up to my parent’s house, it gives you an indication of just where abouts I am.  It is, actually, the most significant train of the trip both size and time wise (although if you add up all the other trains it’s less than half the total journey time).  But anyway.

I keep thinking I must have forgotten something.  This is despite taking an extra day to get ready.  I had planned to leave on Monday.  That left Saturday to work (more about that some other time), Sunday to finish off the shopping, and pack and the Monday was free for travel.  It didn’t quite work out like that.

I did work on Saturday and I did try to shop on Sunday – in fact I made a special trip across to the Westfield Shopping Centre in London (the new big one which opened just in time for the Christmas rush) – but it was slightly less successful than I had anticipated.  I only had one really important present to buy, something for my Grandma, but despite my best efforts I failed to get her anything.  Admittedly the Westfield was/is not the most appropriate place to look for Grandma type things, but I had hoped it would have something. It didn’t.  So I tried Oxford Street.

The problem with Oxford Street is that if you don’t know what you’re looking for you’re unlikely to find anything you want.  I never know what I’m looking for so I rarely find anything at all.  This time was a very slight exception.  I set out knowing I needed to find something for my Grandma.  This was the important one.  Not the only one, but the most important one.  I’m going to see her on Christmas day – that’s the day after tomorrow – so I needed to find something that day.  But, ah ha!  “Actually, if I don’t find something today I can always find something on Tuesday”.  Great idea, assuming I manage to get home on the day I plan to get home.  Getting home on Monday gives me Tuesday and even, if it’s an absolute emergency, Wednesday to find something.  As you know, I’m only just on the way home now.  Tuesday.  Afternoon.

So, a bit of a success?  Yes.  I managed to buy a present which I didn’t need to buy until after Christmas.  As well as my family I had both Tiffany and Dana on my present list.  Tiffany’s reasonably easy – gift vouchers for Dress Circle or something to do with theatre, I also spotted a large Kandinsky calendar – Dana’s a little harder.  However the mild success came in the form of a desk calendar.  I was in Borders looking around and books and things which Grandma might like when I spotted a table with lots of desk calendars on it.  I didn’t think much to begin with, but then saw a collection of calendars which related to certain countries.  They had little phrases and bits of trivia about the country in question.  I looked and found exactly what I was looking for: one about Spain.  Dana’s starting a Spanish course with the Open University in February, so this is perfect – it’s only small so she can’t complain I’ve spent too much on her, it fits in with something she’s doing and interested in, and it shows I’m willing to help with her learning.  Great.

Unfortunately that’s all I managed to buy, which still leaves the problem of what to buy my Grandma.  I now have tomorrow.  Just tomorrow.

Posted on Tuesday 23rd December, 2008 at 4:06 pm in People.
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