If I did yet another blog post on us going to the mall, would you cry a thousand tears?
IT'S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS...................Man, I wish that guy would get out of the way.
I know going to the mall is for most a prosaic experience at the best of times. I like it, for reasons passing understanding. There's something penetratingly social about going to be with other people who generally, are there for recreational purposes.
I even like grocery shopping. Weird, huh?
It was late night shopping tonight. No, wait wait...let me back up a bit. For those of you not from Australia, here's the deal with our retail: shops in suburban malls shut around 5:30pm. Sometimes six. Usually a little earlier on Sunday. But on Thursday night, they're open late (nine pm). In the city, shops are open till nine on friday night. Don't ask me why it's like that, it just is. I know what you Americans are thinking...'they shut at five thirty??? Is this Communist Romania?'
This will become more fun in about a month, when the masses pack themselves in, the dear little sardines, by the tens of thousands, into malls around the country, doing Christmas shopping. It'll be crowded. It'll be cramped. It'll be frustrating. It'll be sweaty. It'll be an experience where I test my morals - if a little old lady and I are both spying the last thing do I say 'Hey! Look over there, a skunk!' and then grab the vase and high tail it toward the checkout?
I can't wait! I already know what I'm getting Mrs Speech.
So today, Thursday night, late night shopping. A beautiful dusk greeted us, palm trees darkened against a baldly pale azure sky and a temperate breeze that was pure perfection. See, it doesn't have to be entirely prosaic.
Mrs Speech needed to mail off a couple Jesse Tree Ornament sets to people who purchased from Mrs Speech's shop.
By the way, to the people thus far who have purchased from Mrs Speech, thank you! We appreciate it. Your ornaments are either on their way to you, or hopefully you have received them already!
We had tea at the mall. Garden City has two food courts and a few little cafes and stuff dotted here and there, plus a recently renovated outdoor dining area with like seven restaurants, an ice creamery and a sixteen cinema megaplex.
We got some cheap Subway, and headed to Big W, which as I have mentioned previously, is much like Wal Mart.
I'm totally ready for the Christmas season. Man, knock me over with a sledgehammer. And I think Mrs Speech is getting there too, because she enthusiastically joined me as we went through all Big W's lolly (candy) aisles, preparing for all the holiday chocolate we'd be buying each other.
'If we're going to be technical, Bethlehem was in the desert!'
They have these awesome little gastronomical gift sets too. Like the rectangular tin of biscuits with a mini pool table and cues and pool balls on top which you can actually use to play mini pool! How awesome is that!! Also there was a pizza kit, with a stone tablet, round cutting thing and serving thing, and one of those stone pesto grindy things. I know, not too specific.
There was an Angry Birds themed chicken kit. ie, it had BBQ chilli sauce and things like that. I reckon the birds would get angry if they knew that their destiny was some dude's plate, with BBQ chilli sauce adorning them.
I want to give a shout out to Mrs Speech's family and their almond-selling business. We came across various nuts, one of which was French Vanilla almonds. Mrs Speech loves French Vanilla coffee. I got to wondering if she'd like French Vanilla nuts. Hmmm.
It's all good value, if you're not looking to spend $17.99 on one
The nutcracker marching band men were positively creepy; I don't know who in their right mind would want one of those spooky little buggers ominously peering down at them from the mantlepiece during the holidays. Maybe it's to scare the kids away from shaking the presents under the tree.
Mrs Speech loves the Nativity Scenes, and they had little Nativity figures which were quite nicely done. Not the exquisite creations which make your debit card cry, but humble I guess. Nice.
We wandered around Big W some, then headed out.
Earthborn is a nice place to wander through. It's patently feminine and sounds like a place for clay potters who love the environment, to come together in hippy harmony, but for some reason I enjoy browsing it. They have these massive clocks, seriously, two feet tall. If they needed a replacement for Big Ben, one of these would do. Anyone putting one in their lounge room would need to retreat to the kitchen just to properly read the time.
Earthborn usually does good business because they price quite well and the staff are pleasant.
We moved on to JB Hi-Fi, and played with some of their new tablets. Love those things. They're so instantly addictive. Looked at some of their cameras too, for the purposes of maybe getting some better shots for Mrs Speech's shop. I'm amazed at how they've come down in price over the years.
On our way though, we came across a wonderful sight: Garden city has finally put up its tree! See top of post.
And, although it's connected to their crud Santa's workshop, it's still nice to see. It must be thirty feet tall, with lights and bauble-tinsel and the anticipation of yes, yet again, it's that time of year.
Great way to end the night.