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The long slow road to a very Westfield Christmas

Friday, November 09, 2012
IT'S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS...................Man, I wish that guy would get out of the way.
If I did yet another blog post on us going to the mall, would you cry a thousand tears?

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?'

It's bigger than she is!!
I'd love it if they opened later. But alas. It does make thursday night shopping a little more fun. Everyone turns out the same night. I like being around people.

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.

I wonder if it's like the coffee...
I wish I had gotten a picture but Mrs Speech and I were racing to get to the post office which was closing soon.

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.

'If we're going to be technical, Bethlehem was in the desert!'
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.

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.

No visit to the elves is complete without a trip to the gift shop, you know.
We then got to roaming up and down the Christmas aisles. I've posted previously on them, they're loads of fun. Crummy nick-nacks you can make fun of, post on your blog and laugh at, alongside economical, traditional Christmas creations to replace the old stuff you don't want to let go of.

It's all good value, if you're not looking to spend $17.99 on one chilli pepper bauble (see video above), and I'm sure we'll roam up and down the aisles many more times. Sometimes we walk out with a little something.

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.

No...no, thank you.
They have some weird stuff...I've posted about the sparkly purple reindeer which would have to fight me in a bar somewhere like John Wayne in order to get through my front door. Mrs Speech picked up and then quickly put down a small, cartoonish dragon.

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.

Not really an affirming message.
But they're definitely a lefty place. Buddhas, lots of flower petals, some real, some not, and self-motivational wallboards like that one to the right. I call nonsense on that stuff. But regardless. I bought Mrs Speech a large silver old-school milkshake cup there a few years ago, which I monopolised because I drink more at one time than she does, and I've been trying to find one since without luck.

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.

Garden City also has a nice little Nativity Scene.
Coles was up next as we did a little shopping then headed out.

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.
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