WTF? 16

I left my hat in Boots today and I went back after work to see if anybody had handed it in.

“Hello, has anybody handed in a hat?”

“What does it look like?”

“It’s a woolly hat and it’s green and grey.”

“I’ll go and look…”

“Ummm…I’m afraid this is all I could find.”

You mean, all you can find is an item that exactly matches the description I just gave you.

It may be that I lose things more frequently than the average person, but I always seem to have odd conversations with lost property people.  I once left a tae kwon do flag at my local station:

“Hello, I think I lost a flag here yesterday.”

“Can you describe the flag?”

I don’t know how many flags he had in his small lost property cardboard box.  Obviously several.

I think the weirdest one was when I left a glove on a bus.  I didn’t need to give a description, I had the other glove to show the lost property person.  She took it away and had a look through the lost property and came back with my stripy glove in one hand and a purple child’s glove in the other.  No… no, that isn’t it.

Christmas Shopping in Cologne

BeetMum and I popped over to Cologne for the weekend on the Eurostar (changing at Brussels – very easy) for a little look round the Christmas markets.

Now I’m not very good at planning holidays as Mr Beet tends to research the crap out of everything, so there’s not normally much left for me to do (or maybe Mr Beet has to research everything because I don’t).  Anyway, apart from booking our train tickets and hotel I had done very little research as to where the markets were or what to expect.  But more by luck that judgment, the main Dom (Cathedral) market was 2 minutes from our hotel, so on arrival we went and had a quick look round before bed.

The next morning, we had a look round Cologne Cathedral.  I visited Cologne on a school music tour in 1999 and our choir sang here, but I didn’t remember quite how enormous it was.

The sightseeing box duly ticked, we proceeded to a full day of marketing, starting off with another look round the Dom market by daylight.

Our lack of research proved no hindrance as there is a little train to take you round the different markets so you don’t get lost.

We thought the Dom market would be the biggest, but in fact they were all pretty big so there was lots to see.  We went to the Alter Markt, the Mediaeval Market (not very good, and the only one that charged for entry, but it was next to the Chocolate Museum and we visited the shop there for warmth, sustenance and a few presents) and the Markt der Engels.

The stalls are as you would imagine; lots of gluhwein, stodgy food – we dined on sausage in a bun and deep fried banana (the remnants of which BeetMum carried around with her for the rest of the day waiting for a pigeon that never appeared) – stollen, gingerbread, christmas decorations and arts-and-craft-type gifts.

I had brought a jumper to wear each day, but it was pretty cold

so I ended up wearing all of them at once.  To add to the Christmas atmosphere we had a little sprinkling of snow – just enough to dust the rooftops.

Book 81 of 100

Watership Down – Richard Adams

The train journey to Cologne and back was a good opportunity to finish off Watership Down.  I think most people are familiar with the film, which has traumatised generations of children.

The film is pretty faithful to the book (right down to the “piss off!” that I remember so vividly), so there were few surprises in the plot.  The story is pretty tense, but not quite so terrifying as the film (or maybe I am just made of sterner stuff now compared to when I was seven).  The author describes a rabbit society with its own mythology and mores, and this is really well imagined.

Green Christmas Backfires

One of the little things I am trying to do this year to be a bit greener is re-using last year’s wrapping paper.  But I have so much nice wrapping paper from last year, that it makes me want to buy more presents so I can use it all.  That’s not very green.

I’ve got my mum a load of PG Wodehouse books (she doesn’t read this blog, and anyway I asked her for a list of ones she didn’t have so I don’t think it’s going to be a huge surprise)  and I was genuinely considering wrapping each one separately rather than all together, just to use up more paper.  Except it would be so disappointing on Christmas morning to think you have a big pile of presents and oh…it’s another Blandings book, and another, and another.

Then I thought it might be a good idea to give my own stuff away as gifts, to kick-start my attempt to reduce my personal possessions before going travelling.  It feels a bit tight-fisted (not sure why…I wouldn’t mind receiving a gift that someone already had), so will be in addition to existing gifts (which, being me, I have mostly already bought).  And I must resist the temptation to try to off-load stuff that I don’t genuinely think someone will appreciate.

I’ve already started mentally matching people with books I think they’d like.