Friday, 21 December 2012

Bah! Hamburg!?

Merry Christmas from Phil Williams!

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year – and whatever floats your boat continues to float it ...

I don’t know if it’s just me, though, but there does seem to be a frosty sting of austerity in the air. I wandered through Birmingham’s extensive Frankfurt Christmas Market the other day (without spending a penny ... I’d already had a sandwich so couldn’t face a frankfurter or a two-pint tankard of beer). I understand it’s packed on weekends and in the evening but there were few punters around as I passed through. Impressive though, it spilled out with Hansel and Gretel style stalls almost all the way down to New Street station from Chamberlain Square. Perhaps I was being tight (bah! Humbug! Bah! Hamburg? Bah! Frankfurt?!) – but I didn’t even stop to buy some tempting wooden toads with knobbly backs that you run a stick across to play tunes. The bloke at the stall did it well, but he also appeared desperate.

What do you buy for the man/kids/wife who was everything?
A knobbly-backed toad you can play tunes on.

It’s all about choosing your pitch. Or paying for it. The stalls in the main squares seemed to be doing better than those around the edges or down the side-streets. Surely, though, there’s a limit to how many stalls there can be selling virtually the same stuff. The experts will correct me, but there are only so many sausage stalls you can cram into a single market.

It was fun, though, and cheery. I take my hat off to Birmingham City Council for keeping up the cheer despite the impending cuts.

Merry Christmas one and all. ‘God bless us every one!’

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