New Religion

Poetry

Congregate

The atmosphere is electric

some gathered there would say evangelic

as the lights flicker around the evening sky

like acolytes the security guards wait

for the signal to lower the velvet barriers

countdown progresses

as a one hit wonder presses a golden button

with that actress you know off the daily soap opera

and then the worship begins

as the bells ring out

and the dinero fills the tills

as the worshippers take their communion home

in the form of homeware, electricals or fashion

 

Its not this time of year until….

Christmas

It’s Not This Time of Year Without…

1. Festive lights on Trees outside every shopping centre in sight

Evidence for the defence….

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This is the Entrance of the Lowry outlet mall in Salford (Look it up guys, it’s my hometown. Situated next to Manchester – who like to get developers to subvert their name onto every other city / town in the Metropolitan Area)

 

2. Every large store has some sort of “Winter” Sale

This one is a biggie…as I write there’s five more days of NOVEMBER folks.  By the time we get to the week of Christmas itself – There’s going to be one hell of an Anti-climax.

3. Christmas Markets

I Actually like Christmas Markets…why we have to have them in November Heaven only knows, it still raised a smile seeing the Traditional stalls being set up in the streets (Haven’t opened yet – so there may be an image here later 🙂 )

4. There’s  Food you normally don’t buy in the rest of the year

As well as the usual Meat and Veg you see around this season, the nature of what is available is astounding.   Satsumas, Cranberries and all sorts of Flavourings – and that’s just for the stuffing.  You get all this in….and most of it (particularly those flavourings you sprinkle over the roasts to make them “especially crispy”) is still there two weeks after twelfth night.

One Good thing – Mince pies and Christmas Pudding…(though you can get plum pudding in the shops after Christmas day

5.  The Mad Rush

Today (Friday) was believe it or Not – Black Friday – where the world and his wife went bonkers looking for “Unbelievable” bargains.  I avoided Manchester city centre like a dose of the plague.  But I too, used to run around before 24th December in a mad rush to get the present everybody wanted…even if that meant I received three Christmas jumpers in return…This year – i’m pacing myself…running round causes too much stress…and we don’t need that now do we?

I’m just going to take it easy, pick out the stuff from my list of pressies i’m sending to santa and enjoy the rest of the holidays

Waiting for the next big thing…

Christmas, Life, Poetry, Technology

Is it me? or has the calendar been re-drawn ?

You’ve been after that bright shiny object for ages

The latest thing, that’s in all the shops

 

But now, its here, you’re all forlorn

as you parted with a load of your wages

you left feeling like the pick of the pops

 

The packaging all bashed and worn

The manual that goes on for ages

the object of desire – tomorrow – price drops

 

For the latest model – has been born

the topic of all technological sages

and your happiness for your purchase – flops

 

The Christmas Market

Christmas, Holidays, Memories, Winter

10 December 2010

The Christmas Market

The beginning of the Christmas season, for me, always starts when the first frost hits the fallen leaves from Autumn, which are lying on the ground. This year, it coincided with the first of the festive celebrations at the northern branch of the Imperial War Museum, where I am involved as a volunteer.

Having carefully navigated the icy pathways leading to the museum, I climb the stairs to the Main Exhibition Space as familiar faces from the museum say hello. I’m then passed a cup of cheer in the form of a festive mulled wine, a welcoming sight for someone trying to take on Amundsen at his own game. It primarily relieves my hands from the cold snap outside, which was so cold it had left an ice sheet creeping beyond Ontario Basin. Indeed, it was cold.

As the cup warmed my fingers, the mulled wine’s aroma hit my nostrils. A wonderful mix of festive smells greeted me, travelling slowly up my nose and warming the back of the throat. First came the scent of the cinnamon. It was spicy and warming. Then, the smell of the nutmeg, and fruity flavours – it was Christmas in a cup…A perfect accompaniment for the Mince pie, which was both fruity and warm. Christmas had arrived.

We chatted and talked, as we finished our drinks, before leaving the museum and heading for the new home of BBC North – Media city UK, where our festive carriage awaited. I make sure I’m wrapped up warm before leaving the museum. The Cold still bites. Thankfully, no sooner as we get there does the tram arrive at the platform.

I watch from a window as our golden carriage travels down the line. We pass through the Quays and Manchester central. The Night air crisp, filled with stars and Christmas lights. People are out in the town, celebrating. Then, the tram stops at our destination. It brings back familiar memories. As we walk the short distance from the St Peters stop to the market, coloured festive lights lead the way.

I look above me at the Town Hall clock and spot Father Christmas sat happily on the town hall roof, where he brightly lights up the night sky. Familiar sights and smells greet me and my friends, various stalls selling almonds and roasted hazelnuts. Fudge and pancakes. The smell of Aromatic sausages mixes with Intoxicating Hot rum punch, full of fruit and spice. Once again the smells of Christmas fill the air and I can smell the scents of citrus and marzipan hanging around the stalls.

In a corner of the market is a Swiss clock maker, his cuckoo clocks chime so I check my watch, the clocks have chimed the quarter hour.

Amongst the shoppers I can hear the distant sound of an Oom-pah band playing by the Bavarian Beer house, but it’s being drowned out by the sound of that song by Noddy Holder. I pass the toy stall and reminisce about when I was younger….You know, I Had one of those as a kid.

We can hear the staff singing and chatting in a nearby bar – They’ve got the right idea, there’s a definite nip in the air. It’s time for a hot drink me thinks. Our small group like a band of brothers head for the warmth of a nearby coffee house. A Warm Cup of Minted Hot Chocolate is waiting. It is both satisfying and warming at the same time.

The tea is just as nice. I order a pot – it’s got one of those funny teabags in it. Ah well, I chuckle, it is Starbucks after all.

The cuppa puts the evening to bed. A very pleasant time has been had in the company of my chums in the volunteer squad but my bed awaits – I make a bee line for the Metro Stop. Christmas Dinner waits at the Museum come Sunrise.