AND SO CHRISTMAS BEGINS: This week I went Christmas shopping in Sutton with my daughter. It was quite special, because there were carols playing, and the shops were full of people. I stopped for coffee, and chatted to a lady about how she was going to seat twelve people for Boxing Day tea [Christmas brings out the sharing of ordinary every-day chit-chat] We shopped until we couldn’t carry any more. I took a baby-less pushchair which holds a multitude of bags, and my daughter took a wheelie trolley, and we both lost all sense of reason. My husband claims to have no knowledge of half the people I buy for. “Who’s that”, he’ll say, but everyone needs a present. I wanted to buy a snow globe, a beautiful one for someone special, not some tacky looking thing, a real keepsake, with a distinct scene, and plenty of snow. I shook so many snow globes I was getting repetitive strain injury. I’ll shop until I drop to find the right one. I bought these huge labels that you could write your last will and testament on, one of those mammoth cartons holding several boxes of Pringles, a cowboy tin full of Wagon Wheels, and a yard long carton of Jaffa Cakes. My husband’s part in the proceedings is working out as usual how many sprouts we’ll all need for Christmas lunch. I think I’ll up it to nine”, he said [Good Lord], we’ll never make it to Boxing Day!