Things That Delight Me On December 1st

I don’t know if it’s just me, but everything’s gone a bit weird this year. Things have felt a bit muted, run-up-wise, (not that I see the shops not getting Christmas decorations in in September as a bad thing – indeed it’s rather refreshing…) not helped by the lack of ice-rink, which although only a recent addition, I guess I’d assumed would become a tradition. I had hoped to be able to recommend the show at the Playhouse after last year’s knockout production of A Christmas Carol but it’s dark this year, and up to this weekend the town centre’s been much quieter than usual.

And then suddenly it’s all started to kick off. People I didn’t even know were into festive stuff are getting their Christmas trees in early. A man down the road to me has smothered his place in decorations. I was invited round to some pals for mince pies and a screening of “The Muppet Christmas Carol” on Saturday - when it was still November. And Stevie sent me this pic of the ‘is-it-brilliant-or-is-it-horrid’ Greenwich Christmas tree last week.

What’s going on? Is it some kind of desperate attempt to cheer ourselves up amid all this financial gloom and doom or are we all genuinely so excited about the forthcoming season that we’re starting early?

I’m going to steadfastly believe the second, being the soppy old Phantom I am. And today, I thought I’d bring you a few things that delight me / will delight me over the coming weeks…

La Salumeria is always a good indicator of the season, with its displays of whatever Italian festive fare is pretty at the time – and since we are now not to lose the place after all, I can enjoy their newly-decorated shop all the more, with its dozens of boxes of Panettone hanging from the ceiling, its tins of nougat and biscuits and ham and its beribboned cakes jostling for position in the tiny shop.

I’ve already mentioned the Advent windows – a very new tradition that I wasn’t convinced would actually happen this year, but promises some intriguing windows – we can only wait and see.

The Friends of East Greenwich Pleasaunce are praying for better weather for their open air carols-and-Santa-fest next Sunday. They’ve printed up 1000 carol booklets and people all over East Greenwich are busily baking mince pies to go with the mulled wine. I am informed that Santa’s mode of transport’s pretty spectacular this year (intriguing…) and that there will be a steel band too. It will be between 2.00pm and 4.00pm.

Talking of Father Christmas, I understand he’ll be setting up grotto in the market this year – blink and you’ll miss him though. He’ll be there this Friday 5th (the same day the lights get switched on at, I think, 3.00pm) between 12.00pm and 7.00pm, then he’ll be back between 20th and 23rd December, – 5.00pm.

If you liked seeing Greenwich’s lights being switched on by a jolly fat man, then don’t miss the Blackheath version next Saturday where Nick Ferrari will be doing the honours. I don’t know whether he will be available later for beard, boots and knee-sitting duties…
More fun stuff from IanVisits, who sent me a link for a guided walk around Blackheath next Saturday.
Lastly, don’t forget the panto at Greenwich Theatre, which, if memory serves, is Jack and the Beanstalk. Hmm. Must go and get those tickets…
Tell me good Christmassy things to get me further in the mood.

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