Had a Christmas shopping day in Harrods last week with my sister. It's a tradition which my mother started, so the first few years we met after her death felt forced and a bit sad, but now we both look forward to it. Neither of us are good shoppers so we're perfect company - we look a bit and then go and have a cup of tea, look a bit more and hey presto it's lunch time, a few more glances and time for another cup of tea. This year we met in the book dept which was a disaster as we both got heaps of books which we then had to lug round with us for the rest of the day. Still all the cups of tea were lovely. And Harrods is - even more than usual at Christmas time - a different world. In what other shop would you get an announcement telling you that the in-store ice rink was now open and in ten minutes there was going to be a demonstration by the English ice skating team? It was all a bit surreal. Have been put in charge of family cocktails and poker this Christmas. Not sure if this is a sign of great responsibility, or everyone has just given up on me, but managed to get some good cocktail sticks and lots of chocolate coins for the stakes.
Am starting to keep a record of inscriptions on park benches. There was one I saw this morning dedicated just to 'A special person'.