A Time and a Place…


In climates such as ours where we experience four distinctly different seasons, one can take great delight from the knowledge that each season brings opportunities to enjoy sights, smells, flavours and experiences which are unique to that time of the year. An inspirational foodie friend recently started a blog – Savoury – which hits on this exact train of thought from a cook’s perspective. I hope you will take a moment to visit and enjoy this lovingly written prose.

Reading Shane’s last post about the delicious potential of the English cherry at this time of year, I was reminded of my shock earlier this week to discover that Selfridges, the London store, has already opened its Christmas shop in the basement – earlier than ever. Being in the basement and lacking any opportunity to glimpse the gorgeous sunny weather outside, for a brief moment I wondered if I had suffered some sort of blow to the head and woken up three months hence.

Christmas is a winter festival and for millions of people a very sacred one. To me, looking at baubles and reindeer, little feather owls and winter scenes when it isn’t even the beginning of autumn and is 26 degrees outside, dilutes ones sense of excitement and anticipation of the event itself. For little children it must be dreadfully confusing. For adults, many find it to be the worst sort of commercialism and in very poor taste. To my greater shock, people were actually buying things as though the opportunity to do so might suddenly be taken away from them – as though Christmas would “run out” before December 25th and they would find themselves lacking the faux-ice decorations and mini-owls covered in real feathers that would, for them, make the perfect Christmas. The mini-owls are quite delightful by the way, and I would probably love them very much… but in December, not August.

People want strawberries year-round, not just in summer. Other seasonal delights are imported from far and wide at huge environmental cost, to meet a genuine demand… but where does it end? A Selfridges buyer was quoted as saying that she anticipates in the not-too-distant future Selfridges will have a Christmas retail offering ALL YEAR ROUND…

I for one am still thinking about picnics in Hyde Park, not going anywhere without my Ray Ban aviators and wondering if flip flops are ever appropriate in the central postcodes…. I am determined not to start thinking about Christmas until there are no leaves on the trees and there is a chill in the air. I urge you to do the same and stop the ceaseless, commercially-driven march of shocking bad taste.


One Response to “A Time and a Place…”

  1. […] and think ahead a few short weeks and begin (albeit tentativley) to start thinking about Christmas. Every year I am dismayed at how Christmas seems to last the best part of four months in the retail calendar… August is […]

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