Thursday 23 December 2010

Christmas shopping

Wednesday we went up to Loches to do our bit of Christmas shopping. The hypermarkets (superstores) like SuperU and LeClerc have been decorated for a couple of weeks and have special displays and yes, there is Christmas music piped through the tannoy systems but somehow it is all far less frenetic than in the UK--or so it seems to us. 
Loches decorations
At this time of year our local Sainsbury's where we lived in Suffolk would be heaving--morning, noon or night. There would be relentless 'pushing' of 'things for Christmas', a forest of trolleys in every aisle piled high with enough food to feed a Roman army for a month; long waits at the tills with rumblings of 'queue rage' and signs informing cutomers that yes, the store would be open on Boxing Day.

At SuperU there was an 'animator', a sort of in-house MC onthe tannoy who chattered on in a one-sided conversation with himself about the fantastic special offers. As we came in he was having one about individual mini tagines--special offer on a set of 4. But when we got to the checkout it was no more, nor less busy than normal; there were no extra tills open. Yes the checkout people were wearing santa hats; but they seem to wear these everywhere. A sort of universal retail Christmas 'signature'. We loaded up our shopping including some nice wines to go with Christmas food and went into Loches proper.

musical logs

The market was in full swing, friendly, not frenetic despite much trade at the fish stalls to buy oysters and other delicacies for the festive season. There were signs to remind people that the Saturday market would be held a day earlier on Friday the 24th due to Christmas and that the same would happen for the New Year. We shopped for ingredients for our Christmas Eve & Christmas Day dinners. Christmas Eve will be seafood : langoustines, large crevettes(prawns) and crab claws; neither of us is too keen on oysters. Christmas day will be marcassin (young wild boar), parsnips--to be roasted with honey and herbs and savoy cabbage with lardons (bacon). Not sure about dessert yet. Clutching our goodies we walked back to the car; with no signs of Christmas stress.

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