Friday, 11 May 2012

227 days to go!

Surprise, no it's not another countdown to the London 2012 olympic's post. It's a remarkably unseasonable Christmas post. Yay! What's not to love about another wedge of Christmas right in the middle of May? I got a Christmas card yesterday as it happens. Stevie came back from a work trip to Derby, where he'd also managed to fit in a visit to the house to see how things were going with our tenant. Anyway, he brought me back a nice 5 month old Christmas card from an old colleague, which was nice. Maybe that got Christmas into my subconscious, but today when Hamish and I were heading to the bank to drop off a payment slip to the police for that amusing time when Stevie had the car towed away, we were just heading along the Ku'damm when I noticed the Käthe Wohlfahrt shop which is a permanent (mostly Christmas) shop that you'll probably be familiar with if you've been to a German Christmas market. Given that it was a 'frosty' 29 degrees Celsius outside, I thought it might be a good idea to pop in.

So in case the name is not jogging your memory, the Käthe Wohlfahrt shop at German Christmas markets is usually in a pretty big log cabin. They have it set out so you have to wander round following a set route more or less, and you kind of just shuffle round in your allotted position in amongst about 400 other people all doing the same thing. You might also remember it as the place where you can't take any photos, and indeed photography is also banned in the shop. But one of the sales assistants asked me if we wanted our photo taken in front of the one area of the shop in which it is allowed. So here we are. I wish we'd worn woolly hats at least.

I wasn't too pleased with her effort, considering she barely managed to get Santa in. So I took a photo myself.

And then I started getting brave and started quickly whipping my camera out of my bag, grabbing a shot, and then I spent the next 20 seconds worrying that I'd get caught and they'd confiscate my camera. Hence, ahem, the um... lack of focus that follows. 

There is an AMAZING cuckoo clock on this wall that I wish I had take a close up of. It's got 3 bears on it and the detail on it is just stunning. They do have some of the clocks on the website, but not the 3 bears one. But anyway, I would love, love, love, to have a spare (best part of a) grand to buy a 3 bears clock. I really like these, but when I think about it, I would have to have the kind of money a footballer's wife has in order to permit myself to buy one of these. 

Moving on, you can walk up a big winter wonderland spiral that goes round a central giant Christmas tree that takes you up to the Christmas shop on the first floor. It's quite pretty! There are lots of little dioramas set up to gaze at along your journey. Hamish thought it was great. 

This is the central Christmas tree that the spiral ramp goes round. As you can see they have gone with my family's preferred decorating method of cramming as much on as possible. There tree of course was upwards of about 20 feet whereas we can fit the same amount of decorations on to a 4 foot tree. I guess they just need a bit more practice in time for next year.

Once you're at the top there are all sorts of lovely things to behold. I am not really a big fan of the decorations that are made out of pale sort of balsa wood, with jig-sawed designs, but even I can be persuaded when I see something like this on such a big scale. Cool, isn't it? Excruciatingly expensive of course, but you could be like the Christmas shop and have it up all year round.

And in case you're wondering how a Christmas shop can stay open all year round, well let me just say, we weren't the only ones there: there were people buying stuff too! 

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