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Saturday, December 03, 2005

BATH: Christmas shopping

Bath Chritmas Market, set amongst some of Bath's legendary Romanesque arechitecture

I hate consumerism, but every year I end up spending a fortune on presents. I like to buy things that are a little bit out of the ordinary and try not to go to the big chain stores that can be found in every high street in the UK (and increasingly Europe). This is partly because I like to get unusual gifts and partly because I would prefer to give my money to indipendent traders that multi-national mega-companies. To this end, I travelled to Bath this week on a shopping expedition.

These days, if you walk down your average town centre, you will see the same shops, Boots, WH Smith, HMV, Waterstones….. and so on. It is all so depressing, big business is taking over the world and our towns and cities are losing all their individuality. When I was in Prague last year, there were people on our flight that had bought presents from Marks and Spencers. Now what the hell is the point of that?

One of the reasons I like Bath so much (apart from the Roman History of the place) is an abundance of independent shops. There are lots of little alleyways with nice little craft shops and emporiums of unusual delights. This was consolidated this weekend by a Christmas market, with lots of craft stalls, hand made soap, home grown cheeses and much more.

Zoë, daughter number one, and I had a good old wander and I managed to get quite a few presents sorted. I did pop into the odd chain store, but on the whole managed to get most of my stuff from independents.

I very often find myself out buying Christmas presents on Christmas eve, so to have made a dent in the shopping this early was quite pleasing. That, combined with the fact that I managed to shoot off a few photos of the legendary bath architecture, made it a very pleasant day out.


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