Rather appropriately my first week of December was spent doing fabulous Christmas things; I went to my first charity function of the Christmas period on Friday night and quite happily won 2 Christmas presents in the raffle. After which I went to the first Christmas party of the season. It was a Christmas jumper party so as far as the eye could see there were ridiculous jumpers, vulgar colours and patterns and faces of reindeer and Father Christmas assaulted the eyes. It was a night of contradiction, I spent the first half trying desperately to be sophisticated and charming to a lot of middle aged women who kept telling me how lovely I looked and asking questions about what I am doing now that I have left university that made my insides squirm with awkward guilt and discomfort. The second half was filled with frantic attempts to recapture my hedonistic youth and in particular my drunken uni antics, only to discover I’m not as good at it as I used to be. That I have even less time for juvenile sex pests, uncontrollable drunks, belligerent intellectuals or the emotional messes and once they would have been highly amusing to me now I just want to obliterate them because I’m not one of them and they are assassinating my buzz. I went to bed however with a general feeling of good will and excitement these people where my friends and Christmas for me is all about loved ones.
With a little over 4 hours sleep I found myself riding a short train to Birmingham (desperately trying to figure out if I was still drunk or having an attack of vertigo) to meet up with some very special people. They were my flat mates from my first year of uni, Flat 133. The 7 most wonderful people I knew, we remained friends even when we no longer lived together, survived break ups and some were even engaged to each other. While some never speak to their first year flat mates mine are part of my family, stayed in my house and now we don’t see each other on regular basis are holes in my heart. We had all travelled to Birmingham City for one reason. Birmingham was holding the largest Christmas Market outside of Germany.
Everyone needs to go to a Christmas Market because there are oodles of wonderful things there. Now in its tenth year, the Frankfurt Christmas Market in Birmingham is amazing, it smells like Christmas all hot and overpowering even when it is freezing. All you can see are the most stunning stalls, some that have to most intricate handmade and wooden toys, my favorites being the small carousels and toy nutcrackers. Some stalls with wonderful tree decorations that were red, gold, silver, that are all manner of shapes and sizes that appeal to the child in me trying to find the biggest and best to add to my adult collection that one day I hope to dress my owe tree with. There were red and gold ones that inside the ball had spinning wings that I adored. Of course then there was the food, all hot to keep the cold at bay, Gebrannte Mandeln (toasted almonds candy things), cookies, soft ginger bread, Bratwurst and of course Gluhwine.
In the very centre was the bandstand that played Christmas carols, with a huge Christmas tree and an enchanting carousel. Now in Flat 133 we are not known for maturity we were all children at heart, we honestly tried not to go on the carousel but after deciding that we had been mature enough to travel, shop and declare bridesmaids (lilac dresses) we were secure enough in our own grown up status’ that we would venture onto the carousel odd looks and all. It was delightful and childish and just what we needed. The market had been captivating and after we retired back to my house (absent of biological family who had run off for the weekend) we relived our youth at uni.
I insisted on a walk on Sunday to cure my indulgence from the previous two days a long Kinver Edge, and it felt much like edge I feel I walking now between youth and adulthood. The bride to be remarked “no matter what I do you guys will always draw me back to believing the world is fresh and I can be a superwoman.”