Don't worry, I didn't actually buy very much! (I just wanted to put an Anne Taintor pic on this post because I like her stuff.) I went into town today to do a little bit of Christmas shopping. Living far away from family forces me to be somewhat organised as I need to get the package for Canada put together and in the mail in reasonably good time. I had a bit of success today (something cool for you Ninny!) but I think I'm going to get most things on the internet because that way I can get exactly what I want and not spend my Saturdays doing battle with shopping-mad Northern Irish people. Anyway, my list's not too extensive because on Stuart's side of the family we've all drawn names and will only buy for one person each and then buy goats etc from Christian Aid with the moolah we would've spent on gifts. Oh yeah - we do buy for our three nieces of course as well (I'm all for teaching social responsibility young but how would you tell an eight year old that instead of getting her a pressie you've purchased a chicken in Zambia on her behalf!?)
On my way into town I think I broke an unwritten cardinal rule of urban living. I got onto a bus bound for Belfast and as I was paying for my ticket I realised that the driver lives two doors down from me. I friendlily exclaimed, 'I think you're my neighbour!' At first he seemed taken aback but then was nice enough when he recognised me. Okay - I know that might sound normal so perhaps I need to explain further the social intricacies of living in a small Victorian terraced house. The thing that is quite different here (where there is no space) from Saskatoon (where there is lots of space) is that we live very close to lots and lots of other people. It's a red brick jungle with about thirty attached row houses on each side of the street which is about a block long. Anyway, you'd think if you lived that close to your neighbours (and engage in ongoing parking spot wars with them) you would maybe get to know some of them right? Think again. My theory is that in order to cope with the population density we all just pretend that the others don't exist. There's not much waving hello or stopping to chat in the street and if you see any of your neighbours elsewhere in the hood, whatever you do, don't let on that you recognise them. But today I did. And he was nice.