Last Tuesday

Records were set when, last Tuesday the 6th November, I used the Exclusive Books store in Canal Walk as a cut through to get to Sportsman’s Whorehouse and aurally encountered this:

Wham!’s Xmas offering has long been held as my official notice that the Christmas shopping period has begun and madness may now officially ensue. Other signs – fake plastic trees and the like – have been around for a while, but it’s not really Christmas shopping hell until you’ve heard “Last Christmas”.

There seemed no more appropriate place to realise this than in Canal Walk.

Stress Free Christmas Shopping

After all these years, I think I’ve found the way to do it. And while it might ruin the chances of a repeat performance for me next year, I’m willing to share my new found knowledge with you, my loyal reader.

You’ll need a few things to make this work well:

Firstly, you need to not be at work. Obviously, you need to have a job in order to have money to pay for things, but you don’t want to be at work on this particular day. That said, you do need it to be a normal working day for everyone else. I used Monday 20th December.
Secondly, you don’t want to have any children with you. For this purpose, we used Poliswa. Trained in the art of looking after our kids, she did an admirable job of doing just that all day (plus all the washing, ironing, cleaning etc etc etc). The woman is a dynamo.
Thirdly, pick your venue carefully. It must have all the shops you need, but as few as possible of the ones that other people need. This rules Anal Walk out completely, because while it has three shops that you need, it also has 7,613 of the ones that you don’t. This 0.394% useful shop ratio (USR) is completely rubbish. Cavendish is full of Southern Suburbs tannies (even more so than usual) which is extremely unpleasant and you need to remortgage your house to afford parking there.

You should probably head for a smaller mall, like the V&A Waterfront, which Capetonians avoid throughout December because they think it’s going to be hugely busy with tourists, but which in actual fact is ever so quiet: all the Vaalies are doing the boat trips because they’ve never seen the sea before, and all the Europeans are stuck in a snowdrift in Heathrow, Amsterdam or Frankfurt.
The V&A also has Meloncino, which is a great place to stop for lunch and an even greater place to stop between 4-6pm, when all cocktails are half-price. The service is excellent, the food is excellent and the views are none too poor:

Panorama via Photaf for Android

And then just go for it, safe in the knowledge that there will always be a draught Peroni or Strawberry Daiquiri waiting for you should you need a break. Or – if you need sustenance on the fly – a small Lindt chocolate reindeer.

We left home at 8am and returned at 6pm. Parking was R10, all our was shopping done and surprisingly we were still talking to one another and actually rather relaxed (if a little jaded). Neither of us is quite sure how or what happened, but we will be trying it again next year.

I might actually test drive the beer and cocktail bit each month. Just to get it exactly right.
Planning is everything.