Halls are decked but 'tisn't yet the season to be jolly

Christmas is coming ridiculously early, wherever you are in the world. My English cousin took...
Christmas is coming ridiculously early, wherever you are in the world. My English cousin took this photo inside a garden centre in Uxbridge, on the outskirts of London, at the weekend. PHOTO: SIMON DAVIDSON
Welcome to our special Christmas column.

What? What's that you say? It's not Christmas? But it must be - if not Christmas, then almost Christmas, surely?

Look around you and some shops are getting right into the swing of things. I guess there's only about one-quarter of a whole year to go so, yes, we're obviously running out of time - you can understand their enthusiasm and desire to get us delving deep into our pockets.

I had several calls yesterday from readers who have seen decorations and other Christmas trimmings going up in the past few days. That was before it was even October!

Farmers in Dunedin has been especially quick off the mark. Yvonne Fell said she was in the store last week.

``I was surprised to see their Christmas section stocked up ready to go. It was a true `good grief' moment for me.''

Angela agreed. She was in Farmers last Thursday and noted the Christmas shop was all ready to open yesterday.

While wandering around Spotlight in Christchurch at the weekend, I noticed shelves full of glittery soldiers, trees and candles. And, quite coincidentally, my cousin Simon in London snapped what he says is the first sign of Christmas he's seen over there.

So, is it usual to have Christmas decorations up in September? Have I just missed it in recent years? I always thought it was

About the same time, on Saturday, I noticed Spotlight in Christchurch was getting excited about...
About the same time, on Saturday, I noticed Spotlight in Christchurch was getting excited about Christmas too. PHOTO: PAUL GORMAN
more traditionally Labour Weekend, and even that seemed ludicrously early.

Why don't we just have Christmas every day of the year?

Liz Drew, of Oamaru, says her town may already be following that philosophy.

``The Waitaki District Council must surely win. There are street decorations outside the council offices that have been there for months - maybe since last year.''

Cruise ships

And it's a big Dunedin welcome back to the cruise ships. The central city market returned in force yesterday, and the crowds were further treading the already well-trodden route from the Dunedin Railway Station up Lower Stuart St to the Octagon.

I wonder if they were looking for some of the earliest Christmas decorations in the world?

Magical words

Peter Spiller, from Christchurch, passes on this gem from the London Underground some years ago:

``Gents and lift out of order. Please use stairs.''

An experience I had at the weekend showed me how easy it is to spoonerise.

We had one of those cut-price vouchers for a restaurant and when my turn came to order I asked for the ``lack of ram''.

A memento (another paperweight?) presented to Alex Dempster's grandfather Alex, who was on the...
A memento (another paperweight?) presented to Alex Dempster's grandfather Alex, who was on the works committee of the New Zealand and South Seas International Exhibition in 1925-26. PHOTO: ALEX DEMPSTER
Coleen Blackmore emailed to say she got great delight out of the spoonerisms and malapropisms in recent columns.

``But here is one from your own newspaper, on Thursday, September 27, page three: Headline `Ardern meets Trump at UN assembly' and then in paragraph three - `Ms Ardern had a brief conservation with Mr Trump'.

``My imagination is running on high octane putting this in various scenarios.''

Yes, I wonder how that went? We know Mr Trump is not exactly a fan of the environment.

The Exhibition

Still getting some really interesting material on the 1925-26 Logan Park New Zealand and South Seas International Exhibition.

Alex Dempster sent the photo here of another exhibition keepsake.

``The members of the works committee were each presented with an individual memento. The photo shows that given to my grandfather, Alex Dempster, who was subsequently clerk of works on the `new [Dunedin] town hall' in 1929.

``He told me that the weight-bearing capacity of the galleries was checked by having workmen carry upstairs bags of sand representing a full audience, plus a safety allowance. I still have his diary for the job.''

 

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