Sunday, 6 November 2011

Christmas is on its way....

Suddenly, yesterday, it felt as if Christmas is coming in the West End of London.  I know it happens earlier each year,and now spreads over at least two months. But there was a festive air to the big store, Selfridge's, which has fir branches and little lights around its doors and windows.



This year, though, Selfridge's special Christmas windows (if that's what they are) are a big disappointment. Usually they have ingenious, highly original and altogether superb scenes with a vaguely fairytale theme, to lure everyone in to Santa's grotto. 

This year they were dull old things, all in white, with crackers and so forth. I couldn't be bothered to photograph them but the Concept Store's window was worth looking at.   As you see, a circle of fans are blowing snow around a sort of orchid construction- it's an art work by Marc Quinn.  Full of life and light and movement, it made a nice contrast with bleak November outside   (The temperature is quite warm - see the little girl isn't wearing an overcoat.).


Next month I'm off to Germany - Munich, Coburg and Regensburg.  I think the Germanic people do Christmas better than anyone else, and I'm thinking that this time I might discover what those peculiar bread things I saw in Munich last time were.  I thought they might be a variety of Weckmann  (a sort of spiced bread man - delicious, click on the link for the recipe). But this thing doesn't have a head, a pipe or any actual signs of being a "man.".  To be honest it looks like a voodoo creature.  Tasted fine, though.



Here are some Weckmen stealing butter in Switzerland. 



Hmmm, perhaps I'll make some. I think they are actually associated with November, although they have a fairly long "season," - like Selfridge's Christmas windows. 

31 comments:

  1. Great photos - I just wish it didn't begin on November. The children are beside themselves by the time the Day itself arrives.

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  2. Hello Jenny:
    We find this somewhat depressing. And although Selfridge's is one of our favourite London stores, and where we have held an account for more years than we care to remember, we cannot, in all conscience, have any enthusiasm for Christmas window displays in place in early November. Happily there will be no such signs in Budapest for at least another four to six weeks. Please forgive us if this sounds a little Scrooge like; it is not intended.

    Your trip to Germany sounds wonderful and we do hope that you will enjoy yourself.

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  3. That voodoo doll! ha...
    I wonder if they are feeling the pinch in the economy not to do the windows in their usual pizazz!

    Lorraine :-}

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  4. Christmas does go on for a long time these days. Pary of me enjoys it yet it does rush the other holidays. I look forward to your future travels and reports!

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  5. Jenny, it's a shame your Germany tour does not take you closer to Stuttgart, otherwise I'd make sure we meet at least for coffee and cake!

    Never seen any of those spiky voodoo weckmen... must be something specific to Munich.
    Our Christmas market in Ludwigsburg starts in about 4 weeks, and it is well worth a visit:
    http://www.ludwigsburg.de/servlet/PB/menu/1246852_l2/index.html
    As I live so close to town centre (10 minutes walk from my house to the market square), I go there almost every night for a meal, but you would never see me there on a Sunday - I gladly leave it to the tourists then.

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  6. Jenny, Are those like baked bread or like our salty pretzels? Christmas season comes too early these days. I like the season, but a more condensed version. Perhaps the economy is causing changes in how businesses do business.

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  7. Looks like some marine creature you'd find on the beach - half crab, half seaweed. And it looks like it should have some sort of gooey, chocolatey filling.

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  8. Halloween is hardly over and we are thrown into the Xmas spirit! I love this atmosphere but i am so happy that they stopped putting their Xmas decoration, music and items out in September as they started to do a few years ago. That was driving me mad! I also notice that a lot of shops are more understated these days, i wonder if there's a link with the fact that people have less money to spend?! This being said, Xmas is round the corner!! Ho ho ho!

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  9. Pity about Selfridge's windows! I have never seen those Weckmann and I lived in Germany for 8 years! Ciao. A.x

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  10. Christmas comes earlier and earlier. I love the little voodoo Weckman biscuit, have never seen these creations. I could do with a few of these myself!! Thank you for stopping by my blog and taking the time to leave a comment, it is really appreciated.

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  11. Pixies, elves, gnomes? Little things that live in the Black Forest? The deviant side of the season, no doubt.
    Enjoy your travels.

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  12. Christmas started weeks ago, about May I think....

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  13. I love the spirit of Christmas and try to avoid thinking of the commercialism. I love the lights and the music and singing--the hope--the peace and good will toward men side. Phooey with the rest of it! ;)

    Have a good trip..Be safe and laugh a lot!! :)

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  14. Good morning Jenny.
    I love the spirit of Christmas very much, but do not like early christmas. I love your first photo. It has shown a part of the personality in London. The back of a red bus and a white bike color the people standing with the orthodox building in the back!
    Have a great week.
    Tomoko.

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  15. Well if you thought about it Christmas is right around the corner. It will be here before we can enjoy it. We Americans have Thanksgiving first and then I put up my decorations.
    I love the lights and the music the best.

    I saw a Christmas display being put up at the Market, it did make me smile but I understand about the too early part. But I live out in the foothills and really don't go to the City or even Malls, so to see Santa, Snowmen and Holly is so different for us desert dwellers.
    Love the Weckman chasing the butter stealer....

    cheers, parsnip

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  16. Christmas comes so quickly. I still want to enjoy the fall. And to gradually come into winter.

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  17. Looks like they tried to go all avante garde and modern this year. I usually don't care for that kind of art because it doesn't make me feel anything.

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  18. I love Christmas, but it seems to come earlier and earlier each year. I hope by the time Christmas does come, I won't already be tired of the festivities. I agree, that bread does look a little scary.

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  19. Delicious voodoo bread dolls.I wanna some! LOL

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  20. I just don't want to even think about Christmas yet. I love Regensburg, though. It has to be on my shortlist of favourite German cities I have visited.

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  21. It's too early for me. I got an email saying they were turning the lights on 1 November. I didn't go. Not ready yet. I'll probably sucumb this wek though, as the lights are such a temptation.

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  22. Going to look at the big department store windows in San Francisco was part of our tradition when my girls were growing up. It seemed magical then, not so much any more.

    I'd like some of that bread tho.

    Darla

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  23. It is still early days. I am eagerly waiting for Harrods' Christmas windows!

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  24. Wonderful to see these from one from the southern hemisphere... For us in the land of Oz ( Australia), Christmas does not feel right unless the weather is baking hot... we have our large department store Christmas windows replete with fake snow though.

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  25. I like the spirit of Christmas, giving and sharing, the warmth of family together,... but not too much commercialism, though I like the display and illumination which shows the excitement of the season. A travel to Germany during the Christmas season is popular in Japan – it must be fascinating. The human-shaped bread looks bizarre but nice if tasted good. I wonder what interesting photo you’ll take in your tour next time.

    Sorry to hear about your bleak November outside, but have fun as often as possible, Jenny.

    Yoko

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  26. Thanks for all the comments, each and every one is welcome! @Librarian, coffee and cake sounds brilliant, I'll let you know when I'm in Stuttgart area! :) @Teresa Evangelina, they're sweet. Those little dots in the weckmann are raisins. @Relatively Retiring, hmmmm, yes, Germans are certainly good on the fairy tales and legends! @GB It will be my first trip to Regensburg - what do you recommend as a must-see?
    @Christine, I remember sitting on Bondi Beach as a child and wondering why nobody in England sat on the beach to eat Christmas dinner ! :)

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  27. Ohhh, enjoy your time in Germany! I'll be doing some Xmas markets in England for the first time. We were thinking of Germany but have visitors from South Africa.

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  28. Weeeee! This is going to be my first winter Christmas and I'm so excited! Thanks for the comment in my blog Jenny...

    Hope you visit my blog again in the future and follow if you like :)

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  29. It's many years since I was in Regensburg, Jenny and I'd need my photos and notes to tell you any specifics. Because I am now following as A Hebridean in New Zealand I'm at the other end of the earth to those photos and notes. The one thing I can be certain about (well, as certain as I am about anything in this life) though is that you will finds lots to see and enjoy. I shall look forward to your report!

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  30. :-D That *does* look like a voodoo doll. I will ask my friends if they have seen that before in this region (North Rhine-Westphalia).

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