Well, an interesting trip to the mid-winter retail festival, er I mean Christmas market in Manchester. Or "The UK's original, award winning Manchester Christmas Market" as the Council prefer to call it. Big, brash, bustling and full of late teenage /early 20's girls imitating Daffy Duck with their preposterous Botox duck lips. They really should stick to the more cost-effective lunacy of torn-kneed jeans and baseball hats on backwards, taking cat-backside pursed-lipped selfies of one another instead.
It was mad busy. The stalls stretch all over the city centre, selling wonderful stuff like mulled wine, frankfurters, cheese, plastic illuminated santas, wreaths, mulled wine, cheese, frankfurters, cheese, mulled wine, frankfurters and plastic illuminated santas. For the more adventurous, there was mulled wine, frankfurters, cheese and plastic illuminated santas (in fairness loads of other food, tat and craft stalls). Hot drinks were handled rather interestingly, whether mulled wine, coffee or other stuff - you paid a refundable £3 deposit and were handed your own Manchester mug (the customer ha! ha!) which you could visit the various refreshment-dispensing stalls with for many and various hot beverages, alcoholic and non-alcoholic. There was the option of not returning the mug, something many people did . . . . . .forgetting that they hadn't in fact stolen it, but paid that £3 deposit for it.
Yes, you can take the mug out of Salford.
Some of the stalls haven't quite got the law of diminishing returns. While many were heaving, the less busy didn't cotton on, in "Lord Sugar Apprentice" fashion, that to make themselves much more busy, for example, the price point for a cone of Dutch Chips (first cousin to Dutch Caps?) needed to be £3 rather than £6 (that is, sell 150 portions at £3 rather than 50 at £6 - you get my drift), and a white pot-style tea-mug that retails for 45p in Poundstretcher doesn't catch the imagination of the public at £8.50 just because it has a Manchester bee painted on the side of it.
The mulled rum fruit punch from the stall under the big illuminated town hall Santa
The authentic French Cheese stall with authentic hand-written continental-style price tags in French manned by authentic French people who pronounce the city as "Manchestuh" and don't understand when you say to them "Merci pour le bon fromage que j'apprécierai quand je rentrerai à la maison".