Gift shopping in London in December 2016...
...if you need a break from the hustle, just ignore it, look up, and admire all the decorations.

December 23

“I will do anything to avoid a queue. That includes getting up at an ungodly hour, pleading to get something delivered or, in some cases, simply going without.

Tomorrow is the Holy Grail of queues, with that of my local butcher, cheese shop and fishmonger snaking across four or five neighbouring shop fronts.

The deli has no orderly queue, just a disorganised scrum.

I get up early and go to the special Christmas farmers’ market for greens (for which, needless to say, I have to stand in line), then to the butcher’s (no queue to speak of, though busier than usual for a weekday) and then to the cheese shops (one French, one British).

Everything will be fine in the fridge till 25th, and I cannot help but feel a little smug at having got so much done already, leaving me the possibility of actually enjoying Christmas Eve instead of standing looking at someone’s back.”

Note from December 23 in The Kitchen Diaries by Nigel Slater.