Boxing Day in Chelmsford
Being divorced, I have an arrangement with my ex-wife that over Christmas I have the kids Christmas Eve night and Christmas Day morning before handing them back at midday so that she can enjoy Christmas Day with them too and I get to spend some time with my old mum. It’s a great agreement as it suits everyone, whereas I know many couples that split who can’t ever agree on a resolution that meets everyone’s needs over Christmas.
It does mean that I have Boxing Day to myself though, and as per any other day I’ve gotten up early, gone for a walk around Chelmsford before settling down for a coffee. I took a slightly different route today which saw me crossing a wooden bridge over one of the rivers.
Listening to music and not really paying attention, it didn’t occur to me that the wooden slats over the bridge may be wet and slippery, and my first step onto the structure saw me almost complete a manoeuvre that I haven’t done since going to a gym class when I was in infants.
I’d like to pretend I recovered gracefully, but the truth is that I barely managed to get back upright, before stubbornly declaring to nobody in particular that the bridge was “an arse” and that it “wouldn’t beat me”. I then spent two minutes wobbling across the damn thing like Bambi on ice before getting back on to firmer ground.
I walked through the High Street, disappointed to see that Next were open at 6am for their sale, which can’t be popular with the staff there, and though I’d been led to believe that a Next sale was always a popular affair, looking in I could only see a couple of customer pottering about, which was a vast difference to the huge amount of staff standing around dressed in hideous neon t-shirts.
Other than that, the High Street was relatively quiet, and I guess that Boxing Day means that the majority shops don’t open until late. To my dismay, there seemed to be no coffee shops open.
The Starbucks website confirmed that I was an hour too early for one store and two or more hours ahead of the opening of their shopping centre outlet.
The Costa website said that they would be open at 7am, but half an hour after this there were feint signs of life from their main outlet, and it serves as a reminder that one thing Costa do terribly is social media and websites. Being part of Whitbread you’d assume they’d be much better at this kind of thing. Obviously not.
That’s why, at just gone 8am, I am sat in McDonald’s, sipping on a white coffee which tastes like it was prepared on Boxing Day last year.
I’ve stuck myself in a corner so I can see everyone coming and going. It’s fairly busy in here, and I note that the vast majority of people coming in are clutching bright coloured Next bags. Without meaning to be sexist, it seems that the women all look happy, but shattered, whereas the men just look like they’ve had enough already.
Happy Boxing Day, everyone!