Tuesday 12 November 2013

Cadbury Garden Centre - My First Taste of Christmas 2013

   So, I took an outing recently to Cadbury Garden and Leisure in Congresbury. It doesn't sound exciting, I know, but for years I've regarded it as the best place to find gorgeous Christmas decorations, and they have the best displays.
   This year they had huge book displays - open books with a page of the story printed on one side, and a 'picture' feature on the other. This 'page' was hollow and really quite deep, and featured a Christmas display relevant to the story. There were lots of them, but I forgot to photograph half of them because I got quite hungry. You know my stomach comes first.

   Unfortunately because of the current state of my camera, I had to use an older camera and the pictures didn't come out too well. You know how compact cameras are, you have to hold the camera still while taking a picture because you have no control over the speed of the shutter, but I did my best, so parden the noisy and blurry photos.
   I had put £30 aside to spend as a treat to myself, but Seeg got a bit of it because he wanted a few things for a game he was playing, which knocked it down to £25 - still more than enough. I went in, and despite picking up everything I liked, and a few sweets and chocolates, I only spent £15 - there were a few lovely resin figurines by Vivid Art (not in any way connected to Vivid Please) that my dad loves because they look so good - I was particularly interested in the donkeys, huskies and polar bears - but I didn't pick them up because I knew there was still more Seeg wanted. Still, in truth, I couldn't have spent more if I'd tried.

   I bought these two lovely mugs. They're not perfect, because they're handmade, but a lot of the time, big branches of shops tend to sell cheap rubbish that's nowhere near right and label it as 'handmade' - which it probably was, but in huge quantities with haste, and I really dislike that because, when I used to think 'handmade' I'd think of rubbish not worth more than a few quid. Of course, now I think of Etsy and really quiet exquisite and expensive items, but it makes me wonder what other people think when I say I sell handmade jewellery, and then tell them what I charge.
   Regardless, the mugs are quite nice, and, for once, the lack of perfection in the colouring is surprisingly desirable. They were cheap, though - £1.99 a piece - but I don't think I'd have bought them if they were any more.

   I got this wonderful 'bauble' of a robin on a postbox that's due to be emptied on the 24th of December. I went through loads of them before I found one with a well-painted '24' and a tidy beak, but I couldn't find a perfect one so I just made do. I can certainly fix the paint job myself. This was only £2.50

   I got this nicely coloured bauble for about £2.50 as well, I think, either that or £1.99, and it has a stag and a fairy on it in glitter. It was available in a few other colours in other themed sections but I liked this colour the best.

   And, finally, this one my dad picked out. It's hilarious, frankly, and I really like it. The problem with the place is that, though the decorations and displays are great, they look best altogether. When you're going around looking at individual pieces it's...well it's the 'Cheerleader Effect' isn't it? They look amazing and beautiful all together, but individually half of them aren't that nice at all. Some are falling apart, and others look like they will soon, others just look cheap or messy. A lot of them also look great, mind you, but they're hard to spot, so you really have to pay attention.
   It's the same anywhere you go, really, but I enjoyed seeing it all.

   They also sell pets in there - rabbits, birds, rats, lizards, insects and so on along with everything you need to take care of them properly, but it's a little bit like a zoo to me. I enjoy seeing all of the animals, except perhaps the birds or fish - I'm not too interested in those to be honest, fish don't do much and birds in my experience are mostly just noise - and have had many of my pets come from them. Although, while the animals were delightful, a few of them had a bit of a sinus infection. We cleaned it up and sorted it out, but animals we got from other pet shops and breeders never had the problem, but most we got from there did. I'm just glad we knew what to do about it, I wonder how many people buy animals from there and don't do anything about it, or get rid of them because they're too much trouble. I can't stand people who buy animals and don't bother looking up how to look after them properly, or what problems some animals are prone to - like dog breeds. Labradors are prone to hip dysplasia, Great Danes to heart problems, Huskies to sight problems, dachsunds to back problems and so on. So many peopel get rid of dogs because they aren't properly prepared to deal with it.

Funnily enough, the only thing that does work properly on my compact camera is the super macro function

   Aaaanyway. I had a lovely morning, and it really got me into the Christmassy spirit. Plus the Lindt chocolate I also picked up made me happy. I came away satisfied (albeit secretly a little disappointed that there wasn't more that I wanted), but I kind of want to go back now and have a look again. Just for the Christmas of it all.
   I wish we had gone the day after we had, though, to be honest. Father Christmas was there with his reindeer :(

NaBloPoMo November 2013

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