Birmingham’s Christmas German Market certainly has a sense of scale. I’m used to a few sheds dotted about for this kind of thing, but they’ve managed to cram stalls everywhere.
I’m also pleased that the Germans have their own particular brand of Christmas tat. Some of it is pretty, but there’s a fair load of rubbish too. Perhaps they just send the bad stuff over here, and I wouldn’t blame them.
It is cold and damp, yet there is still a grim determination amongst everyone to have a good time. Groups of lads try to holler, but also clear up after themselves. Couples shiver with the steins amongst the slushy remains of the past few days’ snow.
A German band offer their distinctive version of Shakin’ Stevens’ Christmas classic.
I like it. It is more festive than wandering around a shopping centre. Being out in the cold at night, browsing the stalls, taking in the atmosphere, is fun. But I think a pub is still a better place for a drink than a wooden shelter in a pedestrianised area. There’s a time for heading into the warm.