Friday 24 November 2017

Black Friday

It's Black Friday, which sounds more like an apocalypse than a retail event to me. Are you busy shopping? Or are you safely tucked up at home whilst all the hurly-burly takes place somewhere else? I'm not an enthusiastic shopper at the best of times, so I'm afraid it would take rather a lot to get me to venture forth on a day like today.

We didn't used to do Black Friday here in England. It's a very recent thing, and I have to say I don't understand it. Why do shops discount their goods in the run up to Christmas when they ought to be selling more stuff anyway? I understand that the term Black Friday is so called because it was the point in the year, just after Thanksgiving, when American retailers finally broke even: from here to year-end they were in the black. But cutting costs, and therefore margins, as you move into your busiest five weeks of trading sounds like the turkeys voting for Christmas: it simply can't be in the retailers' interests to do so. What am I missing?

Instead of shopping for more things we don't need, the WonderDog and I were out braving the elements this morning. We're really enjoying London's mild autumn weather, and, on those mornings when it's a little bit rainy, we pretty much have the whole of Walpole Park to ourselves. Magnificent. The WonderDog is a bit crestfallen at not having anyone to bark at, but it means I can just chill out, and tune in to my audiobook. Bliss.

And, talking of which, I've just finished reading the very best ghost story ever. Don't get me wrong: I'm not a big fan of ghost stories. I really don't go in for that sort of thing. But this one is different. This one is rip-roaringly good!

I first came across Frances Hardinge with the Lie Tree. I bought it for my son, became engrossed in the book jacket blurb and ended up reading it myself before I let him anywhere near it. On the back of how good it was, I ignored my normal no fantasy/ no ghost stories bias and plunged right in.

It's a brilliantly original tale of ghostly possession set in the English Civil War. Puritans and Royalists are tearing England apart, as a young girl and her brother flee their cursed inheritance, befriending ghosts and spirits in a most unlikely manner as they go. The prose is lyrical: vivid yet sparse at the same time. Hardinge has that rare gift of never using a word too many. I couldn't put it down, and as soon as I got to the end I ordered a paper copy on Amazon for my mum. Go read it, my friends. It's totally worth the candle!

Mr B is the proud owner of a new pair of socks. Here they are?

He thinks they're a bit too colourful for the office. I think he's boring. It's a commonly acknowledged truth that colourful socks are good for morale on dark days in November such as Black Friday.

Anyway, have a great weekend and, if you're shopping for bargains, I hope you score a bundle,

Bonny x


  1. I don’t understand it either. I would have been safely tucked up at home, but needed some teabags, so ended up in a big box store in town - customers were leaving the shop with huge tv sets, so they must have thought that they were a bargain. Considering all of the hype though, it wasn’t particularly busy, so maybe everyone else stayed at home! Enjoy your weekend. Marie x

  2. I did not go shopping other than I had to stop in Walmart this afternoon for catfood...can't let them go without. I have only ever went shopping on Black Friday one time...back several years ago...I would say at least 15 yrs ago...I had stayed up all night sewing and thought I might as well go. It was not that bad back then, but you couldn't pay me enough to fight some of the crowds...

  3. I never do the "Black Friday" thing. Sometimes I will do on-line shopping during that time but for the most part I just shop when I feel like it regardless of the sales.