As I headed towards the Shakespeare with the hubbub of the German Market ringing in my ears I was wondering what it was all about? For years I have gone and probably drunk too much german bier but tonight, after looking at more of the same stalls selling the same stuff they were selling last year and the year before in the same locations I was wondering what more a German Market has to give.? I have also visited German markets abroad, although the French prefer to call them Continental markets as they don’t like the idea someone else invented something popular and they are largely exactly the same.
The problem with the German market is the price, as if Angela Merkel has sent them over to cure the Economic crisis in the four weeks leading up to Christmas by creaming every available penny from the noble populace of Birmingham. For the first time ever I refrained from a stein and treated myself to a pint of locally brewed ale, at just over half the price, it wasn’t gassy,over cold or tasteless It even came in a glass I could comfortably manage in one hand.
Stollen, a truly fantastic sticky sweet marzipan bread, coated with icing sugar so fine the dust goes up your nose if you breathe in as you bite. I love Stollen, possibly the best German invention since the printing press but £5 for 750g? Come on, the same stuff sells in Aldi at £1.99. It is the same stuff, it is from the same country, probably brought in on the same shipping container. Fortunately we had the good sense to buy two Stollen on our last shopping trip. This brings me on to the Gluhwein, £4 a cup, the cup, an imprecise measure but fortunately the cup is suitably marked as 0.2cl , which means you get five of them to one bottle from Aldi which costs £5.
I don’t doubt for a minute that the market is a fantastic social event but it is fast becoming a one trick pony, as the previously unavailable items are commonly found in pound shops and discount supermarkets maybe it is time to open up the market to local specialities (except Orange chips), local breweries and local businesses, let them benefit from the publicity and custom, I don’t think anyone would pass up on the opportunity to stand outside on a cold winter’s night drinking beer and eating chips, it is almost a national sport anyway. However, all that said, I did enjoy my sausage.
The day wasn’t all about the market, I checked the outside temperature and being above freezing I decided to nip down to the archery club for a couple of hours. The practice was very encouraging , I recall four bad shots in the entire session and two weeks ago I wouldn’t have really classed them as bad shots. The groups are pretty good and staying in the same place in the target, which shows my consistency and endurance are improving. The technique isn’t as strange looking as it was when I started and being less complex allows me more time for aiming and getting the job done. I feel that the time has come to move on and buy a set of competition arrows which will improve accuracy and allow me to start tuning the bow. I am on target for my goal to start competing early next year with a view to shooting at the Scottish Championships at Easter. Of course I expect my next operation will get in the way of these plans but it is important to have goals.