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Dr John Hawkins

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Menheniot and Wotter

Posted on 2007/12/25 22:04:36 (December 2007).

[Saturday 22nd December]
Another day of Christmas shopping, a lot like the previous one, but this time with Chie in tow as well. We concentrated mainly on King's Road, thinking it might be a bit quieter than Regent Street etc. This did seem to pay off to a certain extent - it was fairly quiet - although we didn't seem to actually get as many things as I'd hoped for.

To that end, a new Meaning of Liff term occurred to me today, which I shall dub Menheniot - it's the feeling of despair you get when Christmas shopping that you've been wandering around for a couple of hours and haven't actually managed to find a present for anyone yet. Having also gone out and attempted to do Christmas shopping yesterday - not entirely successfully - I've had something of a double Menheniot.

A related term to this is Wotter (vb.) - the act of reducing your initial expectations of how much of your Christmas shopping you'll actually get done as a result of a bout of Menheniot.

Together they form a bit of social observation around Christmas time that sadly never made it into the final draft of Pride and Prejudice:

It has come to my attention of late, that, not withstanding one's best intentions, the occurrence of Menheniot is wont to induce some degree of Wottering, in even the most genteel among society.

Still, I think by the time we left King's Road we had covered the bare minimum of Christmas presents. We'd also stopped off for a coffee at one point and I discovered with some degree of guilt that an "espresso con panna" (no doubt an English contrivance, which is apparently an espresso with whipped cream on the top) is actually very nice.

To my surprise, after getting back home we were actually able to muster the enthusiasm to head out again - and this time right into the centre.

We popped to the Apple store where Chie got a present for me (a new laptop bag). We then went on a tour of an assortment of wine and spirit merchants around Soho - as the other Christmas present from Chie was her permission for me to use my own money to buy a very expensive bottle of whisky (!). I wanted to get my hands on one of the official Port Ellen bottlings - up until now I had only had Port Ellens from the independent bottlers. Diageo, the company which owns the closed distillery and all of its remaining stock, have been producing an official release each year for the past seven years, with prices always North of a hundred quid. Until now I had never quite been able to bring myself to cross that hundred pound barrier - especially as some of the independent bottler's Port Ellens were less than that and of very good quality (well, at least the Douglas Laing bottles were). However, having worked bloody hard this year, and made a fair amount of cash as a result, I could see no reason why not to squander a bit of it in this way. So I settled on a bottle of the 7th release - at 140 it is by far the most I've ever spent on a bottle of whisky.

We also popped to Rice Wine shop before heading back and bought the usual tofu / kimchi / beer / etc so that we could have Japanese food for dinner when we got back home.



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