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The cold rain stings my cheeks,
The chocolate bar has added 4 inches to my tummy,
I wake up to my fiancee's lovely voice,
I don't care that I top up my coffee cup with espresso,
Mark is talking about Fantavision,
I'm wearing a T-shirt when everyone else has a sweater on;
This friday morning is a good time to be alive

9:20 GMT

I went shopping last night, taking advantage of the late night shopping thursday in Basingstoke town centre. It wasn't too busy; everybody seems to have mastered the art of walking with a mobile phone and shopping bags without bumping into anyone. I too was walking with a mobile phone; even though I was talking to my mother to arrange to meet her at work, I felt a part of our modern society. It's nice to run with the flock for once. I managed to conquer my initial urges to spend spend spend by refusing to draw any money from the cashpoint. This allowed me to walk around the different shops unfettered by impulse buying. (I have no valid credit cards, dear reader) As I walked around, I peeked into the different woman's clothing shops, looking for inspiration for Dana's presents. The country crafts store seemed to have lots of nice things, but many were very overpriced. Why does a piece of cheap soapstone carved into a polar bear garner a 20 pound price tag? That would be one thing I dislike about periods of economic prosperity; shopkeepers and businesspeople assume that people will pay over inflated prices. But looking through all these shops has allowed me to formulate my list of presents and christmas trinkets.

I've never really understood the christmas present buying fever before; I've always bought presents quickly and taken little time over choosing them. But having someone to buy for has changed my mind. I wander through the different shops thinking about how pleased she would be to receive this or how nice that would look around her wrist or neck. I am beginning to realise that there is as much pleasure in the giving as the receiving. Looking at small presents for her while Coldplay's Trouble is playing in the background has to be one of the warmest feelings I have felt. It is so wonderful to be so secure in the knowledge that this will induce a squeal of delight and a shower of little kisses over my face. Of course, this could get out of hand; there are so many little things I want to buy that she may feel as though I am overwhelming her and that she needs to reciprocate. I shall have to put across my feelings adequately; I derive great pleasure in the giving, the receiving is nice as well, but seeing her open the presents and smile at me will be a wonderful feeling.

It really is the thought that counts; simply splashing out on an expensive gift can be an empty gesture. It's far nicer to know that the giver has spent time choosing a gift, and is also getting a great kick out of the giving as well.

Hmm, all this talk of presents has made me lose my train of thought... Ah, yes. Shopping in town last night. I spent some time looking at the different home furnishings stores. I want to buy throws and cushions, candlesticks and bedside tables. I want my little house to look homely for Dana, a place where she will be comfortable for the two weeks we will spend together. I think that I can manage to buy some throws and cushions, but the bedside tables will have to wait. It's a pity, the pine furniture I was looking at is very nice, and not really too expensive. I will have to recalculate my money situation and see what I can do.