Vicki Jarrett, who was born in Broomfield Crescent, Carrick Knowe, recalls some festive memories.
The 41-year-old author says: “At this time of year, spare a thought for those who work in retail and leisure in the Capital. It’s a trying time to be facing the public, when they’re in full-on Christmas frenzy – and that’s if the Christmas CD on repeat all day isn’t enough to drive a person demented long before the day arrives.
“I still physically wince whenever I hear that opening ‘It’s Christmaaaas!’ yell from Noddy Holder.
“One year I had seasonal work in the Cameron Toll branch of Clydesdale, the electrical retailer, the year of the ‘Free flights to New York’ deal. It was mayhem. All the staff knew it was a crazy idea but we had to act as if it was perfectly reasonable.
“‘Yes, madam. All you have to do is buy this hoover. Really . . . no, really!’ And this had to be done while wearing Mickey Mouse ears and listening to Donald Duck singing ‘Here comes Santa Claus’ for the millionth time. I did sell a lot of hoovers but I take no responsibility whatsoever for the subsequent collapse of Clydesdale.
“Another Christmas found me working at the Mecca Bingo at Fountainbridge. The Pensioners’ Christmas Party was an experience I’ll never forget. Every pensioner got a free Christmas dinner and a free game. There were hundreds of them, all complaining loudly as not enough staff struggled to hand out the meals.
“There was a lot of elbowing and shouting and a not inconsiderable amount of verbals. I’ve never been able to look at a sprout the same way since.”
Vicki’s Capital-based novel Nothing is Heavy is available from linenpressbooks.com and at Blackwell’s, South Bridge.