Friday, November 16, 2007

Reindeer in Working Street

This evening the city's Christmas lights were switched on, and the open air skating rink launched with much festivity, including family entertainment on an open air stage in front of the law courts for a crowd of a couple of thousand, mostly parents with small children who'd come to see the live version of the kiddies screen favourites.

In the afternoon, the St David's Centre marketing team ran their own accompaniment to the main event. A free Santa visit and give-aways for kiddies in the main mall, plus the sleigh and half a dozen real life reindeer in a pen under an open marquee out on Working Street. I was approached by the organising team a week beforehand to ask if the reindeer could stretch their legs and be fed by their handlers in the churchyard, something I was delighted to agree to, if only for the photos I could take.

An animal transport vehicle with huge advertisments for the Cairngorm reindeer herd arrived with the creatures around three, with a couple of handlers - not from as far as Scotland, I believe, but from Kent, although one of the handlers said he was looking after a herd in the Vale of Glamorgan. They were in the churchyard until dusk, quietly feeding. I got my pictures, and so di lots of others, who were forming an orderly queue along the churchyard railings in readiness for a closer look when they went on show.

I sent the best of my pictures to the Western Mail as soon as I got home, but none appeared, and the coverage of the evening's launch had nothing to say about reindeer in the churchyard, let alone reindeer in the street outside the shopping centre. I can't believe they didn't get the press releases. I'm prepared to believe that there's some hidden agenda at work here on the part of the sub-editing team, because the lights switch-on article seemed mainly to be a whinge about energy conservation, as if the city doesn't daily waste unimaginable amonts of energy as a result of an inadequate public transport policy that fails to give incentives to people to forsake their cars.

Anyway, I'm sure Richard the editor of the church magazine will find room on the front cover of the Advent edition for one of my photos - some of them are presentable.

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