It is market day in our little town and the fruit and vegetable stalls have a large selection of different kinds of oranges, bags of nuts,holly wreaths - everything connected with Christmas. It really does begin to feel like Christmas here, particularly as the town is also full of men getting ready for tomorrow's event - the lighting up of the tree and the arrival of Santa Claus.
All the shops have decorated their windows beautifully (I will put photographs on one day if I manage to get into town early enough to get a view without a crowd of people.)
How different Christmas is today to when we were children. The farmer talks with great affection of his childhood Christmases (he is one of six and was brought up in the days when spare money went on buying things for the farm). They each had a stocking hanging above the mantelshelf and each stocking had sweets, nuts, an orange, perhaps a colouring book and some crayons and usually the boys (3) had one big present between them (he talks still of the year they got a large sledge - and it coincided with a very bad winter; what fun they had.) The three girls would also get the same and one large present between them. In those days any spare money was ploughed back into the farm.
(it is my theory that one reason there are so many elderly batchelor farmers around here is because they never had any money to spare for girl friends, or for modernising the house. These days women will just not accept that like they did in the old days).
My friends and I will not be going into town in the morning - it will be busy with children enjoying themselves, the carparks will be full - and in any case it is the monthly church coffee morning in the village - and a special Christmas one where, as well as the usual coffee and biscuits, K will be selling her delicious home-made mince pies complete with a large blob of brandy butter. Who would miss that? It is the farmer's shooting day so I shall hope to buy one for him so that he can sample her cooking when he comes in.
As regards the shooting day, the local Hunt came an hour ago to remind him that they will be hunting in this area tomorrow. He told them that they would have to watch out, but it is my guess that any fox worth its salt has enough sense to keep well away from the sound of guns, so he will probably go the other way. In any case,but don't let on to the farmer, I always hope that all game and also foxes escape to fight another day.
Aga working perfectly(touch wood) - so cake number two may be made tomorrow.