I never thought that I would live to say this, but friend W and I had an interesting and quite enjoyable morning this morning doing something that I have never done before.
As I have said before, we live very near to Catterick Garrison, the largest Garrison in Western Europe, although you would never know it as you drive through a couple of miles of pleasant, neat, well-kept - and green - landscape.
They have recently built a new shopping complex
just across the road from quite a large Tesco store.
W and I decided to go and take a look at it this morning. Most of the shops are the sort of shops I never go into - and what an eye-opener touring round them proved to be. I bought quite a lot of vegetarian food to put in the freezer for Christmas from Iceland (my son is vegetarian and catering for a different menu on Boxing Day is really a chore too far). We went around the Pound Shop and Yorkshire Trading and also around Aldi. All of the shops had plenty of customers - young mums with babies in the main - presumably wives of young servicemen.
We ended up with a cup of coffee in Costa coffee, which was also obviously the meeting place for the same young mums and babies. What a lot of babies all in one place at once.
I arrived home pretty footsore at just before lunchtime. The farmer had been sitting in the house all morning waiting for a call from the Aga engineer to say when he was coming as we are still without any means of cooking. But no call so far, so fish and chips for lunch - a long time since we had them and we both quite enjoyed them. No more for me today though as I am still quite full. The farmer paled at the thought of no tea, so I shall go now and rustle up a ham sandwich for him.
Sitting here at the computer, looking out of the hall window I can see the most glorious deep orange sunset. Looks like another cold but clear day tomorrow. Today the temperature never rose above three degrees and the day began with a severe frost.