Last night was the Christmas festival for our local small town. Even though the weather was at zero the welcome was as warm as toast and just as comforting.
All the shops stayed open until 9pm. There were stalls on the street, hot chestnuts, bands, balloons, police horses to pet and fire engines for little boys (!) to clamber on to and let imagination run riot.
I was in my favourite shop, Past and Present, amid the glitter of crystal and the fabulous sounds of Robert's father tinkling the ivories to such classics as White Christmas, Winter Wonderland and Once In Royal David's City.
At one point a chap wandered in with a violin case and asked if her could join in. He opened the case to reveal (no, not a machine gun, for goodness sake, don't be so dramatic!) the most beautiful old violin, honeyed and aged to perfection. He picked it up and just flowed into the music, it was wonderful. Later a barbershop quartet sang for us. We were entertained in true timeless style.
The sherry flowed, the shortbread and mince pies were gratefully grasped by chilly fingers. The shop was abuzz with people, a non stop stream of smiling faces, colourful scarves, woolly hats and friendly chat.
I was there to sell my Christmas hearts and my book "So Easy Herbal". I signed copies and chatted all evening. Idgy played around outside with her friends then came in to help with the never ending clearing of classes in the shop. She was thrilled to be part of things, helping out and being needed. She was even more thrilled when Robert gave her the little porcelain lion she'd been coveting for months and a wee payment for her hard work. The grin just wouldn't come off.
It was a lovely evening. I caught up with some people I hadn't seen in years, chatted, laughed and did some selling. It was so Christmassy, the weather lending a hand to make it all magical.
Thank you boys for letting us girls be part of your evening celebrations, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
ps Just as I finished typing the blog yesterday morning the snow started to fall. 2 inches in a matter of minutes. Is this it, are we now trapped? Er no, it stopped and no more all day. Might be back today though.
Keep safe, keep warm.