Sometimes Christmas feels like hard work - and sometimes it is pure joy! I'm not waiting for 25th December for the joy - today I went to Newark and met up with my old school-friend Alice (Bobo's human, if you remember Bobo).
We've been friends since we were sixteen (which is quite a long time ago), and we can resume our conversation just as we left off. Today we had decided that we would just meet for a very leisurely lunch at a village pub near Newark. Three hours non stop chatter - the waitress was VERY patient!
But before I met up with Alice I nipped into Newark market. It is truly delightful and I bought some lovely fruit and veg. It's almost the sort of market I remember from my childhood but only almost, not quite. There are still the cheerful stripy awnings, the stall holders still shout their wares, and the stuff still looks scrummy and wonderful.
But there is one very sad difference. Years ago this market square would have been full of stalls, just as it had been since mediaeval times. Today, even on the busiest market day of the week, the square was half empty.
Whilst I was in Newark I rode my trundle truck over a rather bumpy pavement and the basket fell off the front, scattering my possessions, including my camera, across the pavement. A women was sitting on a bench six feet away. I unfolded my walking stick and got off and started to collect the detritus from the pavement. A gentleman came dashing from the other side of a very busy road and helped me whilst the woman looked on. Thank you, Sir. And as for you, Madame, shame on you.