A friend sent me this. Very neat and seasonal!
Anyone who’s not feeling Christmassy now just hasn’t been out there putting in enough effort, trudging through the snow getting a nice red nose and glowing ear lobes or spending in the shops amassing a pile of receipts.
I was doing both yesterday, having decided, in spite of snow storm, to do Christmas shopping in Tetbury up on the Cotswolds.
It’s royal Tetbury, obviously because of the proximity, five minutes down the road, of HRH’s gaff, Highgrove and the presence in town of the Highgrove Shop, the King in waiting’s emporium of all things tasty and tasteful.
This year the shop was decorated with larger-than-life glittery soldiers like the ones made out of wood and painted. I bought my Christmas cake on the basis of the spicy chunks of Highgrove cake thoughtfully put out for customers to try. I won’t be able to pass it off as mine as the top is a relief in soft icing of the plume of feathers, but hey, once I’ve plonked on the little model Santa who’s been a feature of my Christmas cakes for decades plus his oversized reindeer, it will at least have the personal touch.
Everyone in Tetbury seems so nice. The skiing set were all out in their down-filled jackets, eccentric hats and Hunter wellies. Some of the kids had really cute galoshes.
The cutest were the babies being worn by tall, young affluent professional dads. They wore them on the front of their warm comfy jackets, like talismans of virility. It was like you had to be wearing a baby facing out on your front to be a member of this very exclusive club.
The babies were gorgeous and well-behaved and as a group sat behind us when we grabbed a bit of lunch at The Close Hotel, they reminded me of us and our friends when our first-born sons were virtually the same age. The chaps didn’t wear the sprogs on their chests in those days – baby slings were for women only. But the chaps did wear them on their shoulders when they got a bit older.
Someone was cooking breakfasts outside the butchers in one of the main streets, which smelled delicious. Kids were being pulled along on sledges. People were sitting outside one of the cafes having snacks and drinks.
Pheasants were strung in bunches ready to be pleasantly plucked and “Holy” was being offered at £3 a sprig.
The sun was shining on the snow in a comfortable, jolly Christmas card way in Tetbury, but as we headed for Cirencester we passed back into the gloom of snow showers and headed on to Cheltenham, where the decision to go down Leckhampton Hill turned out to be hazard strewn.
Driving downhill when it’s snowing thickly and the road is getting brighter white by the minute isn’t comfortable but DT man was at the wheel and he’s very steady. We slid into the kerb four times before coming to a halt at a respectful distance from the car in front, who had slid into the kerb while waiting for a three-car shunt to separate up. Snow-covered drivers swapped names and addresses and had severe difficulties getting going again.
Then the woman in front of us started off and proceeded downhill until her car suddenly slewed off course and finally halted broadside across the road. Only when she was a speck in the distance did we attempt to get going. Best to have no obstacles whatsoever in conditions where the steering is nigh on impossible.
But hey, it was an interesting time negotiating total grid-lock in Cheltenham in order to appreciate the already-elegant town looking the most scenic I have ever seen. It seemed positively Dickensian with kids snowballing and dragging toboggans down the Promenade in front of Cavendish House – and the roofs of the market stalls further down all covered in thick snow.
Rarely has preparing for Christmas seemed quite so Christmassy.
Some pics here http://picasaweb.google.com/janh555/SnowyDay18Dec2010#