Thursday, 29 November 2018

The very start of Christmas


Over the weekend we headed over to the first significant event of the Christmas period, the Ludlow Medieval Fayre. However, there was so much festivity on the way that they we actually arrived there later in the afternoon. The first little distraction was Stokesay Castle and the adjacent church, looking like a little fairytale escape and a medieval taste of things to come later that day. We stumbled by some broken boughs of fir and cones that we bundled into the car to take home and decorate with, now adorning the kitchen. The church was framed with holly trees absolutely bursting with berries, has it been an especially good year? The birds must be very happy about that.
Stokesay Castle


Back into the car, we then stopped off at a frost fayre in Church Stretton with stalls of crafts such as knitted teddy bears and Christmas cards, all the usual crafty things, glass and jewellery and mince pies and raffle tickets. Nothing grabbed our interest but it did get me thinking about making a start on some Christmas shopping and what I need to buy. Little Bird is especially tricky to buy for as he has autism and doesn’t understand the concept of toys so much, often clothing is a better option for him. Places like the Condor UK Online shop with a large range of knitwear would be good for some snuggly items for him, he loves to be cosy at home more than anything. I’m also looking for a dressing gown and some pyjamas for him for over the Christmas period, perfect for watching The Snowman in, as is our tradition. Clothing is such a great present option, from children’s cotton socks to boots and jumpers, it’s probably what I’ll ask the family to get him too. Off out into the cold, we then had a little look around the pretty town itself with steam engines chuffing around and shop windows full of seasonal cheer.
painted Father Christmas

I’ve been to Church Stretton before, significantly here when I wrote about it, little did I know that I’d be living not so far away! Funny how life pans out. We had a browse around charity shops and I bought a couple of Christmas carol cd’s for the car, had coffee and cake, then did a little homeware shopping. There is a wonderful store that sells ironware for the house – brackets, signs, door furniture etc and they do garden stakes according to the season. Near Halloween, Sweep picked up a pumpkin, witch and bat one, today I found a Rudolph one, promise to show soon with all the rest of my Christmas goodies. The florists here had a selection of wintry feel plants, skimmia, cyclamen and small firs, I made a mental note to look out for some back in Shrewsbury to tidy up the brick planter at the front of the house. I drive myself silly with checklists that I have to complete before Christmas, not only gifting but smartening the house up and making sure it looks just right. This year being a little tricky as I only moved across to Shropshire in the summer.
Christmas plants

The houses here are very pretty and we played a little game of ‘where would we live….’ Obviously out of our price league but fun anyway, walking down the roads by the church, looking in estate agent windows and discussing where we could live when we retire (long way in the future!) Perfectly symmetrical houses with cute windows and some already with Christmas trees and lights put us in such a good mood. Father Christmas drove past driving a tractor and waved, so all in all a very good start before we had got to the Medieval Fayre…..and that will be another post….
Holly by a church


*Collaborative post

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