Monday, 9 December 2013

Christmas Gala Sunday

Hitchin  is a Medieval Market Town. Never is this more evident than at Christmas time. In the run-up to the big day, there are special markets and events in the town centre. Yesterday, the Second Sunday in Advent, was Gala Sunday.

MWNN and I drove in to sample the delights of the day. In the old Market Square, the Christmas Market was in full swing. There were choirs performing from the specially erected stage, and various entertainers were to be seen on the High Street.

First up was a Jazz Band.

Ron was very worried by the brass instruments. He hates me to play guitar or bodhran (  it's nice to know it's not my playing he doesn't like. ) Eventually, we put Ron in the car as the town was too crowded and it was stressful for all of us.

A local Morris Troupe (Redbournstoke Morris ) performed the Marston tradition Winter Morris Dance (in dark kit and without the sticks usually seen at winter festivals).

There were street entertainers for the children, too - Transformers who were exchanging fist bumps at the end of their routine.

Two of Santa's elves were offering rides on a very special tricycle.

Wobbly Bottom Farm was selling delicious goat and sheep cheese. We've had some of the cheese from The Food Barn (when it was open behind the Fox,Willian) but that was some years ago. It was nice to be able to sample before we bought. We opted for a hard, mature, goat's cheese and a hard sheep's cheese.

I bought a half-shoulder of lamb from Mr Allingham, the butcher. A barbecue had been set up outside the shop and I was unsure that I could purchase anything on  a Sunday. The Butcher gave me his card and told me that there was now a click-and;collect facility on the website. Methinks some Suffolk Woodland Pork might feature on the Christmas Day menu.

MWNN had not eaten breakfast so I convinced him that the best thing to buy was a sausage-inna-bun from Mr Allingham. The famous Allingham Pork Sausages had been on the barbecue since we'd arrived in Market Square. While MWNN purchased two buns, I bought coffee and tea from Cafe Air opposite the Butcher's. By the time the tea and coffee were ready, the table with the gas heater had been vacated.

Beside the Wobbly Bottom stall, there was one selling  Tai food. MWNN bought some pork after a lengthy conversation with the proprietor. She was very upset about the current  situation in Tailand and asked us to pray for a peaceful demonstration against the government, today. The pork-onna-stick was succulent and fragrant.

By now, we were both getting tired. MWNN had enjoyed people-watching and, though we'd miss the inter-church Carol Service later that afternoon, it was time to go home.

I bought some mistletoe, took one last photo of Professor Crump and his stilt bike before we headed for the car.