Phew! What a weekend. The village Christmas fair opened on Friday morning, became a night market with live entertainments on Friday night and then went on all day on Saturday. It was a triumph of organisation by many of our lovely friends and neighbours and a real community event to raise money for the village's 14th century church and a local cancer drop-in charity.
All the fantastic array of stalls had a local connection, and the idea was that we could all do plenty of our Christmas shopping while supporting home-grown businesses - everything from aromatherapy products to jewellery, pottery and paintings, to fabulous hampers and Christmas trees, decorations, baby clothes (there have been a lot of new babies in our vibrant little community), bags and vintage clothes, handmade chocolate and amazing cakes.
I was offering signed copies of The Lantern as my contribution and it was a great chance to chat to new as well as familiar faces. Rob played the piano and premiered a lovely new song with vocals from Grace Butler. Steve J gave us his Elvis, though there was quite a bit of competition from John. There were winter morris dancers, a sweet school choir and a ukelele band - it really was a great party atmosphere.
Not the greatest photos, I'm afraid - camera hand rather wobbly after all the signing, and the glasses of wine - but they give a small snapshot of the event. Note the backdrop up on the stage from the last panto - the village square as scenery designed and painted by Graham and Fred who worked so tremendously hard for days to get everything set up.
It was a terrific event, that ended in champagne at Graham's birthday party across the road, where there were a great many tired but happy faces. Huge thanks especially to Liz and Sophie, Claudia, Deirdre and Graham, Karen, John, Fred, Ivan, Derek and Gwen, who were right in the thick of it.