Leaving work on Friday I wandered through the lanes of Midhurst to the market square where shops had stayed open late and music and revellers filled the streets, bright colourful lights spilled across the cobbles, laughter and communal joy tumbled through the air. The air was cold and crisp, gloves hats and scarves an absolute must to keep fingers and noses from freezing.
On Saturday evening as I drove home, again from work, Petworth streets were beautiful under the glow of colourful Christmas lighting beneath a star filled night sky. Shop windows are decorated with fake snow and filled with piles of carefully wrapped cardboard-box-presents, candy-canes and signs to the north pole or inviting a passing Santa to 'stop here'.
Winchester is always a fabulous city to visit during the festive season, full of street music and light and inspiration. This weekend it was the December Farmers market and stalls overflowed with cakes and bread, mince pies and mulled wine, seasonal vegetables, pies and joints for roasting and fish laid out on trays of ice. Jams and chutneys jostled for space with ciders and wines, Christmas puddings and local produce. The colourful displays were too tempting for any photographer and my camera was soon sapping away, capturing the delights of fresh seasonal food produced displayed and sold with love and passion.
There is now a small Christmas tree sitting patiently outside my back door and presents in need to wrapping. family have been invited and arrangements are being made. Everywhere you go, in the air there is a definite hint of festive cheer.