One Sunday earlier this term, my flatmates and I nipped into town to buy a friend a birthday present. As we walked up the main street, we saw that the whole road was closed and there were stalls everywhere – it was a Christmas market! We walked around a few of the stalls and bought a pretty photo frame from one for the birthday present. We didn’t get a chance to look around the whole market, but I really wanted to see the rest of it, so this Sunday I went with my mum and Rachel to have a look around and pick up the rest of my things from my uni house. We got there pretty early and it was freeeeeeeezing cold, but there were so many things to look at! Every stall was just overflowing with Christmas – everywhere you turned there was holly and mistletoe with a background of Christmas carols, weirdly played on the steel drums by a Jamaican trying to sell his CDs.
The stalls were manned by weary looking people who’d been up since the early hours but who were happy to give the same spiel they’d obviously given a thousand times before. There were a fair amount of stalls that were definitely jumping on the Christmas band wagon with their stalls crammed with socks, scarves or cleaning products, but there were a few stalls that you could look at for ages and spot the most amazing handmade Christmas decorations. I loved these little snowmen and what a simple but effective wooden reindeer!
There were also plenty of food stalls strewn amongst the crafty ones and the air was filled with the smell of hog roast, paella, burgers and pancakes. The one I was looking forward to trying though, was the churro stall. I’d seen these on Lorraine Pascal’s programme on BBC1 a while ago and they looked great, but walking past, the smell was AMAZING! Churros are a Spanish snack, kind of like a doughnut. The dough is squeezed out of a special machine into hot oil and cooked for about a minute, before being sprinkled with sugar or cinnamon and served with a pot of chocolate sauce. They were delicious! I tried to take photos of the cooking process, but the guy moved so quickly it was nearly impossible. You can see the dough coming out of the machine in the photo below though.
And the finished result:
Mmmmm, I’d been looking forward to those ever since I first stumbled onto the market, and they did not disappoint! It would be interesting to have a go at making them at home, actually – a possible future challenge?
A quick coffee pit stop (or frothy hot chocolate pit stop) before packing the last of my things and going home for an afternoon of watching Sherlock on DVD (we’re hooked on this at the moment, what an amazing show! I must have watched each episode about 7 times now and I see something new each time, I can’t wait till the next series!).
Our Christmassy day was finished off by decorating the outside of the house with our dainty Christmas lights. I love our Christmas lights. While I’m very happy to drive down the road and appreciate all the ‘dripping white icicles’, or the flashing electric blue lights, I definitely prefer the simple but colourful little tom thumb drop lights that we string up on our house. It just makes the house look all warm, like it belongs in one of our old Christmas books by Shirley Hughes. And we even managed to get them all up without anyone falling off the rickety ladder and breaking their neck!
After all of this, I still can’t believe it’s only two weeks until Christmas. It just doesn’t feel like Christmas yet. Maybe it’s because the inside of the house still needs decorating, or because I know Heather’s not going to be here this year but I’m sure once we get the Christmas books down from the loft and open up the nativity set, we’ll all start feeling the Christmas spirit. I hope so, anyway!