Yesterday, the DEB and I volunteered on the bookstall at the Church Christmas Fayre. And, we did rather well. We made £45.00 ($75.00) for the church fund, selling second-hand books at 50p for paperbacks, £1.00 for hardbacks.
As a closet Rare Book Librarian, and an avid book collector, I’m fascinated by the book-buying obsession. “I really shouldn’t…” or “I really don’t have room for any more books…” and often repeated, famous last words.
The Barford Christmas Fayre is a truly merry event, with everyone pitching in to make it happen, to make it a success, and to make it enjoyable for those who attend. There are always good bargains to be had, an addictive tombola station, raffle prizes, a guest appearance from Father Christmas and fabulous food to sample (delicious home-made mince pies, spicy mulled wine, and always chocolate in infinite variety).
News travels fast in these parts, and even though the offer on our house has just been accepted, and the FOR SALE sign is still up, news has swarmed about the village that the DEB and I are putting down roots.
“We’re your new neighours!” a striking and gregarious couple beamed at us brightly, from the other side of the bookstall. The DEB and I beamed back, him with his foolscap on, bells jangling, and me, rather unfortunately, with a mouthful of mince pie.
This nicest part of the fayre is the wonderful sense of community and coming-together that one feels.
After clearing up, the DEB and I attended our first Christmas “do” -- a Christmas party meal at a pub called The Napton Bridge – with family and friends.
I love the DEB’s family. They are so, well, normal. We laugh and enjoy each other company. This means a lot to a girl like me, who is used to face Christmas with a deep and abiding sense of dread, which often started as early as July. Christmas with my relatives was more often than not a time of tension and routinely hurt feelings. I avoided it at all costs, with whatever excuses would suffice: work, illness, lack of funds, etc, & etc.
Now, I look forward to the holidays with glee and abandon! Tonight, the DEB and I are off to see one of our favourite comedians, Marcus Brigstocke at the Warwick Arts Centre.
Next week, we’re off to see comedian Russell Howard in Birmingham; Handel’s Messiah in Kenilworth; and Kate Rusby at Warwick Arts Centre.
I suppose this is all I have ever really wanted for Christmas: peace, harmony, joy, laughter, love, friends and family.