This morning, as I lay on the lounge, surrounded by puppies, the rain lashed against the back of the house and the roof lantern. I felt sorry for the people setting up their stalls for the Christmas market, scheduled to happen today in Castle Street, the Bush and the Central Car Park. Then, as the morning grew lighter so the rain decided to do likewise. By the time I left for the shops, the water falling was just drippy.
The stalls were up in Castle Street and goods were being set out by people with rather glum faces. It had clearly not been the most pleasant of mornings. I continued on to Starbucks which was rather busy; a lot busier than normal on a Sunday.
We’d planned to visit the market in the afternoon, with the girls and, as I walked back through it, things were looking up. A few groups of people had turned up (albeit with umbrellas) and were wandering around. The Borough was abuzz as buyers wandered all over the road which, this year, was closed to traffic. I don’t know about last year but the year that we took mum (2015) the Borough was open and there was a constant wrestle betwixt foot and wheel which feet were never going to win.
I popped into Smith’s for a toner cartridge before heading home as the drippy rain made sure I was nicely damp for the walk back through the park. Mirinda was on the phone to Bob as I managed to divest myself of about a gallon of water.
While it didn’t reach the torrents of the early morning, the rain didn’t let up (it snowed everywhere else in the country…even London) and we decided to forgo the trip to the market. This was a good decision as it turned out. Besides I had a tagine to make.
For my birthday Mirinda bought me a beautiful 100 year old Provencal glazed stoneware casserole pot. It’s the perfect size for two (though you could manage four if you had other stuff as well). I’ve been wanting to use it and the tagine was perfect given it all went into the pot then into the oven for almost four hours.
The result was delicious and the pot worked brilliantly.
100 years and still going
There’s something quite special about cooking with something so old. Every time I opened the cooker to give it a stir, I wondered about the other cooks who had done the same over the years. I’d like to think that a lot of lovely food came out of the pot…like it did tonight.
And speaking of ‘old’…Ronnie O’Sullivan managed to thrash Shaun Murphy 10-5 in the UK Championship tonight. At 42, Ronnie is amazed that he can still play competitive snooker. He’s insane. He is the greatest player I’ve ever seen and can’t see him ever being less than brilliant.
On the way to the win
In the other hand, I’m not really that keen on Murphy. True, he has an amazing cue action and the power he generates is phenomenal. He’s also nice and quick around the table. I remember the first major tournament I saw him in, I thought he was going to be something special as he aged. Then he won the World Championship in 2005.
While he played brilliantly, particularly coming from 6-10 down to win in the final session 18-16, his victory speech was what put me off. He’d recently married and he called his wife out of the audience. She joined him at the table and they did the usual jubilant celebrating. Called to speak, Shaun then proceeded to tell everyone that as committed Christians they both thanked God for the result.
The problem with thanking God for the result is not so much the fact that they believe in fairy tales but, rather, the fact that he was, in effect saying that his opponents and everyone else in the competition were unblessed by God. He also denigrated everyone who trained him and helped him along the way to his victory. And he also ignored the skills he developed himself over the years.
Now, every time I see him play, his speech and selfishness obscures (for me) any pleasure I should derive from seeing him play. It’s clearly a fault in me but I can’t help it…and I don’t really care given he doesn’t care either.
But, heading back to the weather…both the Hassells and Denise and Jenny had they fair share of snow today as they explored separate bits of the north. While Denise and Jenny were wandering around Munich (oh, how I drunkenly remember Munich) the Hassells were docked at Copenhagen.
And while they all look like they’re having fun, fun, fun it wasn’t quite as good here in Farnham as the dangerous winds (Uppark, the stately home, was closed because of the dangerous winds) whipped their way down Castle Street. If that wasn’t bad enough, a few stalls were collected along the way and blown away with it.
Things reached such a bad point that the Christmas market was suddenly cancelled and stalls quickly pulled down. The sellers frantically grabbed goods before they could become airborne (not always successfully) and eventually made their way home. I read the following on a FB page I belong to:
“Was getting very dangerous gazebos flying about my daughter in law was a vendor lots of stock ruined should not have been allowed to start she drove up from Devon for it and on her way back now ! All very disappointing” Rosemary Hancock, Facebook
It was not a success! Perhaps next year will be better. And maybe Shaun could tell me what God has against the Farnham Christmas market…