Two sticks, Mulled Wine and a Chinese Fan

Hello everyone,

I went to the Totnes Candlelit Street Market with a friend on Tuesday evening. I have to say I almost backed out because I wasn’t sure how I was going to manage but despite my anxiety, I’m so glad we went.

I had made enquiries with the council about blue badge parking beforehand but nothing extra had been laid on and to be honest, wheelchairs, pushchairs, scooters and dogs were an absolute nightmare in amongst the crowd so I was glad that I had just my sticks.

The atmosphere was lovely, all very theatrical and pagan. There are not many small towns the size of Totnes where you can join in traditional Church carols, celebrate the winter solstice, have your aura cleansed, balance your chakras and chant with the Buddhist monks within a few yards of each other. This is a place that demonstrates tolerance of each other and I love it.

We managed to find a parking place very close to the High Street in the end and were immediately greeted by the first mulled wine stall. Well, you have to really don’t you? It was delicious but within a very short time I was sweating profusely in the way that only a dose of mtx and warm red wine can instigate. The usual benches were blocked by all the stalls so I had to improvise by leaning on pillars and posts to rest my joints as we made out way around the square.

Eventually the back pain became too much though and I snuck into the churchyard to sit on a bench there while my friend had a look at the rest of the market stretching down the hill. By this time my head was actually soaking and I was extremely grateful that it was dark. I took my coat off and sat in my t-shirt fanning myself and watching everyone else bustling by with their hats and scarves on. I must have looked a bit of a strange one anywhere else, but in Totnes no-one bats an eyelid. Strangeness is the norm.

We had a lovely time looking at the fantastic crafts on the stalls. So clever, how do people come up with such wonderful ideas? It filled me with determination to try to copy some of the gorgeous felt decorations I had seen.

So………..this morning, my house is a mess of various cottons and threads which I seem to have managed to spread across 2 rooms. I have a very painful right wrist and elbow from sewing and I have a cloud mobile that looks as though it was made by a toddler!!!

Next time I will just buy them from someone who has talent. I shall go dressed for the Caribbean (well the alternative is not to have the wine so that is a no-brainer), and I shall take one of those shooting sticks with seats on. Equally great for knocking people out of the way!

Cheers everyone. I hope you are all managing to get about at this difficult time. Xx

Judy

15 Replies

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  • Oh Judy that sounds like so much fun:-} And what a lovely place to live too. I love street markets like that. A few years ago I went to Stockholm in late December and was able to venture out to their Christmas Market. There are very few hours of daylight at that time of year so it was fully dark at 3pm and everything was lit by candles or flaming torches. There were a lot of local and regional crafts and traditional carvings, I bought some Christmas decorations and stocking presents, very different from the norm - even the cafe that we retreated to to warm up was lit by candles and had these large rough-hewn tables that you sat at communally with your bowl of hot chocolate:-}

    Cece x

  • Ooo Cece how lovely to go to Stockholm.

    I often see trips to the Christmas Markets advertised and they look so nice. I have just tried to copy one of the things I had seen in the local market and as I said in my blog, it didn't end well. They look so simple until you try them yourself.

    We have plenty of cafes with rough-hewn tables here but a very sorry lack of bowls of hot chocolate. That sounds divine.

    Tell me though, is it just the seating which is communal or do you all sit around a large bowl with individual straws?

  • How lovely sounds splendid...I had a little laugh when you mentioned your heat!!!!! I have exactly the same, it just drips of me..I get quite distressed, my hair is soaking, it runs in my eyes etc..so I'm with you there..they seemed a little worried at the hospital about it ....for when I went last time the law of sod hadn't reared it's ugly head so I was soaking...I like you think it must be the MTX...ah well, it's all fun and games with this complaint.

    There is a town near where I live that every Christmas people dress up in Victorian dress and walk down the cobbled road with lanterns singing carols...food and wine is handed out..like your evening it is truly wonderful..I haven't been for a few years but hearing you made me wish I had. Maryx

  • It is one of my greatest miseries Mary. Somehow I can manage the pain and lack of mobility but looking like a boiled tomato on top of it all is really unfair.

    My hair also gets soaking and as it is pretty fine now there is no disguising it.

    Oh! What happened to the glamour years eh?

    Seriously though, I wish there was something that could be done about it. It's so embarrassing and just seems to affect my head. Rest of the body is ok.

  • I drip too..it's awful but this time I've been lucky with my hair it hasn't come out again but I've only been back on it a month so we will see. It's a nasty complaint I know..I was so bad weds night and yesterday with pain im was crying but today I'm not too bad...I've got my fingers crossed!! Xxx

  • What a wonderful trip, as you say well worth the effort. Well done to you.

    Carole

  • Thanks Carole.

    I've just been reading in my local paper about a lady who lives around the corner and is quite badly affected by RA. I've seen her around with her 3 collies and wondered about her. Apparently she competes them in agility classes. She zooms around on her electric wheelchair while the dogs do the course. She was in the paper making an appeal for funding for another more specialist wheelchair to help her. I feel that my efforts were minimal by comparison.

  • Never think that. Everyone has their own pace. I bet she hasn't go your sense of humour.;-)

  • Sounds like you had a fab time, I love those sort of street fairs where anything goes they are great fun, I would not have been tempted to try the crafts lol I have always hated sewing and now threading a needle is impossible.

    So pleased you didn't feel cold :)

    it's very cold here slight frost now although am told that will be gone by morning as it's going to rain, me !!! I am lying here in bed with just a sheet over me, the radiator is switched off, the window is wide open and I am erm sweating profusely :( poor hubby is hiding under the duvet next door lol looks like another long night ahead.....

    Jen x

  • Ah Jen. This is not a very romantic disease is it? I think sometimes the only way we can maintain our dignity is through out humour. Laugh in the face of adversity. Who was it who said that?

  • Aww how lovely and I am do glad it went well! Xxx

  • Thanks Allanah. x

  • I love Totnes!! It's years since I've visited there though....your post Judy has encouraged me to take a trip down there very soon. So glad that you had a great time.....sometimes it's worth it just to put up with a little pain & stiffness just to enjoy something like that. Hope you are OK now though. xxx

  • Thanks Luthien. I'm feeling a bit flat now to be honest. It's probably because of the rain or perhaps I'm just sulking because my 'cloud' mobile didn't work out.

    Totnes is changing a bit now though. Was it very 'New Age' when you were here last? Since Dartington Hall moved the art school to Falmouth a lot of the alternative vibe has died out and it is in danger of becoming a bit too 'designer'.

    Its saving grace is probably the Transition Town movement who are still supporting the self-sufficiency cause.

    PS. I see you enjoy fantasy novels. I'm just reading the first of the Robin Hobb Rain Wild Cronicles having read all of her previous trilogies in this series. If you haven't read her then I thoroughly recommend her but start with the Farseer Trilogy.

  • So sorry to hear your feeling down Judy, hope you pick up real soon. :)

    I think the last time I went down to Totnes was back in the early noughties (I believe it was 2003 but can't quite remember....brain is losing it's ability to recall!!!). My cousin used to live there and got married there.....it seems to be the way of a lot of towns these days losing their individual characters. I still think I will take a visit soon.....I can stay with my cousin....she lives in Blackawton now which is not too far from Totnes.

    Thanks for the recommendation re: the books, I've often contemplated Robin Hobb but not yet taken the plunge. I'm just finishing the latest Terry Brooks so will definitely dabble in Robin next.

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