It was a family day out together (reset your mental image; the "children" are now properly grown up) celebrating a brthday which happened earlier in the week.
We went to Arundel, and carefully avoided any connection with any of the "Attractions". We've been round the castle a number of times already. The Wildfowl place was a regular place of pilgrimage when the children were small. I would load them into the car, along with suitable supplies for myself (book, flask of coffee) and spend the day there at half terms. They put on a really, really good day of activities in the Visitor centre, and I would find a comfortable place, with a good view of the lake, and settle down to watch the water birds, drink my coffee and read my book, while the children did their own thing, doing brass rubbings, model making, watching the vinegar-food-colouring-bicarbonate-of-soda volcano explode ...... lunch, walk round the reserve, job done. Day filled. Everyone happy.
Yesterday we followed a different agenda; mooch round the town in the morning, find lunch, and walk in the afternoon. The weather, the time and the place turned ut to be perfect.
We ambled round the town, looking at the farmer's market; hang on a minute, what were they selling there?
Oh, very funny. Irresistible to teachers.
It appears to have been put together from an eclectic mixture of vases and bowls, topped off by the golden crown from the frog prince. I would love to have seen it working.
One thing that made the town so interesting was that there were none of the standard national chain stores in evidence. We didn't go far; up the High Street, turned left and followed our noses into an arcade which I think is the Old Printing Works and where you can find Real Crumbly Fudge, made in front of your eyes on the premises (https://rolysfudge.co.uk/
|picture from the website|
They let us try all the varieties before we bought 4 decent chunks each of strawberries and cream, Baileys, coffee, chocolate and vanilla. Leaving the arcade we passes a shop which sells miniature Steiff teddy bears (hint hint) (ah, I've just seen the price tag, so don't pay any attention to the hint. Very, very, VERY cute and desirable though!)
I did ALL my Christmas bits and pieces present shopping at Sparks Yard - a mecca for stationery obsessives. I've bought the Most Beautiful hank of yarn to knit a fine, lacey scarf, as delicate as a cobweb, but a pattern so simple that I reckon I can manage it without tears.
The town was full enough to be lively and buzzing, but not heaving. The shops were interesting, the little mazey backstreets fascinating, the houses and buildings most attractive, the traffic resigned and patient with everyone pretending that the streets were pedestrianised and people meandering at will from one side of the road to the other. I found myself checking out the estate agent windows in passing....
We did have lunch in a chain - Pizza Express - where I came across fascinating collages (another post), and finished off the day with a round walk along the river and back through the woods at the edge of the wildfowl reserve. More on this to follow.