Monday, 25 September 2006


When we visited the Romsey Show a few weeks ago, I was particularly struck by the marquee containing the food! No surprise there, you might think, but the way in which the sellers pitched their offerings - greengroceries especially - really highlighted the almost "fake" displays that we see in the supermarkets.

Yesterday, therefore, after some web-based research, we headed over to Winchester, where one of the regular Farmers' Markets was being held. And our first experience of such a market was hugely positive. We were able to buy the week's veggies and probably about two weeks' worth of meat, plus bread, cheese, eggs, cream etc. - all direct from the farms where they had been produced. Cost-wise, each item probably cost the same as in the supermarket. But there were far fewer things to tempt us, and so the weekly shop ended up costing about half that of normal. All told, a big hit. Of course, there are still things one needs the supermarket for, but it feels far more natural to buy our food direct where appropriate. There markets appear to be a regular occurrence, so I'm sure we'll be back...

Coupled with our successful shop, we took advantage of the unseasonally fine weather to spend several hours mooching around. We visited the cathedral, and Alice attended the christening of the baby of some complete strangers! Amazing, she just tagged onto their party and watched the ceremony unfold, with Jacqueline and I sitting at the back of the cathedral, a safe distance away. Of course we then had the inevitable question....."Was I ever christened?"... to which the answer was "no". In fact, I have no objection whatsoever to Alice embracing any religion under the sun, but it has to be her choice, not ours, and I did my best to explain this to her.

In fact we were lucky with the weather on Saturday also. Jacqueline suggested visiting Stourhead House again, which we did via Mere. Our first visit to the house was last summer, when we made a splendid picnic and explored the gardens. This year, we visited the house, followed by a circuit of the gardens once again.

As a sideline, over the last couple of weeks I have been transferring all of our old home video footage onto the computers. It was lovely to see video pictures of Alice as a baby, and slightly disappointing that it had been so long since we had done any filming (I generally much prefer taking still photographs). In any case I made up for this Saturday, when we took the camcorder to Stourhead. When I get around to it, I must try and see if I can create a video small enough that I can put it in a blog for the world to see.

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