Well, that was the Winter Wonderland Weekend, that was.
Most people seem to like Christmas, although I know a couple who dislike it and try to avoid it as much as possible. However, judging by the crowds who always turn up for the High Street Lighting the Lights, most people in Ilfracombe are very much in favour of Christmas!
An amusing sign caught my eye outside FIX (coffee shop at the top of Fore Street). From memory, it read something like “A yawn is just a silent scream for coffee”. Given the frequency with which I silently scream, I had better go and try their coffee one day. If it’s as good as their signage, it will be fabulous!
The middle of November already. At the end of next week, it will be the High Street Lighting The Lights, which, for me, is always the start of the Christmas festivities. I guess that is why Santa has asked me to pass on the following message:
“Hi, This is Santa writing from the North Pole. I will be visiting Ilfracombe over the next few weeks and thought I should let you know my plans. As usual, I will be at the High Street Lighting The Lights on Friday 24th November, probably from about 6.15. At first, I will be by the war memorial. Feel free to come and say “hello”. After the lights have been lit, the sleigh will move up the High Street and will stop roughly opposite Pedlar’s. When the sleigh is completely still, we will invite children aboard, and every child will be offered a small present. We intend to leave around 8.30pm, so, if you want to be sure of seeing me, please try to get to me well before that time.
“On Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th, I will be in a grotto, made by the lovely folk of Joshua Tree, at Ropery Road, as part of your Winter Wonderland. Again, every child will be offered a small present. Look out for Combe Christmas Committee posters and programme to find the exact times I will be there.
“During the three weeks of December prior to Christmas, I will be riding around town stopping at predetermined points as I have done in recent years, and, again, children will be welcome on the sleigh and each will be given a small present. I expect to do this on every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, but even I cannot control the weather and there may have to be last minute changes if the weather is particularly bad.
“You will be able to find full details closer to the time on the Facebook pages Gossip around Ilfracombe and Santa Visits Ilfracombe. Santa Visits Ilfracombe will have a full itinerary for the trips around town.
“There will be no charge for any of the above. The cost of the presents is being met by a local charity. However, donations will be welcome, but all children will be treated the same, whether or not they make a donation.”
In addition to the above, Santa also plans to be at the Slade Youth Club on 13th December and at Ilfracombe Library on 15th December when author, Olli Tooley, will be giving away copies of his latest book, “Dr Gnaw”.
I understand that Santa’s elves have worked hard and there should be different presents for different age groups. Also, they have tried to ensure that the presents given out will differ from day to day, so that, if a child saw Santa once each day, s/he would stand a good chance of getting a different present each time
Welcome back, Nick, to your new venue at the Hip & Pistol on St James’ Place. I’m told it is an anagram – “pish & lop it”? “sot & Philip”? “Tip & Polish”? I’m sure I’ll get it eventually. Anyway, good luck to you and all who drink with you.
I hope you saw Netti’s comment on last week’s blog. Halloween and bonfire night - Netti, you must have had an idyllic childhood. I am jealous.
Well, we had some odd folk around Ilfracombe last week – odder than normal, I mean, even for Ilfracombe. There were some bearing horrific injuries, while a few were plainly dead. Then there were the witches and wizards, of all sexes, ghosts, vampires and werewolves. And, of course, the zombies. Mustn’t forget the zombies. It was, of course, Halloween. When I was a child, we knew of Halloween – it was the night witches were abroad, so best stay safe indoors – but we never did anything to celebrate it. The first I came across it was when my wife and I, with our oldest, then only, daughter, age 5, stayed with an American friend who had a son the same age as our daughter. The two kids went out trick or treating and came back with quite a haul of “candy”. My daughter obviously thought it was an excellent way of enhancing her consumption of sweets and so was anxious to celebrate the occasion back home, which we eventually did. I was surprised not to see her out scaring the neighbours last week!