Halstead Fayre…. Christmas is coming

It’s been a lovely day in Halstead today.  The town laid on a Christmas fayre and the people of the town came together to support all that’s good about our community.  8am and the Air cadets stall needed putting together.  A clear blue sky and frosty start was  lovely and our Costa  made a killing from the stall holders.   It’s at times like this I realise how many people I know in the town and it was so nice to discover that most of them seem to be reading my blog and are genuinely interested in my move to the Unites states.     Lots of hugs..’how are you’ and found myself chatting for most of the day to both old and new friends.   I went home feeling that I will most definitely miss this part of my life in England.   I saw lots (and I mean lots!) of my new social group..The Pings at the Fayre today.  Most of them marshalling or running a stall.  Again I’m incredibly lucky to be part of this group and previous blogs will tell you just how much they mean to me.  But today they also showed their community spirit in this town.  Up early setting things up and then checking that everyone was ok and answering questions for the smooth running of the Fayre.    Most of them were still there at the end of the day when the Christmas lights were switched on ….helping to close it all down and help the clear up…..a very long day !

I remember when we moved  to Halstead 25 years ago.  I was working in Chelmsford and left in the dark in the morning and arrived home in the dark in the evening.  I rarely saw my neighbours and although I loved living here, I didn’t feel that I was part of the community.   My parents and brothers and sisters  thought I had moved to the country as Halstead was so different to Aveley where I had grown up.   They loved to visit and one  by one followed me here and now most of them have also made their home here in Halstead.  Once I had our children I became more part of the community, through their schools and being here more during the day.  I love my life here now and no longer feel like the newbie.  When my children started secondary school I became a Governor at the Ramsey  and an invigilator for school exams.  Through this I have made many friends and colleagues.  I love being in the school environment.  This week I attended the stage 4 awards evening in my role as Governor but it was also rather a sad evening as of this year I no longer have children there. My son Nick left the Ramsey Academy this year and I realised that these smart grown up young people collecting their awards were the same toddlers arriving at nursery school with Nick all those years ago.  Another end of another era.

I’m not doing anything in preparation for our move to the US until I’m absolutely certain I have my visa.   However, it’s always on my mind and now with Christmas preparations under way, I keep thinking how different my Christmas will be from now on.  I stood in the town today listening to the Rock Choir singing beautifully and I thought ‘this is something I won’t see in Halstead next year’

I’m trying to get Christmas sorted early this year and decided to go shopping for a few bits.  I bought quite a few presents and moved on from there to Tesco for just a couple of things I needed.  Surprisingly I met my sister Lisa at the checkout and we decided to get a coffee there.  I quickly took my shopping to the car, loaded up and went back into the store to meet Lisa.  Well you know how it is….get together with your sister, drinking coffee and putting the world to rights..before we knew it nearly two hours had passed!  Funny how that happens…    As I was walking back to my car I immediately saw  that the boot was up.  I knew exactly what I had done and my heart sank as I absolutely knew all my shopping would likely be gone.   I had left the boot open when quickly loading my car and all of my Christmas shopping bags were  on full show.    But surprise surprise..all of my bags were still there.  Sigh of relief.

Last night I met up with a friend for an Indian meal. I haven’t seen her for a few months and it was lovely to catch up.    Christmas fayre today and this evening went to see my brother Martin and his son Will in his amateur dramatics show of ‘seasons of song ‘.   Very proud sister moment.

I can’t believe it’s only a few weeks to Christmas. This year has passed so quickly.  Christmas decorations will be coming out of the loft soon and this year they won’t be going back up !   They’ll be sorted and packed for their journey …hopefully.  You probably don’t think of taking your Christmas decorations with you but a lot of mine are quite sentimental  (how is that possible ? ).    When I think about it, I’m going to struggle with sentimentality in everything I pack.

I think I may have a ‘yard sale’ in the new year.  We won’t be taking furniture etc with us (well that’s the plan) and although I don’t have particularly fabulous furniture,  I’m sure some of it will do someone a good turn and I really can’t imagine taking it all to the tip !   My plan is just to take with us ..sentimental stuff  ( gulp!) , things I’m particularly fond of  (and that is ?).  Clothes (well some of them) and not a lot else.  What do you think ?  Is it likely to happen ?  Answers on a postcard please..preferably before Christmas !

Lots of Lovely Letters this week.  I close my order book on 1st December so that everything is finished and sent in plenty of time for  Christmas.  Some lovely special gifts this year but unfortunately can’t show you until the recipients have been given them at Christmas.

I’m never quite sure how this blog will go while I’m writing it.  Currently there’s not much going on with my visa application until I have had my interview at the Embassy in December.    I spoke to someone today about the blog as I’m very new to it and said what on earth will people want to read about if it’s not about the visa application ?  She said people are just interestied in the normal stuff while everything else is going on.  So please accept my apologies if there’s not much about the move currently…. and I would really welcome your comments on the content…

A question for you …how come ?   ….. how come… when you blow up balloons for a party  or celebration ..they’re always deflated in a few days, a week at the most ?   And yet I have 9 balloons that I put up for Alex’s birthday three weeks ago.. and they WILL NOT go down ! They’re still as fresh as day one!  What’s that all about ?.?

Anyway, until the next time,, I would really be interested in your views on my blog…is it a kind of boring tandem ride on my life bicycle ?   Or are you actually enjoying it ?   Are there particular things you would like me to talk about ?  Do you have any questions ? Do you think we’ll have snow this Christmas ? …. see you soon x

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Jacqueline Knight says:

    Julie, it was so lovely to catch up at our favourite Indian and the blog is a witty read about your life; I can imagine you saying the things you write and end up smiling and chuckling to myself as I read it.

    Liked by 1 person

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