The last time we went to Meadowhall was almost exactly two years ago when we went through mountains of snow on my birthday with Lindsey. We have had neither the inclination nor any reason to go since. However, I have recently received a Lakeland catalogue in the post and it was full of lovely things and I wanted to go browsing rather than internet shopping. And Meadowhall houses the nearest Lakeland to us. So we went.
It was not entirely encouraging when we got there to find that the absolutely enormous car park we were in was chockerblock full. But fortunately (or otherwise, depending on your perspective) The Builder found a hidden away part of the car park which no one else much had discovered and lo - there was somewhere to put the car.
And so we made our way to Lakeland and made our purchases (I was mugged, positively mugged I was, by a box of cake/biscuit cutters for making a gingerbread house with which threw itself at me and absolutely insisted that I buy it and take it to Ballarat with me!!). We called briefly into the Apple shop - which was the most crowded that I think I have ever seen a shop, with the notable exception of the Myer toy department on Christmas Eve. We didn't stay. We went to the Build a Bear shop instead and played with the toys.
And then we went to Bishops' House where they were having a medieval craft fair. Tabitha, Gareth and Cally were also there.
So were loads and loads of visitors. And the Beekeeper string ensemble was playing upstairs and there were lots of beautiful things to look at (and to resist the temptation to buy).
|Tabitha and Cally outside Bishops' House|
|The Builder inside Bishops' House|
|Volunteers at the medieval craft fair|
And then we went into the Sheffield City Centre where the Christmas market was being launched and the Christmas lights were being turned on. And finding the market was a touch too crowded, we all, along with Tabitha and Gareth's friend Moira who we had picked up along the way, repaired to the Rutland Arms for a quick drink.
|Apparently the illuminations were provided by Blackpool|
|They were very good it must be said|
|Can't say I was expecting the dalek and tardis though|
|Reindeer much more seasonal|
|The apparition of Neil Armstrong was a bit startling|
|Cally exploring the market|
|Cally in the pub eating chocolate|
|Gaz is doing Movember. Taffa does not approve of the facial decoration. I quite like it|
And then The Builder and I went home and caught up on a few episodes of Masterchef Australia and drank wine and ate steak and garlic mushrooms.
I also spoke to Stella and Tony on Skype on Sunday morning. Both seemed to be in quite good health, although Stella is now back in hospital with more heart problems. She had better get better very soon. She is supposed to be coming out to lunch with us. I was going to say that this would be difficult if she had popped her clogs before the appointed lunch date - but then it crossed my mind that my uncle, Peter, had taken us out to lunch three times and on a boat trip in the year after he died. So not impossible to have lunch with someone who is clogless - but better fun if they are not. Makes it easier to have a proper conversation.
There is now only one more Saturday and one more Sunday before we embark on the GWT. And I have Singapore dollars (I already had Aussie dollars and Japanese Yen). We are nearly ready to go