Had a wonderful day Christmas shopping yesterday. First I went to Cobbs Cross Farm in Goathurst to buy a Christmas tree. Goathurst is about two miles away and I’ve been meaning to go there for a while. If you’ve got to have a cut tree – which I do – there’s something really comforting about buying a tree from the place that actually grows them. I”m glad I went early as the narrow lane to the farm was deep in mud and the yard was filling up with people coming to get trees, holly, mistletoe and other Christmas accoutrements.
I was also delighted to find cheap and plentiful mistletoe there. I can get quite wound up about mistletoe. It’s either in mean little bunches or wildly expensive. I know mistletoe has good and bad years but it always really infuriates me when it’s very expensive, as it always is in London. When I ask where it comes from, if the seller doesn’t know, the chances are that it’s French. Mine was grown in Goathurst and 100% of the cost of it (and of their holly) was going to a charity that helps wounded soldiers. I didn’t need to buy holly, as I’ve got a huge holly tree at the end of the garden, although by now the birds have had most of the berries. I did manage to salvage a few for my wreath though.
Then I went into Taunton and got most of the rest of my Christmas shopping done. I love shopping in small towns. So much easier than in London, where everything’s so far apart and packed with people. In Taunton everything’s within a short walk and there are nice independent shops like Ginger Fig and Susie Smith in Bath Place, as well as all the biggies, like Marks and Spencer, should you want them. Bath Place is a sweet little Georgian street, with houses along one side and shops along the other. It’s characterful and quiet – and makes me dream of having my own shop.