I have to travel south for a few days soon to attend a training course, so we thought that having lunch in town today would be a nice treat before I go. There were a few things to do beforehand, but once we'd visited the Post Office, the bank and a few other shops, all our immediate 'messages' had been taken care of. Our Lass is hunting for a new pair of shoes to go with an outfit for an upcoming wedding, but even after that, there was still loads of time before our lunch reservation at the Italian restaurant in Victoria Street.
And so, we found ourselves wandering further along the street to have a peruse around William Shearer's, an agricultural and general merchant emporium, which seems to stock just about everything.
As we reached the front door, we noticed a sign stating that the Christmas display was now open on the first floor. Now, regular readers will know that I have the occasional pedantic moment, and might be expected 'to go off on one' at this point, but I have to admit that I can suspend my pedantry when it comes to long, dark, stormy nights and short, dull, stormy days. Yes, this far north, a bit of brightness is needed to dispel the gloom.
Well, the clocks go back tonight, so where's the harm, eh?
Climbing the narrow, bare, wooden staircase to the first floor, we emerged into the sights and smells of a festive Aladdin's Cave. Logs crackling in a cosy open fire, sumptuous provender, decorations of all hues and the scent of pine and spices. To be fair, it was a bit weird listening to Bing Crosby when we've not e'en had Hallowe'en yet. But Orkney definitely can't hold back pre-Christmas once Bonfire Night's been and gone, so we're only a week early.
Once back home and much later in the afternoon, I suddenly had a hankering for some fruit cake and cheese (perhaps it was subliminal thoughts of Christmas cake and Wensleydale cheese?). As there wasn't any cake in the house, and my cheese intake is severely reduced on doctor's orders, this was a bit of crisis. However, Our Lass saved the day by reminding me that there was last year's Christmas Pudding lurking at the back of a kitchen cupboard. So, armed with a microwave oven, a couple of bowls and a pair of dessert spoons, disaster was averted.
Festively, I'm still considering whether being very early for 2017 and very late for 2016, on the same day, cancels each other out in some karmic temporal vortex?