It was the local primary school's Christmas fair today. I have been excited for the last week an a half! I saw it advertised on the local church newsletter that arrives in the post every month. You can tell I don't get out much these days. Our lovely neighbour said she would come with me, so we walked up together, collecting one of the other neighbour's young boys to come along too. It was primarily games for the children to play with lots of prizes presented at the end, a few stalls selling all sorts of goodies and, big drum roll, the TOMBOLA!
It was the fact that there was a tombola that did it for me. I am a tombola addict. For the last few years I have attended the fabulous Save the Children Christmas fair held in London at the Banqueting Hall. It is rarely open to the public so it's a wonderful opportunity to see the incredible Michaelangelo painting on the ceiling whilst shopping for a worthwhile cause, with endless amounts of canapes and a glass of wine included in the entrance price. Do go if you get the chance, I think it's on December 7th.
I always end up spending most of my time hovering around the tombola, with a surprisingly good streak of luck each time. One year I won a wonderful woven basket with leather handles, a rather freaky porcelain doll, which I gave to a neighbour who happened to collect them, beautiful jewellery and heaps of fabulous gifts for friends and family. I love the fact that the money is for charity and the prizes are brilliant, top quality.
As soon as we walked in to the fair, we headed straight to the tombola and we bought two strips of tickets from a woman who was holding tickets in a basket. She was busy admiring our pram, we were busy thinking she was the tombola ticket woman, but NO! She was the raffle woman. Ah well, that was fine, we stayed for the raffle too, but had zero luck on that. However, the tombola was a different matter. Now the gifts were all food items, not that appealing some of them either. Tins of chopped tomatoes? A can of shandy? Where were the fancy gifts? Anyway, not being deterred, for £2 we bought ten tickets and won five things! The prizes were for tickets with numbers ending in a '0' or '5'. That was pretty lucky! Our neighbour bought 15 tickets and only won one thing - the can of shandy, which she gave to Jam for she doesn't like it! We bagged a bottle of tasty ale, lemonade - which we gave to our neighbour, a tin of baked beans, a tin of sweetcorn and a jar of chutney. Not such a lucrative tombola, but fun all the same.
The fair was a perfect opportunity to see the school, meet some of the teachers and local people and offer Jam's music teaching services and mine too to the local pre-school. Everyone was extremely friendly and we were made to feel very welcome. Rowan was a delight and made lots of people smile. I also managed to buy lots of Christmas gifts and talk myself into buying a full length green leather coat, some jeans, a dress, two tops and some jogging bottoms - all for just ten pounds!! The clothes were all mostly new too! Result!
Isn't it amazing what a little therapeutic shopping does for the soul, combined with giving to charity and supporting the local school - it's a wonderful feeling!