Today HWIOO and I took ourselves off to the bath Christmas Market. We parked the jar and joined the unexpectedly large queue of shoppers – three double decker loads it turns out. We stood on the stair for most of the journey. Just before our arrival the woman next to HWIOO turned to him and said in an ‘I’m shrinking’ kind of voice. “You’re squashing me. You’re taking up too much space.” She looked up at him as though to infer that part of the squashing was entirely due to his height – perhaps it was a gravity, air displacement thing. Let me assure you ladies and gentleman that HWIOO was not squashing her, there was no cartoon anvil weighing her down; he’d not decided that in the absence of seats that she would make a suitable alternative.
He shuffled up a step and tried to look smaller – this was not entirely successful but what it did do was allow the woman in question to chat with her friend. “Oh yes,” she said. “I’ve got a chap coming in to see to my frontage. Apparently it needs supporting.” She then went on to advise her friend about the importance of ensuring that a strict regime for the festive season so far as family is concerned, finishing it off with, “And I don’t approve of young people,” apropos of nothing in particular. Though she did glare at HWIOO as she said it. Allow me to assure you that Lady Catherine de Burgh is alive and well in Bath. These days she wears a sensible mackintosh and her frontage requires support.
HWIOO, my own personal Mr Darcy, struggled with some of the ladies, Mrs Bennetts every single one of them, intent on finding a bargain. He was heard to mutter ‘bah humbug’ when I became excited about laser cut snow flakes but that could have been because he’d just been overwhelmed by a party that looked suspiciously like a band of WI let loose for the day. They’d have been dangerous if they’d had a bottle of wine between them so I’m quite glad we encountered them before lunch rather than after. In the end he found a convenient wall to stand against out of the way thinking that he’d be safe whilst I investigated a stall composed entirely of felted Christmas ornaments.
Two seconds later a rather large-boned woman bounced off him, “Mind where you’re going.”
Given that he wasn’t going anywhere at the time his response was positively chivalric. “I’m sorry I didn’t realise I was wearing my invisibility cloak.”
Seriously though it was a lovely day and I have a lovely Lithuanian candle burner that will grace my hearth – what more could a woman want? Oh alright – but HWIOO refuses to wear a ruffled shirt and is adamant he’s not jumping in a fish pond for anyone.