I’m pretty well ready for Christmas, or I will be by close of play tomorrow. I’m buying food in the morning and so is Tim – we have complementary shopping lists – and then I’m going to Norwich in the afternoon to meet Weeza and co and swap presents, and I’ll buy the last few. Two, in fact. Christmas Eve is always kept clear. Cooking and food preparation happens then, but no shopping unless it must, unexpectedly. I have a list of several local suppliers I will shop from, because I know that a good Christmas makes all the difference to them. Alex used to take more in two days than in a normal winter month, those two days kept the shop open in the lean winter months. One doesn’t realise the difference that even a modest shopping expedition makes to a small shopkeeper. And, of course, to big retailers too, as the collapse of many household names has shown.

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