Season’s Greetings

Sunday was cold, really cold. When the wind blew, it blew straight through you. But it was the perfect day for a family walk to the Christmas Markets. It’s just not the same, if it’s not cold. So with the temperature hovering just above zero, off we went.

First, walking next to the river, the children playing and being cheeky. Not too cold yet, it was still light at this stage. But you could feel it coming. As we walked, the occasional gust would give us a shiver and make us glad of all the layers which we were wearing.

The closer we got to the town centre, the more the festive spirit grew. We started to see decorations, on lamp posts and bridges. And more people, not too crowded yet but others heading in the same direction as us. Our children were getting more excited. They had some money from their piggy banks to spend, their own choice, what would it be?

As we approached the markets themselves we could see the crowds, not too many people, but enough. Stalls containing all the usual goods. Hot wine, to warm my cockles, food both hot and cold. Seasonal decorations and gifts for all ages. Songs were being sung, children were dancing and the excitement of the season was upon us.

And then for the walk home. Via the old square and it’s Christmas tree, a beautiful sight standing next to the historical buildings contained there. Could the children make it? Both tired and cold now, but of course they could. Then, it was so nice to get home and begin to thaw out. And after dinner, some traditional Christmas biscuits and a cup of tea. Perfect.

© Neil Hayes and neilsworldofenglish

Summertime

Summertime aromas, drifting through the air. Juices dripping and sizzling on the coals. Laughter and joy, carried on the gentle, warm breeze. Steaks, cooked to perfection. Crisp, colourful salads. Ice cold beer. Exhausted, but happy children. The journey home. Reflection. Good times. 

Daily Prompt: Tender

© Neil Hayes and neilsworldofenglish

Christmas Markets

This Sunday was spent at a traditional Christmas market in a small village near where I live in the Czech Republic. This village, called Kuks, is famous for its historical buildings, and the market was located at the bottom of the gardens that belong to this chateau. But it is more than a chateau, it also has a building which was used as a hospital, although you would have to see it to believe it. The old hospital building is a beautiful piece of architecture and is fronted by some stunning statues.

The market was a typical affair, lots of craft items to buy. As well as mulled wine to drink, and lots of food to eat. The typical market food in this country is not exactly healthy, but warming on a cold winter’s day. Hot potato pancakes, grilled sausages, freshly cooked hot pastries. You go home a little bit fatter, but very satisfied. These markets are very popular, so you must be willing to queue patiently for the choicest items. Unfortunately, patience isn’t always my finest quality.

The train ride home was a sleepy one, we were all a little chilly and tired. But it was a lovely day out with my family when we had the chance to eat, drink and soak in some history and culture. And, of course, continue to get in the Christmas spirit. 

© Neil Hayes and neilsworldofenglish