After digging the car out of the drive, the trip into town was tricky, and finding parking even more so. I ended up in the rather expensive multi-story carpark. On the way to the venue, I took a photo of Santa's Grotto in the snow. There was real snow among the cardboard cutout stuff - deep and crisp and
even in mounds and drifts.
The fun started with the arrival of so many Red Hatters amidst a bustling cafe
that was also catering for the pre-panto crowd on their way to watch Beauty and the Beast in the centre's theatre on the top floor.
While tucking in to the food, I handed my camera to Maureen as the Red Hat Singers were soon leading the first part of the Christmas singalong, including a Round in which Father Christmas got stuck in the chimney
and a reading of Penny Joseph's poem by Broadway Bell followed.
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.
We ended on a humourous note, doing the actions to the 12 Days of Christmas ( I hope the parents of the small children in the cafe didn't have too much trouble explaining the
pair pear) and finally We Wish(ed) You(everyone) a Merry Christmas with much foot stomping when we wouldn't go until we got some figgy pudding.
My Fair Ladies has brought me many new friends for whom the Quote for the Day is most apt.
Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. Christopher Robin to Pooh.