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Awoke this morning to a very cold day with snow flurries, the first of the season for our area. Around midday, the sun came out and melted most of it away, though the temperature never rose above one degree centigrade. We decided to drive to Harrogate to see the 'Country Living Christmas Fair' which is annually held at the Exhibition Centre there. Emiko is very fond of attending this event and it encourages us to get into an early festive mood.

We set off for Harrogate but there was a lot of traffic and, on the way, snow started to fall again, gradually becoming something of a blizzard about half way there. I started to worry about our return journey and whether the conditions would get worse. The traffic build up certainly did get worse and we eventually arrived in Harrogate much later than originally anticipated...too late for it to be feasible for us to attend the Christmas Fair which was due to close in an hour's time. (There's an awful lot to see at this event and an hour is nowhere near enough time to take it all in. )

So, instead we decided to visit our favourite fishmonger's shop, (called 'Ramus,') on Harrogate's Kings Road and stock up on fish and seafood...all fresh and ready for the freezer. Should keep us happy for a while. Then hit the road back to York as the snow fell hard again.

Now we're back at the homestead. I've lit the log burning stove and everything downstairs is warm and toasty. Debating whether to switch on my studio and do some work, though it's very cold and uninviting upstairs at the moment, mostly due to a lack of heating in this room. But I'm well wrapped up and may try to make further inroads into a new track entitled 'House Of Mystery.'

One thing I really must mention is a wonderful visit I had last night from Ian Haigh, my long lost and recently re-united best friend from Art School days in Wakefield, way back in the mid-1960s.

Ian came over to see us with his partner Ann and we had a superb time reminiscing about our lives and friends when we were both teenage art students. Ian's friendship was always precious to me and it has been an absolute joy to be able to connect with him again after so many years.

Those days at Wakefield's Art School were, unbelievably, over 50 years ago, an expanse of time I'm finding it difficult to grasp. It seems like only yesterday that we inhabited the old Art School building, (now long ago demolished.)

Ian is like a friend I've never really lost, and yet it's 50 years since those heady, halcyon days of the 'sixties and times have changed so dramatically, some for the better, some for worse. Nevertheless, we talked about our mutual experiences, remembering this and that, and laughed an awful lot, something which I've not done for a while, the burden of years becoming perhaps far too prevalent in my own life.

How marvellous to re-connect with someone who shared an affinity with me so many, many years ago...


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