Thursday, 1 December 2016

With the Christmas markets on a bright sunny afternoon in Varese

Today it was one of those perfect December days in Varese.

The sun shone and despite the bitter cold and the hint of snow on the mountains above the city the first Friday of December was a busy one.

Not that it could be anything else as people went about proper Christmas shopping given that we are now just weeks away from the festival.

And like pretty much everywhere the Christmas markets were offering up a mix of food,and  interesting presents and even if they were what you could get all the year round there was something special about what they were selling this afternoon.

But there were the odd quirky things to see like the purple bike with its display and the lights suspended over the Piazza which as dusk fell came into their own.

I have never been able to resist that mix of seasonal commercialism and the Christmas lights which go back to being just six and visiting the lights on Oxford Street.

It marked the official beginning of all that was to come.

Uncle George would have arrived the day before and in the late afternoon we would take the train up to town and the rest was just magic.

It was not just the lights it was also the bag of hot chestnuts which burnt your fingers but were wonderful to eat under the sparkly stars and angels.

And of course even as you headed home  you knew  that this was just the prelude to what was to come.

So I suppose that was the motive to do exactly the same with my lads as they were growing up.

Having said all that I have yet to venture in to Manchester and will own up to having been left in Chorlton while some of the family have gone out for a pre- Christmas get together in Varese..

Pictures; Varese, December 2015 from the collection of T Balzano

Tomorrow, Christmas in Canada in 1953

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