As I went out Christmas food shopping today I noticed a real Christmassy feel to the shops and their frontages around my home village of Ruddington and my work town of Beeston. Plus Shane and Stuart in the local butcher's shop central Ruddington, although knackered from hours of preparation in the run up to Christmas were still jolly in their serving whilst I bought some of their delicious Lincolnshire sausage and home cured streaky bacon for sausage and bacon cobs for breakfast over the next few days. By midday they had already sold out of chipolata sausages and sausage meat. One customer came in and asked if his ordered Turkey Crown could now be stuffed. The butchers were tired and very very busy and extraordinarily diplomatic in their response and agreed it could be done tomorrow as a Christmas favour. I know plain speaking butchers well enough to be diplomatic myself and say - Enough said.
Thomas's vegetable shop on the Ruddington High Street had folk queuing down the High Street at 10am this Monday morning and by midday it was almost impossible to see the staff for the crowds packing out the small shop! Great to see independent businesses doing well and offering a friendly and knowledgeable service. There were crates and crates of Brussels sprouts stacked by the shop frontage. The village post office, next door, was doing a roaring trade in posting last minute Christmas cards and gifts, although with only two days to go I would be surprised to envisage many of these items reaching their destinations by Christmas Eve! Anything destined for Brussels had very little chance!
In Beeston yesterday I took a few minutes prior to my work day to photograph closed and existing premises on the High Street. Hogg's the butchers used to be a very well established, thriving butchery business and still the shop is empty after eleven months of closure, although virtual imagery has been introduced to make it appealing for potential foodie buyers. I heard that the rates are very high for the High Street businesses in Beeston. Shame then that such practices discourage independent businesses from opening.
Barnsdale's the Beeston butchers was open early for a pre- Christmas Sunday trading period. I hope that they did and do well in their independent trade.