Sweetbriar Dreams

So where shall we go on our journey today?

Saturday, 15 December 2012

The Peterborough Christmas Fayre

I am being enveloped by all the different sensory experiences of Christmas.  The sights, sounds, tastes and smells of Christmas are all around now.  The busy, rushed appearance on everyone's faces as you go around the shopping centres, streets and small alleyways of shops.  The childrens faces as they are being pulled along with their loved ones trying to capture all the wonder and excitement around them.  It is a wonderful time of year.  The sense of expentancy of what is to come.  To make everything perfect.  And, as a mum, making sure everything is perfect!!

I absolutely love with all my heart the Victorian era.  Christmas as it should be I feel.  Not the materialistic frantic shopping and stress for one day.  Rather the looking forward to spending time with family, having 'time out' to reflect on those who are the most important to us and showing this with all our love and affection.  To raise a glass to those loved ones who are no longer with us and looking forward to spending time who have now come to join us. 

Usually on Christmas Eve when the shops have closed, the presents are wrapped, the food preparation for the next day is done, the children have settled down and a sense of calm is restored, I like to put anything to do with the Christmas Carol on the TV.  This year it will be the one with Jim Carrey in.  The detail in that film blew me away last year, and I will sit with some egg nog and start to think of my January/February crafting...namely the Old Curiosity Shop (my dolls house).  My thoughts are always very much into the Victorian era with that project.  I think I mainly do this project during the winter months because it is cold and dark and I feel with the dolls house this is how I want it to reflect.  It's personality is an old this and that shop set in the back streets of the Victorian East End of London.  It has to be a bit rough around the edges!

My hands (as I feel probably are yours) are sore from all the crafting I am doing along with gift wrapping, christmas card writing and tapping on the computer keyboard trying to find unusual gifts. So it was lovely to step out of my office and walk across the precincts to the Cathedral to see their wonderful Christmas fayre.  Such sights, sounds, smells and tastes. Yes, Christmas has finally arrived, and in a Medieval/Victorian theme!!  My camera could have burst with the amount of photos I took.  I wanted to capture every sight and smell and all I can think of is that you need to have a stick of cinnamon, a nutmeg and some star anise nearby  along with a log fire to try and capture the smell of this walk around (also some mulled wine and mulled cider of course!).

Where do I start?  Well let's start with day time.  The fair is being held over four days so I have started with the light of day and then how this looked at night.  The backdrop of the Cathedral is such a perfect and majestical setting.  I love this place and I am very privileged to be working in close proximity to this.

How can it be Christmas without the hot roast chestnuts...(this picture made me laugh when I put this on, it looks as though there is a tinsel adorned sack having a crafty cigarette!!)

The costumes were wonderful, and I was so pleased when I captured this marvelous jolly stall holder.  Isn't he FANTASTICl!

There were costumes everywhere!

This Victorian lady was lovely...

The blacksmiths were hard at work.

And different eras merged together.

This lady was extremely knowledgeable and had made real ginger bread from a bygone era.  It was very sticky and extremely yummy.  She also had quince jam which is like a clear jelly, but equally as good.

Next to her were two stew pots slowly bubbling away with some very appetising contents.

The items that were being sold were not your usual 'run of the mill' stock.  There were fantastic helmets...

And some very sinister swords...

Beautifully colourful masks...

Exquisite pots and jugs...


and, look what I found...hearts...

As well as what was going on in the precincts was a Morrocan market.  Just look at the beautiful colours and array of goods.

This pot pourri bowl was probably the largest I have ever seen!!

Just by the side of Cathedral square was an angel statue.  Very very still until a child put money in her pot and then she would slowly blow them a kiss, beckon them over to have their picture taken by a very happy parent.

And then we go to night.  I love the Cathedral in the cold, dark evenings.  It is such as beautiful and comforting place, and looks so warm and welcoming compared to some Cathedrals that I have seen.

This very knowledgeable 'soldier' walked with me while I took in the lights, felt the warmth of the little fires and feasted my eyes on all the wares in the tents.  It turned out that he lives near where I used to live in Essex!  It's a small world!!

This was one of the tents at night with it's lovely welcoming fire outside and it's tent still containing an array or pots and jugs.

And then through the arch to the Cathedral Square where the Moroccon Market was still trading.  The lights above are spectacular.

So much information was taken in.  So many ideas and plans to make and get for next year.

So, why are my fingers so sore?...well here is my front door wreath creation.  It started with creating fabric parcels, crochet stars, hearts and flowers.  And to keep the wreath warm, a nice crocheted cover. I am so pleased with this but my hands really feel as though they have been tightened in a vice.  So a little breather over the festivities I think.

and, now in its place on my front door...

Ta dah!!

Have a lovely week everyone...don't get too stressed!! xx

Ooops...forgot the Carol Singers....


  1. What a fun event! Thank you for taking such beautiful pictures, it was like a mini-vacation for me!!!
    Oh, I am in love with your wreath! It looks so cheerful on your door! Beautiful!
    xo Jaime

  2. Looks like an amazing day! I love your wreath!



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