It’s that time of year where I feel like I ought to be more festive but am restricted by the fact that it’s still only November. Bloody commercialism. And relatives who have been asking for ages what we all want as gifts. What we actually need is a November festival to tide us over. Perhaps I’ll start one. Something that involves chunky jumpers, lights, warming stews and cake. And dancing.

Anyway, today the weather obliged by being vaguely festive (ie ruddy freezing) and S decided we should all go out. None of the usual National Trust places or local attractions had their Christmas events on yet – because it’s only November – but then S found the Rufford Christmas trail was on.

2015-11-22 13.43.44Rufford is owned by Notts County Council so it’s important to remember their attractions won’t have enormous amounts of cash thrown at them. A few years back they had a harrowing tableau where Santa appeared to be hanging in a tree so the Christmas trail is at least an improvement. In short, they put some wooden decorations in the trees and write clues for you to find each set as you wander round their park.

2015-11-22 13.30.43We went on this last year and I remember being colder than I’ve ever been. It was marginally better this year, plus E was more involved than last year. Once she got past the excitement of picking up sticks from the ground, and climbing on boulders, she got into the task of looking out for the decorations and counting them. At the end she was rewarded with a chocolate Santa.

They also had a Santa’s grotto but I’m wary of those things because I don’t want her to be scared of Santa and the toys all looked horribly gendered (boys were holding helicopters, girls had pink notebooky things.) And because, of course, it’s only November.

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