Up early as had to be in Huddersfield working by 10am, so I left the house at 8, cycled slowly though the snow and ice down to the station and got the 8.27 towards Manchester. I met two nice women on he train who were heading to Manchester to meet some old friends, flying in to go shopping. Both were interested in green issues, one had even trained as a York Rotter, but were seemingly not able to convert their concern into significant action. This is not uncommon, and is partly due to lack of knowledge. Hence my blog...see How do I do 'low carbon'?
Anyway, Huddersfield stopped the conversation and I had memorised my route to the market office, and it took me less then 10 minutes to get there. The market office people had purchased a posh Santa outfit last year for the leader of the Council to wear, and they asked me to wear it. I kept my own trousers, red dungarees, and had a tabard thing with a stuffed front, for belly-mass, and then a really nice cloak with hood. And a beard/moustache with two elastics to hold it on, a big improvement on the single elastic that my Santa beard has, which does not stay on very well. They had some welly-boot covers with bells on which were a great idea too.
My role was to walk round the French Market and greet the public and give out Christmassy Chocolate eggs. Before starting I wasn't looking forward to this that much, but as I got down to it, I began to really enjoy it. I especially enjoyed the genuine wide-eyed wonder of some of the children, the play-along-with-it make believe of some of the older children, including teenagers, and helping to overcome the shyness of another group of mainly young children. Only twice did someone say they didn't believe in Father Christmas, shouted at me by a teen, and one lad tried to pull my beard. But the overwhelming response was very positive. I didn't feel the need to alter my voice, and I was able use my verbal humour to make people laugh, which I was pleased with.
This was my first time 'out and about' as Father Christmas... the previous occasions were in a hotel just giving a present or pile of presents to guests at the lunch table, whereas in the street it was a bit more of a natural situation with lots of different sorts of possible meetings. About half a dozen children wanted to hug me (well, my legs!) and quite a few wanted me to pose for a photo with them. I did two and a half hours before I was too cold to continue, and went back to the office for lunch.
I enjoyed the sandwiches Gill made for me and defrosted, and then went out for a 3 hour stint of more of the same. I almost didn't want to finish, but I got back to the office just after 4pm and quickly disrobed, put my fleece back on and got back to the station for the 4.26 train.
When I got back to York and cycled away from the station, my bike lights weren't working very well, in fact the front one wasn't working at all. So I cycled down to Cycle Heaven and a few minutes fiddling revealed that my dynamo had worn out, or gone wrong due to overuse, so I spent £25 on a new one to replace it, and cycled away extremely well lit - much better.
I got in and Gill and the boys were very focused on some telly nonsense (a dancing competition, I think) so I made myself some tea; home grown beans mixed with a bit of tomato soup and cheese, to make a sauce to pour over a big pile of broccoli, all cooked on the woodstove.
I had an extended facebook Scrabble session, playing for over an hour, and enjoyed watching some lightweight TV nonsense... just different nonsense to what the others were into.