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Herald Express - - Letters & Opinion -

THE fore­cast did pre­dict a cold snap but crikey did any­one ex­pect it to be so dra­matic? I thought I’d dressed ap­pro­pri­ately on Satur­day and wasn’t plan­ning on be­ing out­side for hours any­way but it turns out I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I’d in­tended to at­tend The English Riviera Film Fes­ti­val run by my friend John Tomkins but de­cided to stop off en route at The Spark ta­ble top sale. Project Per­form­ers is a Youth Per­for­mance Group led by Polly Pritchard-Davies. Re­cently Polly took on the lease of a hall which could be home to the group but also be used as an event, ac­tiv­ity and re­hearsal space for other com­mu­nity groups. Polly named the venue The Spark and the ta­ble top sale was one of the first fundrais­ing events held there. It was heart­warm­ing to see the hall so full of sell­ers and buy­ers and I man­aged to get one or two Christ­mas presents so I was happy.

Just get­ting in and out of the car how­ever had ex­posed my joints to the icy wind and within the hour I was crip­pled with pain in my knees, hip, back and neck. When that hap­pens, the only thing I can do is try and get warm so we came straight home and I hun­kered down un­der two blan­kets with a pair of thick socks on!

I do hate chang­ing plans and let­ting peo­ple down, es­pe­cially friends but was happy and re­lieved to hear the film fes­ti­val was a great suc­cess.

There is a two-week pro­gramme of film-re­lated events which can be found on the fes­ti­val web­site but I’d es­pe­cially like to tell you about the clos­ing fea­ture film on Fri­day, No­vem­ber 9.

I will be host­ing a nos­tal­gic Night at The Movies, an im­mer­sive evening of vin­tage mu­sic and en­ter­tain­ment trans­port­ing you back to the mu­sic hall era with a screen­ing of Daddy’s Let­ter, a comedic and poignant film in­spired by the life of the late Liz Smith who ap­peared in The Royle Fam­ily and Vicar of Di­b­ley.

The event is be­ing held at The Lucky 7 Club in Paignton. Tick­ets are £5 and all monies raised will be do­nated to lo­cal char­ity: Chil­dren and Fam­i­lies in Grief. Get tick­ets at www.theluck­y7­club.com

It re­ally does feel like win­ter has ar­rived overnight. I was stunned to see im­ages of snow fall­ing and set­tling on Dart­moor over the week­end, cou­pled with the clocks turn­ing back and the on­set of evenings get­ting dark at 5pm, it’s a real re­minder that Christ­mas is just around the cor­ner.

I’m unashamedly is­su­ing my an­nual plea for read­ers to shop lo­cal wher­ever pos­si­ble. Brix­ham has more in­de­pen­dent shops than ever be­fore, of­fer­ing quirky and unique gifts, most of our cafes and res­tau­rants of­fer vouch­ers for sale too which make ideal presents.

If we want our towns and com­mu­ni­ties to thrive, we have to sup­port lo­cal busi­nesses, it’s es­sen­tial for our lo­cal econ­omy so please get out there on your days off or for late-night shop­ping, you’re much more likely to find a spe­cial gift that’s ideal for the re­cip­i­ent than by shop­ping on­line in generic stores.

There are lots of in­ter­est­ing events com­ing up over the next few months. On Sun­day, No­vem­ber 18, The Pi­rate Fes­ti­val com­mit­tee is hold­ing a fundraiser at The Old Mar­ket House. Tick­ets, avail­able from Chris Slack, Bay Cof­fee Com­pany, Bon Bon and Hans Gift are £12.50 for a fish and chip sup­per and live mu­sic from Talisker.

On No­vem­ber 23 you’re in­vited to an evening of food, live mu­sic and some rock­ing and rolling at The Edge on Bolton Street. Fancy dress is en­cour­aged and all pro­ceeds will help to fund their fa­mous free com­mu­nity Christ­mas grotto.

Fi­nally a re­minder it is Brix­ham’s own Lights, Lanterns and Lu­mi­na­tions on Satur­day, No­vem­ber 24. An ideal op­por­tu­nity to start that lo­cal Christ­mas shop­ping and to soak up some fes­tive cheer cul­mi­nat­ing in a grand fire­works dis­play. If this week’s weather is any­thing to go by though, you bet­ter wrap up warm!

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