Yesterday we set off towards Lichfield in the hopes of finally completing the shopping for presents. I really like Lichfield; although it is a city it is small and compact and easy to walk around. It was looking particularly festive as we walked around especially the market place.
Here the shouts of 'two bags of bananas for £1' competed with the music from a children's carousel and carols from the nearby church and heritage centre. The house you can see just at the top of the photo behind the Christmas Tree is Dr Samuel Johnson's birthplace museum.
We found three presents almost immediately and so decided it was time for coffee and carrot cake at the nearby Garrick Theatre, named after the 18th century actor David Garrick who, like Samuel Johnson, spent his childhood in Lichfield.
Then it was time to hunt out some more Christmas purchases. We wandered back towards the car park via the Cathedral - I thought it looked lovely through the branches of the tree. As we walked across The Close towards the building a lady in 18th century costume stopped us and asked would we like to visit Erasmus Darwin's house where there were carol singers, mulled wine and mince pies. We popped inside for a few minutes just to listen to the choir and have a quick look around the ground floor - we had visited a couple of times before and would have liked to stay a while longer but we were due back at the car park and had one other place to visit before we returned home.
I took this photo of the Cathedral from the herb garden at Darwin's house and the one below from the entrance passage to the back of the house.
We drove out of Lichfield towards Burton-on-Trent and found our next destination - the Marina at Barton-under-Needwood.
We parked near a lake where these two young swans were waiting, along with lots of other waters birds, in the hope that we had food for them. Unfortunately we hadn't but many people had come prepared.
We had great fun looking around the 'Toys of Yesteryear' and a wonderful food shop called 'The Butcher, The Baker and The Ice-Cream Maker' but my favourite shop was the one below...
The Book Barge was open for business and what lovely books they had on board. It was very strange browsing the shelves whilst the boat moved gently on the water.