Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Racy Newmarket

Yesterday I went to Newmarket, which has one of the most elegant main streets of any town I know in Britain (Sorry, I don't have a photo later than 1905). It is broad and long, with inns at intervals where, in the old days, stagecoaches would pull up so that their passengers could find victuals and a bed for the night. Many of the shops are one-man businesses, quaint really, and quite different from the multiples that blight most town high streets these days. Newmarket is a racehorse town, and it shows. Quite apart from the stables and the exercise paddocks, I know of no town that has so many short bow-legged men, or so many stern-looking women with sensible shoes and moustaches.
But my mission was a specific one, to go to the emporium called Kitchen and Things, a real labyrinth of passages and carousels selling everything culinary that you can think of. I found what I wanted - a wine rack for my home-made booze - and a couple of other things besides. Now, here's a bonus: on the way there, just short of Soham, two birds flew across the road in front of me, going at speed. They were starling-shaped, and there was a flash of waxy yellow on both of them.
It's a great wine rack, but I do wish Waxwings - if that is what they were - would slow down a bit, and preferably come feed on the berry-laden Guelder Rose next to my patio.

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