SATURDAY past I felt like Mr Scrooge.

I was to collect for charity in the cold - invisible, trampled, etc! Humbug!

Lunch was to be a 'moveable feast' - Bah.

In the afternoon I was due to make the annual trek to St Tom's to see the Christmas trees - Yawn.

So it nearly was. Adding mockery to misery the charity saddled me with a ludicrous fishing rod dangling a dog eared paper peace dove.

Cold and hungry after 90 minutes hopefully smiling, and standing, all while my toes froze off, to my dismay there was 'no room at the inn' in the first three I went to.

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Humbug ten thousand times, and there were still those flipping trees! With Brexit too! Bah, Humbug, and a very prolonged Yawn!

In St Thomas's I flopped into a pew while my wife studied her catalogue, and examined every tree, ranking them all in her own unusual order of merit.

Then the pew, the place and the people worked their Christmas Happiness for this old Scrooge.

A huge effort had been made by young and old. A warm welcome, beautifully decorated trees, lovely music, hospitality and lots of people enjoying themselves made my afternoon special.

In truth, my morning began to look rosier.

The citizens had been friendly and generous, my fourth inn a haven of peace and good food.

Well done Salisbury and District and particularly the good souls of St Thomas's.

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Tom Ridout