So last week I didn't get time to type up my weekly reflection - but that in and of itself was a good thing.  The market was busy, almost bustling, the weather held Ice and people browsed into town to seek the bargains we had laid out before them.

But one of the things I have learnt very quickly is that a busy footfall does not make for strong sales - indeed who buys and what they buy is a largely unpredictable feast.  You get there early and set up and then what happens will happen.

But what makes for a busy town centre is totally different.  This morning - it's just gone 9am and the pace of bargains hunters is fairly slow - but those who are buying books or glassware has been a shade slow - but that does not indicate anything of the days trade.  I have often made the day pay in the last hour of that day.

This week - barely a month to Christmas as well the nature of shoppers has shifted - people coming into town to buy gifts, toys, wrapping paper and indeed to buy postage stamps has increased.  The shopping mission that is Christmas has begun.  And I suppose the question for Chesterfield is are we ready.  I have my books more organised and more structured than ever before - my glassware (Victorian, Edwardian and pressed glass) is washed, on velvet (thank you Wendy) and under lights, which markets it glisten a shade - des that ,ran it will sell better - no idea.

But the new feature of this morning is the wind chill - a cruel brutality that whips through and requires you to keep moving - something the shoppers can do but the rest of us can just jog around our stall with a slow decorum, rubbing our hands with hope and warmth rather than glee or cheer. 

So today, on my lil old stall I think I can say Seasons Greetings - Christmas greetings can wait for next month - but for for now - the season that is winter has arrived. Greetings.