As I turned my own Downham Market Calendar over from the last day of cold February - already?! - to the first day of March, I couldn't help but think of all the echoes of that action, as those four hundred or so recipients of the calendar either from friends and family, or themselves - turned over one page to another to welcome the month of March into the New Year.
...with the pictorial help of Downham Market's station platform heading to Kings Lynn, London and all imaginable points beyond...
|Downham's platform leading to King's Lynn, King's Cross, Infinity and beyond...|
It was illuminating to hear, selling in November directly as I was on the town square - clad in multi layers and on one occasion even a hot water bottle - I was Huge! - that I was kindly informed by each buyer in turn that this particular calendar was being sent to Australia or Paris, or this calendar to Germany or Singapore...
...or Holland, Sicily, Yorkshire, Ireland, Lincolnshire, Canada, Surrey, Thailand...
you know geography has never been my strong point - where is Ostend? - and I can't remember all the close to home and far and away places the calendar arrived at, but even this side of New Year's Eve people approach me in the market square on Friday's, or any day in town and tell me their calendar went to this or that relative here or there.
|I hope March proves to be less blurry than this date and text page - oops.|
One lady told me she'd often sent gifts and such to her son abroad but had never received a response, on this occasion he telephoned her to thank her for the calendar.
Perhaps the strangest and most unexpected of destinations that I've almost forgotten is when a chap made a beeline for me on the market square - weaving around the plant man's patch and the Eggman (we have no names on the market, only the most obvious of labels) - stopped momentarily at my stall and informed me that he had sent a calendar to his brother in - of all places - Botswana!
Last week he mentioned that his brother was coming over soon and that as the artist of his calendar - he would introduce me to him.
As it happens I'm not on the town square today...but what a lovely compliment.
|Au revoir to February's irrepressible Ali Dent's Butchers! Hilgay's finest!|
It's fair to say that Downham Market's 2013 calendar as well as being a collection of hand drawn local scenes, is also a pictorial reminder of distant friends and family, a nostalgic trip down memory lane, and perhaps most warmly - for those far and worldwide - a glimpse of home.