To Hurworth this afternoon, where I was honoured to have been invited to open the Christmas Fair.
The Grange was packed, and everyone was in a festive mood. Ian, Michelle, Stan and all the other countless people who work behind the scenes had done a fantastic job, and money was changing hands left, right and centre.
At Council on Thursday, Heather Scott had cheekily raised my comment about having to go out of town for AJ to see Santa was somehow a vote of No Confidence in town centre businesses - pretty rich coming from a party which has consistently run Darlington down over the past 16 years in an attempt to gain easy political advantage. Don't forget it was recently-retired Tory Cllr. Sheila Brown who used to proudly boast that she never shopped in Darlington.
So I'm sure Heather will be relieved to learn that AJ met Santa this afternoon at the fair. In total, we spent about a tenner there, so no great black hole in town centre retailers' trade in the run-up to Christmas. I will be raising with officers, however, what we can do to coax Santa back to Darlington for 2009.
Finally, the organisers were kind enough to give me a nice bottle of wine for my troubles this afternoon (and Sandy some flowers). I guess in the current climate I will have to register that as a gift with the Town Hall first thing on Monday morning....