Last Sunday we took three of our intermediate white males, a load of socks and some fleeces to the rather grand market hall in the middle of South Molton. We set up right at the entrance which meant that the three boys were probably the most photographed in Devon.

This Christmas Sunday market is a special one and properly rural. I think of myself as a country dweller but I am still surprised to see competitions for the best hay, straw, grains and various enormous fodder beets plus cakes, wreaths and so on.

The live sheep at one end of the hall are judged and then auctioned. The same thing happens to the lamb carcasses and poultry too – turkeys and chickens. The chickens, capons really, are massive. I love an auction and managed not to buy a whole lamb and instead bought two ten pound chickens for the princely sum of £38 for the two, very reasonable.

Meanwhile in the rest of the hall there are stallholders selling baskets, leather goods, fudge (keep Chas away from that stall), bread, jam, cider, plants, Christmas trees. There was a hog roast for the hungry quite close to a pen with a Gloucester Old Spot and her gorgeous piglets, let’s hope she couldn’t smell the crackling.

Nearby a blacksmith was shoeing two horses and a couple of donkeys in a pen were looking very Eyore-ish.

I came home with the two capons, two amaryllis, two bowls of scented hyacinths, a wreath and some heavy duty Spanish bread.