It didn't take me long to 'run away' to Hungerford for an hour yesterday, as family members trickled back to work and I needed a respite from putting away the Christmas decorations. It was my first proper 'outing' on my own since before Christmas, so I was like a kid in a sweet shop when I discovered these charming little carved wooden figures, all about 6 inches (15 cm) tall. (A rather annoyed kid in a sweet shop, though, to see them all thrown together in a cardboard box with a number of other, cruder carvings and already at risk of having pieces broken off).
They are mostly Swiss and Austrian figures, though the character in the red coat depicts a young Norwegian gentleman. I suspect they are all carved in Bavaria, possibly about 50 years old and full of character. Is that lady in the hat and striped skirt herding geese - or pigs, maybe? and what has Grandpa in the black shirt spotted that is making him smile so much?
They will go on display with the rest of my carved figures for a while, until some of them find a place in one of my miniature houses. Each one cost the equivalent of a couple of pints of beer or a glass of wine - I like both occasionally, but the figures will be here long after the glasses are empty! (Can you smell the whiff of self justification in this post? Feeling guilty? Me? Of course not!)