First off, we're into October and I'm starting to see Christmas tree's and all the other paraphernalia thats goes along with the season of good cheer in shops and garden centres.
This year seems to have gone by even faster than they normally do, a sign of my age I suppose, I went over to my very elderly Step Mums yesterday, she will be 91 this month, to plant out some winter plants for her and deliver some home made vegatable soup.
When I was 16 and she was 44 I thought she was old then, its seems incredible she's now over 90 and still going strong, if a little unsteady on her feet, I sometimes try to imagine being that age, to be honest I can't.
She is a mine of informtion on old Northampton, but because she is unsteady she doesn't get into town much now, but we often talk about what's going on, this week I was talking to her about a very positive proposed development for what used to the the site of the Angel Hotel in Bridge Street.
This was one of the oldest coaching inns in the country.
The building suffered a catastrophic fire way back in 2012, in fact January 2012 when it was being used as a bar called Fat Cats, I was in town not too far away and remember seeing the smoke, I didn't realise then how long the shell would remain surrounded by scaffolding or why.
The site has been an eyesore in the town centre for 7 years, now at last it looks as though that eyesore will be replaced by a new hotel, and a 4 star one to boot, which is great news for the centre.
This goes into detail
I get the thing about protecting very old buildings (Grade 11 listed) absolutely but maybe a balance has to be struck whereby the needs of the present are given as much thought, that's not to say we should give carte blanche to developers.
We have seen the result of developers ignoring laws for their own financial benefit, most notably in London where an historic pub was demolished on the whim of a dodgy development company,
But whatever way you look at it it's good news for the town, and will provide employment and jobs for people once it's built, when I took these pictures yesterday I also took this one.
This old boarded up snooker club sits directly opposite the site of the proposed new hotel, not something I'd want to be the first thing I saw when leaving my nice plush new building.
The town used to be well served by hotels, with one of the best known being the Grand which used to be located in Gold Street, that building is now a Travelodge.
A few bits of interest about the former Grand Hotel - this information comes from a 2010 edition of the Northampton Chronicle and Echo.
1889-1892: The hotel was originally built for the Northampton Brewery Company supposedly because it was thought it would be "Far too grand for Northampton".
1941: A Sterling bomber crashed in the middle of Gold Street, clipping the hotel.
1946: It was reported the hotel served between 1,600 to 2,000 meals a week and more than 400 teas.
1955: The Shah of Iran called into the hotel for coffee and biscuits while touring the Midlands looking for horses.
1963: The hotel was upgraded to a four star venue. Work included the creation of a grill room offering three course meals from 6s 6d. The restaurant's wallpaper included real butterflies.
May 1966, thieves stole two large safes form the hotel containing 347 in cash and cheques. They were found empty in Little Houghton the next day.
I have very vague memories of going into the Grand with my Uncle when his came up from London, but don't remember anything specific other than he wanted to go there because it was the best hotel in the town.
While I was wandering about I came across this, on the building which is now Turtle Bay, but which I believe was the headquarters building of a large Northampton brewery at one time.
With something equally ornate above it.
Going off at a tangent slightly if you love music get along to The Deco for this -
Carole King, one of the finest singer / songwriters, I'm booking my tickets today.