A Little Night Entertainment From Our Village Pub

You never know what you might see on rainy night in Cornwall when you pop down to our village pub for a pint and a bit of conversation. Last night the Trigg Morris Men were in high form showcasing their talents with music, dancing, and a Mummers play. I’d studied Mummers plays also know as Miracle or Mystery plays in Theatre History classes at the University of Georgia, but this was my first time to see one performed live.

This man does a great job so be sure you watch at least a second or two of his clip. The woman you hear commenting is not me. I’m too busy trying to keep the camera steady.  It’s local woman by the name of Jo and she is playing the violin in the next clip.

The history behind this type of performance is fascinating and worth reading more about if you have the time and interest. I hope you’ll take a look here to learn more about the history and origin of the Mummers Play.

In addition to the play, we had music and sing-a-longs and dancing outside as well.

One brave soul joined the Morris dancing (he’s the one not in a costume) and yes, I think that is me you can hear giggling towards the end of the video.

You must forgive my shaky camera work. I’m new to video, but hope to do better next time.

Going Nowhere In Particular

Sometimes when you look outside the window and you see the sky is a brilliant shade of blue for the first time in days, you feel the need to get out even though you have no idea where you want to go. So you slip on your shoes or you tie up the laces of your boots and you grab your camera and head out the door.  Saturday was just such a day … want to see where we went?

John is going on ahead as usual while I hang back to photograph a few macro shots of spring flowers. The forest is full of varying shades of green right now as the leaves are still coming out. Everything seems to be a bit late in the blooming probably due to our colder than normal winter.

Up ahead you have a choice in direction … take the left fork and go up a hill deeper into the woods or …

… if you continue on the main path you begin to see a special place for us. Can you see the sheep through the trees?

The light was perfect as we caught sight of the buttercup field.

Stepping into the meadow, we could see some bluebells to our right near the river’s edge.

As John was walking into the buttercup field, I told him I almost expected to see Thomas Hardy walking towards us with Tess trailing behind him.

I thought I we might spy Elizabeth Bennet out for a walk with her sisters just ahead, but John and I were the only two legged creatures around as we passed by the fat sheep munching in the meadow.

We discovered the reason for the lengthy ringing of the church bells earlier in the day when we saw the flowers arranged over the doorway to our parish church. Notice that someone cut the grass, but only part of it for some reason, making it look as if like they might have stopped for a break and not come back to finish the job.

The mix of flowers above the doorway was really lovely and I almost expected to see Marianne coming out on the arm of Colonel Brandon.

Inside were more flowers including a circlet around each of the pillars.

The flowers were a delightful mix of wild and cultivated providing a few photo opportunities.

I can never resist shooting from outside in even if the panes of old glass are a bit in need of a wash. I love the reflected surprises that can show up later when reviewing them.

After church, we stopped by the pub for a pint. I had my usual diet lemonade (like diet Sprite) while John sampled the special of the day.

If we didn’t live within walking distance, perhaps we might have talked the owner of this classic MG into giving us a lift home. Notice the church in the background … the white cottage in front of it is for sale if you’re interested in relocating or having a holiday home in Cornwall.

We’re having perfect weather again today and I’m off in a minute. Where am I going you may ask … nowhere in particular would have to be my reply, but it’s sure to be good wherever my feet lead me.

Our Cornish Christmas – An Open House – Part II

I’m so glad you could stop by for part II of my post about our Cornish Christmas. If you missed part I which was yesterday, you can go here to read it first.

Our Christmas stockings were made by my paternal grandmother years ago. Mine is the largest. I made one of the same size and a similar look in white for my daughter’s first Christmas 23 years ago and while I have it here, I couldn’t bring myself to hang it since seeing it made me miss her even more. I brought it to England with me to make some repairs to it. My version has not weathered the years as well as the one my grandmother made. I’ll take it back to her later when it’s fixed.

This is our Christmas tree. It’s a live one that John used several years ago and has been growing in the garden since that time. I was surprised to see it transfer so nicely to a larger pot and work so well inside the house.  It will stay decorated and in its spot until Twelfth Night when it goes back to a place in the garden. The Christmas angel on the tree top is a special one I made for Miranda’s first Christmas and has been on my Christmas tree for 23 years.

I used to like to think of my angel’s out stretched arms as open and embracing, waiting in a way to envelop one in a big bear hug, but after buying our first Christmas ornament as a couple this year from a local artist, I think of her arms as opening wide to hold the joy that is in my life and in my heart. Instead of hanging the heart embroidered with joy on the tree, I thought it fit perfectly in the arms of the angel.

On Christmas Eve, John’s cousin Mary and I ventured down early in the evening for the children’s Christingle service. I didn’t take any photographs of the service, but the pictures  below give you an idea of what our church looks like from the inside … except it was full of singing children and special christmas decorations and lighting that night.

This is John just inside the door of our village church in a photograph taken almost two years ago. While I have great interior shots of churches all over the UK, I seem to have neglected the one in my own village.

There’s no heat at all in this church so you have a sense of what it must have been like throughout the ages. Of course we have better fabrics for insulating our bodies from the cold, but it was still chilly on Christmas Eve.

After our Christingle service we went to a Christmas open house at my friend Tina’s house, but again I don’t have any pictures to post. John took a few, but she and her husband Henry had a full house and it was difficult to get any that looked very nice.

Because we had icy road conditions on Christmas Eve the vicar canceled the midnight service. I had been looking forward to it so I stayed up late writing my Christmas blog post and watching a midnight mass in the lovely cathedral that you see above. ( I snapped this shot from the television)

This is Mary on Christmas morning. She said later at the end of her five day visit with us that it was the best Christmas she could remember in a long time. I was so pleased since I knew with the recent death of her brother Michael with whom she always spent Christmas, that this was going to be a difficult one for her to get through.

This is John looking cute with a lawn mower razor that was in his stocking. He was quite surprised to see that I still believed adults should hang a stocking for Santa to fill. His was overflowing so he must have been a very good boy this year.

Ah … one of me … holding some spackle, I mean wrinkle filler that my sister Margaret sent me from Alaska. After dabbing on a little, we headed for the pub for a traditional Christmas Day drink.

Mary didn’t let her almost 87 years (she’s a new year baby) keep her from a Christmas morning trip to the pub. In our village, Gary, who owns the pub along with his wife Margaret, opens the pub between 11 and 2:30 on Christmas Day so locals can come in for a drink.

That’s Gary in the Santa hat and Roger in the navy shirt beside him. You can’t tell from this picture, but Gary is wearing shorts. It  was cold outside, but he was still wearing shorts. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Gary in long pants or trousers as they would say here since pants means underwear.

A distance shot of some of our neighbors.

More from behind the bar.

This lovely image was painted by a local artist using Gary, Roger (barman) and Becky (barmaid) along with some pub regulars in her version of the Nativity scene.

After my usual pub drink of diet lemonade, (like a diet sprite) it was back to the house for our first Christmas dinner together. There are a few things on the plate I’ve never had at Christmas before, like the roasted potatoes, parsnips and the bacon wrapped sausages they call pigs in a blanket here.

Here’s a shot of me with Mary wearing a traditional Christmas party hat that fell out of my Christmas cracker.

Burp!  ” Oh, pardon me ”  It turned out to be a lovely mix of my traditional American Christmas favorites along with John’s English dishes.  I almost forgot…

Hello Dolly … anyone?