5th January 2013 Wassailing!

We had a fantastic night tonight!  Every year on the twelfth night there is a ceremony to ‘bless’ the apple trees so that the harvest will be a successful one in the coming year.  We all met in the grounds of Weston Cider where the Silurian Morris Men put on a grand display of dancing to start the proceedings off with a swing.

The ‘toast master’ of the event was fantastic and got everyone involved and laughing.  He got round the tricky health and safety aspect of issuing lit torches with plenty of humour and told us all if you were refused one it was because you were ugly – and be sure to take it to heart!

After the initial proceedings we all set off to a local orchard about ten minutes away with loads of people carrying lit torches.  The sight of them all was amazing, when you looked behind you and saw all these lights moving down the hill.  People of all ages were there and it was a great atmosphere. Our destination was a tree in the middle of the orchard that had thirteen bonfires ready to be lit around it, and we all gathered round it…

…then a ‘ceremony’ of sorts took place to bless the tree which involved a ‘prayer’, drinking cider out of a communal ceramic pot which looked suspiciously like a ‘goesunder’ (not sure of the correct spelling or even the name of such a thing) singing and laughter. The children were invited to come up to the tree and dress it with toast, yes toast drenched in cider and all this while the Silurian Morris Men were burning a bush…

  

As we all know the number 13 is considered unlucky to most people, hence the 13th bonfire around the tree was stamped out leaving only 12 to hopefully bring even more auspicious tidings to the harvest.  The Silurian Morris Men were absolutely fantastic and without them the whole show wouldn’t be the same.  We’ll definitely be back next year and they even do it all for free, with a collection going to the local hospice, St Michael’s.

Most people then retired to The Slip Tavern in Much Marcle (across the road from the orchard) for food, drink and more singing.  Lots of musicians settled into the lounge and we were treated to some fine music.  Outside the Silurians put on a Mummers Play (http://www.mummers.org.uk/whatismum.html) for the crowd.  There was food being cooked outside too with a bar attached so those hardy enough to stand the cold were fully catered for.

We retired to the bar where we met up with Richard, Anna and Lukas.  Anna looked fantastic and is well on the road to recovery after an illness – it really was wonderful to see her looking so well.  Typical, we’ve just realised we didn’t get a photo of her but she looked beautiful…

 

Richard and his family left early along with Hazel and Alan, as Lukas is only little and it was past his bedtime but we stayed on a bit longer listening to the music.  We think we might owe an apology to the wonderful gentleman shown below, as we seemed to collar him for most of the evening asking about The Silurians and all things related.  He was a lovely man to speak to but we guess he might run in the other direction if he ever sees us again!  Thank you though kind sir and your very good health in 2013!

 

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About Dean

Angela and I decided that there was more to life than working hard to keep up the payments on the mortgage, to pay the gas, electric, phone bills etc. etc. SO............ In 2008 we sold our house, I initially took a year off (Unpaid) and Angela handed in her notice! We bought a motorhome and set off for a year of travelling! This was the best thing we had done in our lives (Apart from getting married) and we have no regrets. During the year I managed to secure a redundancy package which felt very strange. Almost sad as I had worked for the same company for 19 years (BT). It was always our plan to have a whole year off before thinking about the 'W' word. We began applying to the Camping and Caravanning Club (CCC) for the position of Holiday site assistants in August 2009. After the interview, work experience and induction we were finally given a contract at the CCC site in Inverewe (Scotland). Our plan is to work through the summer in the UK then head to Europe to overwinter before coming back to work the following summer season. Hopefully these few words and our blog will inspire others to get off the hamsters wheel and see that there is more to live than having a house and material things. A cliche I know but this is not a rehearsal, life is too short!!! Since our first contract in Scotland we have worked a winter contract in Oxford (never again!) not Oxford but a winter contract. Hereford for two years, living in a yurt for one! And Cornwall. In between our working we have also travelled a bit. Hopefully this website will give you an insight into our alternative lifestyle. Get out there and live the dream!
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