And it is another bank holiday weekend here in England the first one in May celebrated the beginning of Spring, the warmer weather and the awakening of blossom on the trees and the blooming of flowers and plants. Usually celebrated with maypole dancing, a complicated dance as participants hold a ribbon attached to the top of the maypole and as they dance around the maypole so the ribbon is meant to, if the dancers have been paying attention, create a beautifully complex pattern as the ribbons wind slowly around the pole until they reach the bottom. Today this can be found in most villages squares, not so much in larger towns. As a child we always had the May procession, where we would wear garlands of wild flowers around our head and long dresses, it was fun and a very important celebration in the calendar. We also had morris dancers, I love to watch them, it is huge fun and they have very complicated dances which involve sticks being bashed together, you have to be careful or your knuckles get a rapping! Morris dancing was first recorded in the 15th century, called at that time moorish dancing because it’s roots are in Spain and Italy. Each region has a different dance, in Rochester, Kent which is where Charles Dickens lived for many years and wrote several of his novels about the place. It is a very pretty place, well worth visiting if you ever come to England thir morris dancing is a celebration of Chimney sweeps and it demonstrated the great joy that sweeps had when they had this wonderful three day holiday which meant leaving the soot behind and having fun.They have clung steadfastly to this tradition and once again, the festival is being held this weekend. Of course, when the Climbing Boys Act of 1868 made it illegal to send boys up to clean the chimneys, the tradition began to fade but not in Rochester!
The second bank holiday is today and was always a moveable feast to celebrate Whitsun, moveable because it coincided with Easter. In 1971 it was made a fixed bank holiday to make it easier to organise school holidays and lessen the impact of a holiday falling anywhere between 11th May and 14 June. Here in England at this time is the important time for examinations which are held during May and June, a stressful time for our students who are currently, I hope, using this Whitsun halfterm to revise. Unlike your school year ours i broken up into more shorter holidays. For instance, we start school in September, week off in October, two weeks for Christmas, one week half term February, two weeks Easter, one week Whitsun, six weeks Summer, it makes it a little easier to break to school year up into these smaller chunks. Enough of the History lesson……the community centre is coming on, not quickly enough for me but we are getting there. I have started to repaint the
sign outside the church, which is now going to reflect the fact that we are a seaside town, hopefully, this will be finished by next week.There are four completed libraries which will be placed very soon, two more that my sister and her partners have put together for me you have to love family when they step in to help! They are extremely time consuming to construct and you have to get it just right, mine are sometimes a little wonky!
Child sitting for three youngsters on Wednesday was fun and as usual, gave us adults an opportunity to be kids, great fun! The play centres for children are amazing and have the most complicated and wonderful slides and climbing walls and synthetic skating rinks and bumper cars and disco rooms and football and baseball courts, you can stay in there for hours!
The political campaigns here are hotting up as the referendum looms closer should we stay or should we go? There are so many options and of course, the politicians argue for this and that and exaggerate claims about what will happen if we leave Europe or if we stay in Europe, it is difficult to wade through the lengthy and arduous articles in newspapers and on television. It can be heard being debated in pubs and cafes, over lunch, in the park it is the single most talked about subject at the moment, it used to be the weather, and with the referendum looming in the next three weeks things are going to get very heated…watch this space on this topic.
And I have been on a baking course, Macroons! A very complicated and time consuming dessert to make, it was fun and interesting. My friend had a groupon, I love them, and we got the lesson for half price and well worth it it was. I shall be attempting them at home soon, a bit worried as they have to be precise, the birds can eat them if they go wrong. Before the lesson we went to Papermill Lock and lovely riverside setting which is tranquil and the ideal place for a sunny day. We had breakfast by the river and talked about this and that and watched the canal boats come and go, they are so beautifully decorated and it always seems as if it is a wonderfully nomadic and romantic way of life. We will have to try this soon, I think.
So, I am going to enjoy this bank holiday Monday and am going to be walking up our historic one and a quarter mile long pier, which as you know is the longest pleasure pier in the world. Apparently they have made some alterations at the end, I am going to check them out for myself!
Have a great week, knowing Lake Worth it is going to busy with a million and one things going on, I am missing it all! Take care, speak next week!