Sunday, 13 July 2008

Something Different

Has it really been 2 weeks since I last posted something? Ooops. Well I've had a busy fortnight. Travelling for work, sprog stuff and village life. For a change I thought I'd give a taste of that village life. Within a 24hr period we had a Ceilidh followed by the Village Gala.

My ankle was playing up but I limped along to watch the Ceilidh so the sprogs could still attend. The younger villagers had been rehearsing at the school so they would know the steps. Then on the night they all cleared off to play hide and seek or act cool instead.

They got hauled back in for the odd dance or to grab food but other than that it was a parent's event. I was able to play the invalid card and have a good laugh at everyone getting steps wrong, cannoning into each other or twirling partners until they lost grip and flew into the crowd. Dancing is a martial art round here. Only one fight this year and that was between two very little boys so quite a civilised event.

Next was the Gala. Like previous years it clashed with the nearest town's carnival. I asked once why we didn't shift dates and was put right. We had that day before they did so the mouse ain't backing down.

We all woke up to a typical warm, summer morning Cumbria style. In other words a downpour. But just past lunchtime it changed to a scene from the Ten Commandments. No, not the parting of the Red Sea sadly but rays of light streaming down onto the Marquee. Well it would have been stone tablets but they were busy patching holes in the church roof.

Everyone raced out to set up the stalls and tables. I was on early washing up duty but there'd been a glut of volunteers so I escaped. Only to get roped into helping set up the coconut shy. There I was, gripping a wooden stake while someone else hammered it with a mallet. Not an easy task our way where most of the ground is 2" topsoil covering slate or granite.

Anyway, just at that critical stage where you're holding a stake up in one hand, balancing two wooden boards in another, gripping string with your teeth while your feet slowly sink into the 2" of mud and you mumble a prayer that voice recognition software's cheap if he misses, the skies opened again. We were soaked in seconds so just kept going.

Rain then held off for the visitors and only returned to finish the Gala with a magnificent storm. Forked lightning, rolling thunder, the works. All we needed was a heavenly choir and trumpets to finish the job.

So what did I get out of it? Well I won a painting by a local artist in the raffle. It was a pastel one so a bit tricky to get home in the downpour. She hadn't had time to spray fixer.

I watched children and parents throwing eggs at each other. They were supposed to catch them but you really get to see the malevolent side of family life when you arm them with missiles. The assault course run by three of the Dads became a water fight after they made the kids jump over the paddling pool instead of walking along a plank. And the women of the village won the tug of war!!!!!!!!

Got to catch up on village gossip. Much more reliable than the local paper and they don't leave out the juicy bits. Also saw the plans for the new village sports hall and added votes on the list of activities to do there. One on the list was pickle ball. Considering the egg incident above I thought this might be a more extreme version but sadly no. Follow the link to find out what all the pensioners are raving about.

Anyway I was completely knackered after all that spectating and staggered home before I got nabbed to take apart the coconut shy. I then put my feet up for the evening and refused to move any more. Who says it's quiet in the country.

1 comment:

Dave said...

All I remember of the ceilidh is drinking beer and someone being involved in some kind of altercation...Was that me?

What can I say about the gala? I suppose there can’t be many events, which require both an umbrella and a snorkel.

Oh well, it's all good material.