Penkhull’s Apple Tree

A song for the Apple Tree. To an ancient tune….thanks to my friend Bruce for the words!

Old Apple Tree, We are Come to Wassail Thee
Wassail Song
Old Apple tree, we are come to wassail thee,
All for to bloom, and to bear thy flowers and fruit so free.
Wassail! wassail! all round our town;
Our cups are white and our ale is brown.
Our bowl is made of a good ashen tree,
And here’s kind fellows as will drink to thee.
Hats full, caps full, five-bushel bags full,
Barns full, floors full, stables full, tallats full,
And the little hole under the stairs, three times three!
Hip, hip, hurrah! shout we.

Apple a day

Apple found in our garden in December. I wrote about it in a blog about Wassails. We joined in a virtual Wassail at the weekend and drank too much cider. People posted photos of previous years Wassails when they walked about with flaming torches around the boundaries of the parish. No threats were made but there were so many of us we had to have a police escort and cars were stopped as we wandered down the road to the Penkhull apple tree. A few jolly hours to beat back the cold and the dark. In some places in the past they used to shoot shotguns at the trees to make them flower and bear fruit. There are other traditions where they beat the trunks of Walnut trees to get them to bear fruit. We’ve never had that problem with ours. The squirrels always find enough nuts and then we have to find places far away to plant the saplings, we’ve already got too many!

Walking in the sleet

Walked a bit further today as there was less ice on the pavements. It did try and sleet or snow for part of the walk. We walked towards Hartshill church past the old hospital on one side and the local cemetery full of old trees on the other, then turned off towards Penkhull church. We saw some interesting ferns in a stone wall by the hospital and if the cloud had broken we might have seen a nice sunset but the sky remained cold grey and overcast…. Brrr

Today’s walk

Up the hill and round the bend to Penkhull…. Just over 3km but it is steeply up and down hill. We walked along the road towards the local high school too. The view over the Lyme Valley where it is set was in danger of being lost as there was a fight over hundreds of houses being built there. Hopefully that won’t happen. Cities need green Lungs…..

I came home then went for a second, shorter walk with a friend. I’m shattered!

Remembering Barndances!

They were a hoot! Loads of people trying to dance square dances, making arches with their arms, swirling in circles round the room. Passing behind a line of people (casting) then dancing up the middle with your partner holding hands and twirling round and round. Crowded round tables around the sides of the room. Alcohol was for sale and they sometimes ran out of drink! I loved trying to capture people’s positions as they danced. In aid of Penkhull Mystery plays. I miss them.

Autumn photos

Walking around my neighbourhood. The first walk I’ve been out on in four weeks. I took many photos and decided to turn them into a montage of colours and shapes. Trees are hard to capture in art and the many shapes can be seen here. I may use one or two of these photos to base paintings on.

I managed to walk about three miles, including our steep hill, I’m absolutely shattered but I still went upstairs and drew for an hour. More of that in my next post….

Collected mugs

This is one of the mugs I bought from Emma Bailey Ceramics. She’s done a run of them to celebrate Penkhull Winning the #WorldSeriesOfFlags from the #theflaginstitute. Great fun. Bonus, if you live in Penkhull you get a discount!

So pleased with them. Its also good because we won the #FACupOfFlags. I helped design the flag as part of a competition a couple of years ago. That’s some Christmas presents sorted out.

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Remembering the panto

Before Covid19

In February we were in the local pantomime. It was Aladdin. I also painted the scenery including this cutout of a cast member who had gone through a mangle and had to come out flattened. You would think it was easy. But have you tried painting feet from the back as well as the front? I took photos of the front and back of the person but the feet looked odd? I should have placed them like Charlie Chaplin perhaps? I hope life starts to return to normal and we get to do another panto soon! Oh yes I do! Oh no you don’t!

The ideas that influenced Penkhull flag

My idea was the to middle one. As you can see the Cockerel and the oval were strong influences on the final outcome.

This year the flag has already won the Vexillological Flag institute FA Cup of flags and on Tuesday we are in the final of the Flag institute World Series of flags @flaginstitute #WorldSeriesOfFlags (Hope I got the @and # right?) The competition /vote is over on Twitter from 11am. We are up against a lovely place called Tiree.

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