The world is trying to wake up again and one of the local rituals is happening today on SATURDAY 14th January 2023.
This is possibly of anyone visiting the Stoke-on-Trent area later today. The Penkhull Wassail is fast approaching, and Domesday Morris look forward to seeing all friends both old and new! Starting at 4.30pm at the Village Hall in Penkhull, there will be the usual torch lit procession, blessing of fruit trees, wassail readings, music, song and of course Morris dance this year on the Church Green in the very heart of the village. Please feel free to bring lanterns. From the Church Green the procession will then make their way around the village from hostelry to village hostelry for a traditional old twelfth night evening of misrule. The wonderful Penkhull Brass will be there and guests Leek Morris and hopefully Greg and Kate with the Clay Chorus choir. There is a TICKET ONLY CEILIDH in the Village Hall from 8pm
Well I decided to go back and join in our local penkhull panto because I need to start getting out and stop moping about. So… Its been in rehersal for weeks, so I’ve not been cast as anyone but I should be helping with the scenery. Maybe some props, it’s bringing back good memories…
The production is Robin Hood and we already had a script from a couple of years ago. It’s not on until the new year. It should be a laugh…. Oh yes it will be… Oh no it won’t.. Oh yes it will
An old biro/ digital drawing I did a few years ago of our local church. I think I intended to use it as a christmas card (its several years ago but i think I did print a few off). I can see from it that I drew it out in biro first, but then must have scanned it into photoshop because I can see areas where it seems to have had some flood fill colour. I don’t know if I intended it to have white areas as snow or reflected starlight. I was watching a programme about astronomy last night. It said that a star will become a supernova once a century on average in our galaxy, but there have been none in the Milky Way since the Seventeenth century. Our closest candidate is Betelguese in the constellation Orion. It is a red giant star and sits on the top left hand side of the constellation. It has been dimming recently, which may mean it is shrinking. It might as they said, not explode for a million years, or it might become a Supernova tomorrow. No one can tell. But when it does it will be a very bright object in the sky. It might even look like this.
Just back from an afternoon in the sunshine drinking (alcohol free) gin and diet tonic. The Boat Band were playing a mixture of cajun and sea shanty and folk music. People joined in. I found my kazoo and had a go but had completely forgotten how to play. I was embarrassed because they introduced me and I couldn’t get it to work…. Then as the orchestra of interesting instruments kicked back in again I could play it! Weirdly I think it was nerves. After two years of not joining in with open mic situations (with no mic) I just wasn’t quite ready. Glad to chat with people and think about strategies for coping with anxiety. I will try and get help for that. X
I tried to take a photo earlier on of a real sunburst breaking through the clouds behind our house. But for some reason it didn’t save. So when I came out of choir practice I was pleased to see this.
As usual my pareidolia kicked in. I think I can see a woman floating through the sky. One arm extended, a crown or a cake suspended above it. There are shadows cast by one lot of clouds onto the ones above them, and I love the colours, the dusky pinks and purples especially.
The two choirs I’m in were both out for performances today. First Loud Mouth Women (seen here in a sketch from 2019), and then Clay Chorus, a mixed choir for Soprano, Tenor, Alto and Bass.
Louds sang by the Guildhall in Newcastle under Lyme. We were outside singing at the artesan market.. We sang a mixture of languages to represent the Commonwealth. These included Maori and English. Including Wahine MA and Frejaro Ma Revee.
From Newcastle I went to Penkhull. We were due to sing outside the village church but it was too wet so we sang inside the village hall. Clay chorus sang six songs spanning the reign of Queen Elizabeth the Second. The room was packed with people holding an indoor picnic. We sang and other groups entertained with Rap music and dancing and drama. I’m thoroughly tired out now!
The derelict Goss Falcon Works at the back of Portmeirion pottery. (I hope I’ve got this right). You can’t see from here but part of the roof has collapsed at the other end of the building. You can see it from Penkhull New Road but I couldn’t get a close enough view to get a good photo. The city of Stoke-on-Trent that I live in is becoming more derelict. History is being forgotten or neglected. So sad.
Sunset looking out towards Cheshire/Shropshire. Its been a cold and breezy day today but plenty of sunshine. I went out drawing for an hour, then I went for a little walk this evening round Penkhull. It wasn’t far, and it was very chilly. I felt a bit better. I didn’t sleep well last night and the cold air refreshed me. Good to see the sunset.
Memory of Doomesday Morris at Penkhull Wassail a couple of years ago. They danced and beat sticks to encourage the ancient Penkhull Apple tree to bud, flower and bear fruit later in the year. They were surrounded by a crowd of people, maybe two or three hundred. Some if us carried flaming torches to light our way. A walk around the boundaries of Penkhull and into local hostelries. I was part of the Mystery Singers choir who sang Wassail songs as we stopped off at the pubs…
Crowds and laughter, mad jolly japes, humans being gregarious. That’s what I miss. Thank goodness for Mysterious madness and eccentricity. Let’s pray to the gods of Wassail for this to come again one day, drink cider, jingle your bells, stamp your clogs, crash your sticks together! WASSAIL!
We went out for a short walk locally as the sun started to set. The sky was very grey but there was a little patch of light in the south west, so I hoped it would possibly turn into a sunset. As you can see it did! I took lots of photos so I decided to do a sort of abstract compilation of some of them. I might try and line them up better later. So yes, this was the last sunset of 2021 here in my bit of the UK. In some places in the world midnight will have already been and gone. In others it’s probably only the morning. May your new year be good and safe. X