November 2023 – visiting home and a rather large birthday
Well, we are settling in to being back at The Marina of Dreams, which is a slightly different routine, but I’ve found a new way of keeping myself occupied. I’m directing a Mummer’s play! We are called the Marina Mummers and the cast consists of moorers and staff from the Marina – some press-ganged!
For the uninitiated, a Mummers play is probably one of the oldest surviving features of the traditional English Christmas – indeed the tradition dates back 800-1000 years. It’s best described as early pantomime. The plays are based loosely on the story of St George and the Dragon and are intended to show the struggle between good and evil and also represent a celebration of the death of the year and its resurrection in the Spring. Heady stuff!
The script – such as it is – has been handed down in various forms throughout the centuries, but there are several key characters – Beelezebub, Father Christmas (surely a new tradition?), St George and the Turkish Knight often feature. We are currently in rehearsal and performances will take place on Sunday 10th January at the Marina and in the 3 pubs in the village. Pray for fine weather! Photos to follow.
I’ve also started a bit of needlepoint – my first project being a glasses case. I’m enjoying it but finding the counting a bit irksome! I have the brain of a gnat! The picture below shows the start and what it should eventually look like
We went home for just over a week, early in the month to see the family and friends and celebrate a BIG birthday. We had such a great time and it was lovely to gather with family and friends old and new at my party. People came from far and wide and my oldest friend, Julia Fromm (nee Eacott) whom I have known since infant school, was even there. It was all a bit of of a blur (I wasn’t drinking!) and I was so touched that so many people had made the effort to come. The cake – which was as delicious as it looks – was made by my friend Tania – a friend of many years standing from the amdram world.
Chester – our new (and only) grandson – was around 14/15 weeks at the time of our visit and we were greeted with lovely smiles. He seems such a happy boy and I so enjoyed taking him out in his pram and cuddling and reading to him. He is a joy. Great to be with his Ma and Pa too.
Since our return, we have attended a quiz at the Marina – a great night made even better by the fact that we won! We have also been to see Steeleye Span at Warwick – a not so great night, if I’m honest. It was billed as their 50th Anniversary tour. I later found out that it was the 4th year thereof. It wasn’t quite what I expected, featuring a lot of newer material and only one of the original line-up, 76 year old Maddy Prior. But it was good to be “out out” and we used the services of a lovely new dog sitter, which went very well.
I think we now need to talk about the elephant in the room. That b****y oven. There have been a couple of engineer visits, the last of which (to replace the back element) seemed pretty hopeful for a couple of days and then bam – back to 160C. It was up to its old tricks again. Frankly, there can’t be much left to replace! But another call was made and – this time – the case was referred to A Senior Engineer (I use bold and leading caps to emphasise the enormity of that statement!). The Senior Engineer got in contact with Neff themselves, which resulted in a flurry of parts being ordered – a temperature limiter, a potentiometer and another thing, the name of which I just cannot recall! The engineer is coming on Thursday 30th, so I will report back next month.
In December, we have the Mummer’s Play performances, Christmas, a visit to London for our Niece’s 18th birthday and our post-Christmas cruise to look forward to. I’ll leave you with a shot of the Marina at dawn and The Marina of Dream’s Christmas Tree.