And so this is Christmas…

January 1st, 2012

I hope you had fun, another year over and a new one just begun (to paraphrase John Lennon).

As usual, I stayed close to home over the Christmas period. The first image is of a Santa (quite spookily blowing in the breeze) which I saw whilst walking round the village delivering my cards on Christmas Eve.

After an enjoyable Christmas day with family, we made our customary trip to the local pub for the traditional Boxing Day Mummers’ Play. The Play is broadly the same each year, although the characters names and the dialogue may change slightly – usually to put a topical slant on the play. The Play, weather permitting, is performed twice – once inside the pub, which isn’t easy as the main bar is probably not much more than 8 feet wide! The pictures below were taken inside during the first performance: the death of King George; the arrival of Doctor Bond; and the appearance of the first vampire I’ve ever seen in the play:

My name is Bond, Roger Bond

After a short break whilst the hat is passed round for charity (their chosen charity this year was the Macmillan Nurses) and for some liquid refreshment, the play is performed again outside in the car park. I’ve been to so many performances of the play that I, like many in the village, can almost recite the script. The first shot is of Old Molly, the Narrator of the play, with Beelzebub (this year played as a drug dealer) as they declaim “mince pies hot, mince pies cold, mince pies in the pot nine days old” in unison with the audience. Their speech takes place just before the battle between King George (dressed in the armour with the English flag on his tabard) and the wicked Duke of Cumberland – who appeared this year to have his own horse. The doctor once again appears and tries his pills on the stricken King George, who spits out the first two before his “great tooth” is removed by the vampire. After King George and Molly perform a short dance in the round (as in, “oh look, he’s coming round… and coming round again”), old Big Head is allowed his brief moment of glory and plays a very short tune.

mince pies cold, mince pies in the pot nine days old

The battle between King George and the Duke of Cumberland

is rejected by King George before he's cured by the removal of his great tooth

I didn’t return to the pub again until New Years Eve – most years the party there has a theme, this year’s being “Flower Power”. I decided not to take the DSLR with me this year, and instead took my bridge compact which incidentally proved that it’s not as good in low light situations and, like a lot of compact cameras, the flash output is unpredictable as can be seen in the candid shot of the gentleman adjusting his wig.

And that’s it for another year – here’s to the next. Or, in the final words of the Mummer’s Play: “We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, a pocket full of money and a cellar full of beer!”

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