Saturday, 14 January 2012

Allotment Wassailing

Photos Copyright: Maggie May

The weather was sunny but crisp. There was activity on the local allotment. People were heading there in dribs and drabs, families mostly but older people went too.
What could be driving so many to visit the community orchard on our local district allotment?
An ancient tradition in the south of England that attempts to get the sap rising in the apple trees and encourage them to start to grow. This involved putting toast that had been dipped in cider, on a tree branch. Getting the children to bang on tins to get rid of all the bugs lurking around and pouring last year's cider around the apple trees to get them to produce more apples.
It was mainly aimed at the children and they all seemed to participate in this ancient fun tradition.
I normally go with my granddaughters, however, they now have to go to Japanese School with their mother every Saturday. Other years, Sam has taken part in the Morris Dancing display, but sciatica has prevented him from taking part since last summer. Even though the pain has much improved since he stopped dancing, he didn't feel he could risk starting another flare up of pain.
Still, it was good to catch up with the others who I'd got to know and exchange a few words with them and to watch them dance.
This was perhaps the biggest crowd of people who had attended since the first time that I'd ever witnessed it.
Things change with time and never stay the same.
Last year, I wrote about a similar visit on Wassailing Day.



The allotments (plots of land for growing vegetables and fruits), are good places to snap up scenes with a camera. There are always little nooks and crannies that I find fascinating.
After spending an hour or two in the cold, I was glad of a hot cup of tea when I got home and to toast my cold fingers and toes in front of the gas fire. Then there was the prospect of a Chinese take away that Harry always seems to get on a Saturday (no matter how he is feeling) and a cosy evening in watching TV or reading. Contentment.
Do others take pleasure in doing such basic, maybe boring things?





28 comments:

rosaria said...

Even in winter, there are many wonderful opportunities to catch the unexpected. I especially like the main photo. Are those little houses to keep tools in? How many allotments does each person get? Do you grow anything in the winter months?

Rae said...

I really love allotments and I love the wassailing idea - I'll have to keep en eye out next year to see if they do it in Clevedon too

Your photos are wonderful, you are so good at capturing atmosphere, I particularly like the one of the teasels

Jackie said...

Yes, Maggie...I take contentment in doing the same things. Wonderful, aren't they.
Many warm hugs to you and Harry and wishes for a beautiful weekend and upcoming week.
Love you,
Jackie

Ayak said...

The simple things in life are almost always the most pleasurable. Curling up with a good book and a bar of chocolate is my favourite!

Valleys Mam said...

What a great tradition. And a great excuse to get together We don't do enough of this

Mimi said...

Wassailing- great idea! a real community event!
I love all these ancient traditions, how they seamlessly bring nature from one year to the next. Not that nature needs our help, more the other way round.
And a display of Morris Dancing is a great way to celebrate a new season and new life.
And Maggie, here's to your ongoing recovery, great to see you're strong enough to be out and about in the fresh air. A cuppa to wrap your hands around is always welcome once you get home!

cheshire wife said...

We usually relax with a log fire and a recorded TV programme on a Saturday evening. Oh and a bottle of wine.

Nora said...

I do lots of boring things and find much contentment in them. They are familiar and soothing to me. It's when I don't do these things that I become uncomfortable. I like my life to be predictable and take much comfort from it. Peacefulness is a great joy. XOX

Bernie said...

Not boring at all, I love tradition and I enjoyed reading about your day from the beginning to having a cup of tea by the fire. I remembered you had wrote about Wassailing last year and I enjoyed it then as well. We are having a snow storm just now Maggie but I am content by the fire watching my sports on TV. So glad you both are feeling better.
......:-)Hugs

Wendy said...

Me too - give me boring any day. I soooo miss our boring cups of coffee together.

I remember that Wassailing post you did last year. Such fun!

Too bad your grands could not make it this year, but perhaps another year.
Sending hugs

Expat mum said...

Not boring at all, a a northern lass I had no idea that "wassailing" involved all that.

dianefaith said...

Oh yes! I love my boring days. The one you describe, though, would be the highlight of the week, not boring at all.

ladyfi said...

What fun - I'd love to go wassailing.

SueAnn said...

I prefer my boring days above all others. Time to think and to plan and to dream...unencumbered!!
Hugs
SueAnn

Akelamalu said...

What an interesting tradition! The simplest things are quite often the nicest. :)

Mickle in NZ said...

Boring - no way. I'd describe it as a happy contentment of simple joys which is such a lovely way to create regular treats for your selves (and such so well deserved treats).

If this becomes a "Maggie and Harry" tradition then all the better!

Sending care, huggles and love to you, Harry, Ash and Lily,

Michelle xxxx

Gail said...

Fascinating to learn about Wassailing because coincidentally, yesterday my mum in Plymouth went for a walk in the grounds of Saltram House where there was to be wassailing later.

Celia said...

Great tradition, loved the thistle/teasels photo at the end. Looks like a lovely day to be out.

Happy Frog and I said...

An excellent question/post. I have quite a lot going on at the moment and a great deal of it is fun stuff. However my favourite time is often doing what many would consider quite mundane/boring tasks. I am also on the waiting list for an allotment since 2009, but I fear I have a long await in store still!

Clare Dunn said...

Sorry I haven't been by in a while...my commitment list is overwhelming right now. If it wasn't for delayed posting, my blog would never get updated!
But I digress.
Loved this post, and happy that you sound so well. You're in my thoughts always...
xoxoxo, cd

Mimi said...

Hi Maggie, just to let you know I fixed that link on my blog so now you can find out if it was Vera Lynne or not.

Cheryl said...

I loved this charming post, what a lovely thing for the community to do. I would have loved to have seen the joy on the children's faces. I agree that the simple things in life, like being in a warm house, on a cold snowy night, curled up with my favorite book and quilt.

Rose said...

How interesting, Maggie! I've always heard of wassailing, but I really didn't know what the tradition was. Glad you were able to get out and enjoy the day, even if it was a bit nippy. Oh yes, Husband and I spend many quiet evenings at home. My daughter, who's now living with us, finds us quite boring:)

Crystal Jigsaw said...

It's good to keep up with old traditions, makes being part of a community so worth while.

CJ x

Shammickite said...

Maybe I should go out and wassail my little flower garden, just to make sure it will be bright and colourful once the snow melts and spring starts the growing process again! I love the idea of keeping those ancient traditions alive.

Suldog said...

Do I take pleasure in such things? Nay. I revel in them! Chinese take-out is one of my supreme pleasures in life. I am an addict. And warming up after being out in the cold? Sublime.

secret agent woman said...

Yes! I love the simple comforts and pleasures! They are the stuff of life.

Dimple said...

It sounds like a delightful day to me!