Saturday, 21 December 2013

Shortest day musings

Last weekend we spent a lovely day at Buckland Abbey, once the home of Sir Francis Drake.  They put on a very funny mumming play as well as the usual Christmas decorations and food.  The mumming had a Sir Francis Drake theme -  the hero was Drake and his enemy was The King of Spain! 

For those who aren't aware, mumming is a very old English traditional Christmas play, which was usually a way of raising extra money for Christmas.  The speeches are in rhyming couplets and the action is mostly comic and exaggerated.  Father Christmas often appears at the end after everything has ended well. 

We spent most of our time looking around the marvellous kitchen, which had an open fire going, and lots of lovely Victorian Christmas items and a particularly grand dresser.

The kitchen smelt of herbs, spices, Christmas pudding mixture (which we all stirred as we walked past) and the fire.  We wanted to sit there all day.

Due to the particularly inclement weather we didn't get a lot of chance to go on a long walk whilst we were there.  We did briefly get some fresh air and the weather was very misty and windy with frequent showers.  The weather hasn't improved much since then.
On our return home, we decorated our tree, which we think is looking rather nice.  Decorating the tree is one of my favourite parts of the festive season and now that we have reached the shortest day, it finally feels as if Christmas is almost upon us.

"Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man  the pleasures of his youth, and transport the traveller back to his own fireside and quiet home!"-  Charles Dickens 

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