Harvest Home.

27 Mar 2007

Well the weekend is over and we all survived. Louis' cricket team won their game only to be pushed out of the final by a controversial tied game in the South. It was the last chance for a state final for most of the team so they quite rightly feel disappointed.

On Sunday Louis and Stephen went grape picking as a school fundraising event. They were very weary when they returned and alarmingly hungry. Kate and I went to the Franklin House Heritage Fair and had a lovely time.

The local National Trust seems to be a magnet for any homesick Poms so there was a very English feel to the day. I guess it is in keeping with the original inhabitants of the house who were migrants from England.

As well as bric-a-brac stalls and car boot sales, the CWA stall, the garden and cake stall and afternoon tea stall there were a number of other attractions. You could have a go at the coconut shy, Aunt Sally, horseshoe tossing and crossbow archery. There were vintage cars on display and you could play croquet. The ubiquitous Morris dancers were there with their sticks and jingly bells and a number of bands including two pipe bands. The Morris dancers did a little number with one of the pipebands and that was really good, don't know if that ever happens in jolly old England or not. Oh, and I almost forgot the Scottish dancers and Super Skippers. Sorry, I forgot to take my camera so there are no live action shots.

One thing that really interested me, but I missed most of, was a lovely man making corn dollies. He inspired me to come home and google corn dolly to find out more. 
I didn't realise how universal this custom is throughout Europe as part of the Harvest celebrations. You should check out the Wheat Weavers Gallery, you will be amazed. I also found a site dedicated to a guy called Neil Thwaites, the Corn Dolly Man

The man at the fair wasn't attempting anything like these amazing creations but his designs have a wonderful earthiness to them that I am sure would result in a future good harvest when these fertile figures are ploughed into the earth next spring.

What do you think? Aren't they great. I love the deep connection with the earth and her seasons that lies just beneath the surface of so many of the Anglo- celtic traditions that we just accept as old fashioned rituals that don't really have meaning in our modern world. There is a rich treasury of folk culture just waiting to be rediscovered by a new generation .

6 Responses to “Harvest Home.”

  1. Amazing Jenn, Im still chuckling over those last two!
    Take care

  2. What a fantastic day Jenny!!! and i love the corn dolls......pity ur not going to the Craft fair, im so excited, only 4 more sleeps lol.....we got an extra seat in the car if u wanna come with us (sleeping arrangements might be tricky lol)
    Take care.

  3. Ohh cool towel. You know I live in a Norwegian town and I see these weaved wheat all the time. It soo intrigues me. Clarice

  4. Sounds like a wonderful day. Too bad about the cricket match.

    The corn dolls are great! They were prevelant through the midwest (corn belt) states in the US too.

    I have one in my collection. Perhaps I'll post a photo soon.

  5. We do have Morris dancers, it's a big thing in the north of England - there are also Coconutters. They only inhabit one area of Lancashire in the north-west and paint their faces black to represent the miners who were active in the area hundreds of years ago - it's also thought to have pagan roots.

    Love the corn dollies! Every Spring in our garden, with some clay I fashion a figure who sits in a certain place, watching over the garden, and also a wreath from hawthorn. In Autumn these figures are usually washed away by rain and replaced by figures made of grasses and stems of plants. It's something I love doing and lends ritual to the garden.

    Glad you had a nice time - the house looks lovely.


Thanks so much for taking the time to chat. I don't always have time to reply but I do read every message you leave.