Monday, June 12, 2006

Shy Coconuts

A summer celebration of some sort or another has been going on in our village as long as its been a village. Nothing unique in that, there were at least six village fetes this weekend in a ten mile radius from our house. It just isn’t something I grew up with.

Sure, local schools would have fund raising fairs, and the circus would roll through once a year where ever I was at the time (we moved a lot when I was a kid (six houses before the age of 13 when we settled so I could stay at one for all of high school (like senior schools here (only different)))). Yet there was nothing remotely close to a village fete.

Ours has lost the competitive element (other than the annual tug of war with the next village), yet everything else is robustly traditional. Coconut shies, toss the sheep, the white elephant sale, horse shoes, a whole roast lamb, a Punch and Judy show, the tombola (where you stand the chance of winning back what you donate (which has happened to me twice (twice! (which is why I now donate good stuff (and have stopped winning it back)))), rows of home made preserve and cakes (and we don’t buy back what we donate (unless the kids made it (which they did this year (fairy cakes any one, I’ve got loads at home)))… It goes on, but its such a good simple afternoon.

I don’t know who enjoys it more, the kids or me, though LL looks on with a jaded county eye. Still, I know if pushed even she would admit she had fun. Its one of those things that helps keep me here. I miss home, oddly I miss it most when I’m visiting. Yet, I’m not sad to be living where I am. It’s a beautiful place, and there is a pace to village life I like. We’ve been there long enough that as we walk around an event like this one we stop and have a chat with loads of people. There’s a sense of belonging that’s very nice indeed. Bring on the coconut shy.


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