Did God gently part the clouds on Friday night and think 'Hmm, Trelystan Fête tomorrow - think I'll hold the rain for 24 hours'? Thus it came to pass that while we all remained dry - and it was the only dry day for about a fortnight - we stood, alternately counting our blessings and shivering in a chill wind, amongst the graves of Trelystan Church.
A churchyard always seems an incongruous place to hold a fête, but it's the way they do things here - Trelystan lacks a village green or munificent squire with big house and grounds so we frolic beneath sombre yews and balance cups of tea on crooked gravestones. I suppose this may always have been the way here - this site is perhaps as old as time itself and who knows what rites and rituals took place here before Christianity came over all solemn and reverential? A barbecue was this year's innovation - our neighbour served burgers and sausages to a hungry crowd amongst the tombstones. I thought of local burial mounds where cremated remains have been found and for a moment considered that things had almost come full circle - fire and flesh in a sacred place.
It's not the time or place for such thoughts though - with a mighty blast of feedback which deafens us all, Mr Dyson declares the Fête officially open. There are draw tickets to be bought (remember, there is always a draw), cakes, jams and plants to be swooped upon and tea and buns to be enjoyed. Children run curiously complicated races involving hoops, cones, balls and buckets. Bric a brac is rootled through. Ditto books - this year as our vicar has moved on to parishes new we seem to have a rich crop of ecclesiastical publications. The music to set a jolly tone comes from somebody's 'ghetto blaster' perched atop the borrowed PA system. At one stage in the afternoon it had a distinctly Greek flavour - Rebetika I think. Odd.
I am selling plants with my neighbour Penny. We are amazed at where our motley collection of plants have come from - and indeed where they go to. We raise £72.40 and are quite pleased. I bring home the 4 sprout plants I took and have bought only a white Valerian and an Inula. Our stall was in a shady spot, on damp ground and I was soooooo cold.
And then there is 'Bowling for a Pig'. These days sadly it's a hypothetical pig, a box of Roses probably. (How I'd relish the opportunity to bring home a little porker.) There are no sophisticated games at Trelystan Fête, just the old favourites from the back of the barn dusted down and pressed into service for another year. Everyone has a go, young and old - children being allowed to stand a little closer. A strip of chicken netting has been baler-twined to the hedge behind the target - we assumed to keep the rabbits out - but no. In fact it's to keep the balls in should some bowler be extra-vigourous and send them hurtling through the hedge and down the hill to Marton. In decades of running this game it's saved a lot of running around. In the big sophisticated cities they'd laugh at this uncomplicated home-made fun.
I think that's what I like about Trelystan Fête. In an age of brash bumptiousness it has an air of innocence, this small community getting together and enjoying its own company.
Anyway, it's over now, done and dusted, for another year, the crockery's been put away and the chairs stacked. Next highlight in the calendar is the Harvest Supper and Sale of Produce. I think we might be away....
We turned in last night shortly after 11.00. The sky was clear as a bell - when did we last see the stars? Back to rain again this morning though.