Wednesday, and it's Chirbury and Marton YFC's presentation of 'Never mind the Bullcocks' in Marton Village Hall. Below we have, in rehearsal, Harry as Mrs Isabel End and Christopher as sleazeball quiz show host Mr Hugh Jazz. Make sure you let those names roll off your tongues for full YFC comedic impact. How we laughed.
By some miracle after all comes good. The cast and back stage crew were brilliant and got a fantastic reception on home ground. In the entertainment competition at Whitchurch they were up against some pretty stiff opposition and failed to catch the adjudicators' eyes. They are quite a small club and if they want to enter the competition it usually means everybody must have a role in the production - whereas in a larger club it's possible to hold auditions and also to put on some big impressive set pieces with singers and dancers. Scale isn't an issue with C and M though - they get up there and give it their best. I admire them tremendously and am proud of each and every one of them. Producer Maureen and I may be tearing our hair out as The Big Day approaches but we are doing it with pride.
Heather brings us lambs. They are so tiny I think we might need a magnifying glass to spot them in our field. They come to us numbered to match their mothers. The numbering, usually sequential, is a little curious this year. One lamb and its mother each have a * sprayed on their sides. A ewe and twins are 00 and the other little 'family' have 2s. Where are ewe and lambs No. 1? I contemplate this and wonder if in fact the numbering system has this year been started using minus figures - I know there have been lambs at Fir House now for about a fortnight - and they have only just reached the pluses. I am considering the finer philosophical points of accounting for something that's very obviously there with the concept of something which isn't when it starts to rain so I go in for a cup of tea instead. The following day one of the No 2 lambs is not thriving and is taken back to the farm for a bit of tlc so we are one lamb down - that's the sort of 'minus' I can understand.
It is so good to have them again - and good too to see buds swelling on trees and shrubs. The hedge opposite the school in Leighton, an early variety of Hawthorn, was actually showing small green leaves.
A morning spent in the archives, nose down in a document of 1774 (about which more at another time). D and I emerge later to find - rather like latter day Rip Van Winkles - that the world has moved on without us. On entering the building we left behind a grey dull day, spent the next few hours immersed in 18th century Shropshire and on coming out blink in the sunshine of a 21st century spring afternoon. It's fantastic. Then a ride home over the Long Mountain. We do not meet a car for 8 miles. That's pretty good too.
...there has been a party too, food drink and celebration. Time to garden, get into the greenhouse and chivy seeds into sprouting and encourage seedlings to grow.
All stuff of no consequence really - just the reassuring daily round - a few delights, the certainty of spring following winter, clear skies and a waxing moon. A house on a hill, buds, bird song, friends and family.
I have been watching footage of the Japanese tsunami - in disbelief and with a lump in my throat. It is the stuff of nightmare - a terrifying force taking all in its path. Ships are on land, cars at sea, houses up-rooted, all a filthy swirling maelstrom of bobbing flotsam and jetsam. There is no where to run to. This is not the way things should be.
So today, a calm sunny Monday on the top of a low mountain, I am just counting my blessings. My life may be dreary and mundane but