Thursday, 6 October 2016

Life in a Small Village

I love living in the back of beyond, on the edge of nowhere, most of the time.    

However, there are occasions when petty squabbles and misinformation create something of a bubbling witches cauldron of high emotion and one can be splashed and scalded for simply standing too close to the pot.



Little Bunting is a tiny village.   We have three roads, although one is a small street, another, a lane, and the main road through is nothing more than a country lane.   No church, no shop, just a pub and a very small village hall.

Even a very small village hall needs a committee to run it.
A committee needs meetings,
and committee meetings require that the people on the committee are willing to give up their time to sit in a village hall and talk/listen, plan, volunteer and commit yet more time and, often, their own money to make things happen for the people who live in the village.

The local pub enjoy doing Halloween, so we are not planning to do anything for that, wouldn't want to encroach.    However, they don't really do anything for Bonfire Night.   So we are organising a good, old fashioned, Bonfire Night Party.

Nothing fancy just a huge bonfire, a very few fireworks,  and some simple food - jacket potatoes, vegetarian chilli, and possibly some parkin if I get around to making it.    One committee member has kindly agreed to let us use his paddock and barn for the occasion, others are using their contacts to get lots of wood for the bonfire, and the rest of us are providing gazebos, food, etc.   All the details which go into making an event happen.

What would really make it a great experience is if some people turn up to support us!

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Little Bunting is on the verge of losing our street lighting.    Soon the men from the council will be around to dismantle it and take away the poles and we shall be plunged into darkness.

This was dealt with by another committee, the Parish Council.   I'm glad I don't have to take the flak for that one.    

We live right at the end of the village and our street light has often been out for months at a time, so it doesn't really make much difference.   I have got used to taking my torch out with me and "wearing something white at night" even if it is just a big scarf because there are no footpaths to our end of the village, so we have to walk along the lane and there is no verge to speak of.  

Some drivers are very courteous; some even pull over to the other side of the lane and slow down as they pass, many don't.  

Last night I walked to the committee meeting in the village hall, it's not far... less than half a mile.    It was dusk when I walked into the village and I was treated to the sight of the lovely barn owl patrolling Arnold's old paddock.    I saw the owl and rejoiced; I saw the empty paddock and the house and felt sad.

Onward, to the village hall.   The Chairman and another committee member were struggling to open the door.   It is always like this, the lock has been a problem forever.     Eventually, the door was opened and we trooped in to set up a couple of tables and pull out the chairs.

Almost two hours later, a meeting which could really have been concluded in less than half that time, finally ended.   We went our separate ways.

My route takes me past Owl Wood.

A wonderful, joyful place in the daylight but by nighttime it become the Witches' Wood.    Trees creak and groan, their long bony fingers reach out and tap one another and mysterious rustlings make one think there is something there.   I speed up and think of home and hot chocolate, anything but witches or bubbling cauldrons.

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The photograph shows our village last night.    I took it as I was making my way to the road which takes me home.   Soon those lights will be gone and the village will be plunged into darkness once again.


22 comments:

  1. You have a lovely way of writing. We dont have lights at this end of the village. In our old house you could wander around inside and not turn the lights on if the curtains werent shut. Here to get to the gate I have to take a torch. Although the new neighbours have money to burn, with their pool heated all year round and their garage lights on day and night (8 lights). crazy folk.

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    1. Hello Sol, Some people just don't give a thought to the environment. As you don't have street lights around and about, do you get wonderful views of the night sky from your beautiful new room at the top of the house?

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    2. you can clearly see the stars. Now I have my camera charger, I am thinking of doing a long exposure and capturing it all. Yes, we have both sky lights and the dormers windows to get the light and views.

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    3. Sounds magical! I love to sleep with the curtains and blinds open so that I can watch the night sky; sounds like you have a multi-screen cinema of the nicest kind. Wonderful, especially after all your trials and tribulations.

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  2. You sound as if you need a big hug .... so one coming your way. I tend not to go out at night if I can help it. No street lights where I live either and a mile stretch of lonely single track road, but I quite like it. Hey, I hope your Bonfire Night Party goes really well and everybody has a great time xxxx

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    1. Hello Molly, Thank you, that hug was just what was needed! I don't mind shouldering the blame for my own mistakes, but not for things which were not of my doing.
      I am a real stay-at-home bird at night, it take something very special to drag me away from my books and my armchair, too. That mile long stretch of lonely single track road sounds rather wonderful! I think of you often and send good thoughts your way. xx

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  3. I can relate to council meeting as I used to be on ours, too long winded for me and could have been over in half the time but some one always have a point to bring up. We haev a few villages in our area that have no streetlights

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    1. Hello Bill, Meetings and people droning on are not my favourite thing. The bit I find most difficult is sitting on my hands and not volunteering to do everything, simply to move things on more quickly! The people who live in the heart of our village are going to notice it much more than the rest of us but I'm sure they'll get used to it.

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  4. Hello Elaine, It seems to be fashionable now to have no or very little street lighting. At least you can admire the night sky without light pollution and if you are very lucky you may even see the Northern Lights!
    Remember to wear some garlick around your neck to ward off any unwanted halloween visitors when out after dark!!
    Your Bonfire Party sounds like it will be a great event not to be missed especially with the delicious sounding menu!
    Have a great week and thank you so much for your wonderful limmericks, I couldn't stop smiling :)x

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    1. Hello Prunella, I'm glad you enjoyed those little limericks, I'm afraid I am very rusty. Unfortunately, I have a brain which adores the rhythm of them and I find it goes off and works on them without my permission.
      The Bonfire Party is something of an unknown quantity - our village is not known for being supportive - and we haven't done this kind of event before. We'll cater for plenty of people, but I fear we could be living off jacket potatoes and chilli for a while afterwards! It is a free event for people, so perhaps that will tempt them out into the cold! Have a lovely weekend.x

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  5. I'm not sure I would be brave enough to take to the road, on foot, after dark. The bonfire does sound like fun. I believe the last time I participated in one, I was a cheerleader in high school....please don't ask how many years ago ( laughing)

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    1. Hello Meggie, Oh, it's perfectly safe really. I could drive, but that seems far too lazy and not good for the environment. Meggie, you were a cheerleader! Wow! I'd love to see a photograph some time..

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  6. I'm having palpitations even thinking about walking home in the dark! We used to have to and passed or rather ran at full speed past a similar spooky spot like your Owl Woods!
    Glad you're home safe to tell the tale!

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    1. Hello Christine, It's really only six or seven minutes walk, no distance at all and half of that is through the village. I'm fine as long as I have a torch and I keep my imagination in check, that's the difficult bit, as you know! Have a good weekend.

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  7. Ooooh owl wood, no street lights, rustling and cracking all around. You're one brave woman! We do have street lights here but still those noises spook me even on a motorbike at night I feel as though i'm among the bears and the wolves😊 all in the mind. Guy Fawkes, how wonderful. Loved it as a child. We had sausage sizzles. A down under thing I think. Vege chilli and parkin will be just fine

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    1. Hello Linda, Funny you should mention bears and wolves - when our grandson was smaller that used to be his favourite pastime - hunting bears and wolves in the Owl Wood! I hope I can expunge that from my mind before the next time I do the walk home! Sausage sizzles sound rather tempting, I did think about volunteering to do sausages and take them along - but then we got rather caught up in discussions about Public Liability Insurance and cutlery...and the meeting droned on. You ride a motorbike? Tell me more!

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  8. Well actually a quad bike so I don't hear the bears and wolves, just imagine their shadows as I come up the mountain....it's a very slow quad bike and rather noisy. Now and again a hare jumps across my path but nothing else. I think I just enjoy scaring myself. Y you should get one! They're fun and carry as much as a donkey....and have headlights!!!

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    1. Goodness, but this has added a whole new dimension to my image of you, what fun! Slow and steady sounds good to me, Linda, and life on the top of a mountain sounds even better, despite the wild wolves and bears. ;)

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    1. Hello gz, Lovely to have you visit. We are still enjoying your beautiful berry bowls.

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  10. we'll be there for bonfire night... do we have an official date?

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    1. Hi Dom, Remember, remember, the 5th of November! Posters should be going up soon, but it is Saturday 5th November at 6pm, if I recall correctly (can't access my notes right now) at Croft Farm. It will be a simple, old fashioned, Bonfire Night Party and we'd love to see you there.xx

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