Sunday, 10 January 2021

Wassailing the Old Apple Tree

I filled an old jug with cider,  grabbed a couple pieces of toast and an old wooden spoon.  Twelfth Night.  Time to wassail the oldest apple tree.  


One of these days I feel sure that someone is going to see me and wonder why I am wearing a flower bestrewn old straw hat as I walk around an apple tree, pouring cider from the jug, beating the tree with a wooden spoon.   They may catch sight of the toast lodged up in the branches and wonder even more as they hear me recite:

Here's to thee, old apple tree
Whence thou mayst bud and thou mayst blow
Hats full, caps full,
Bushel, bushel bags full,
And a little heap under the stairs.
Hurrah! Hurrah

It was great fun.



The excitement for Thursday was the delivery of the vegetable box.   Keith and Dawn, landlords of the village pub, offered this service way back when Lockdown I began and when it was difficult to get a supermarket delivery slot, they were also able to obtain bags of flour - at that time it was almost impossible to obtain flour any other way.    I make most of our bread, so I was very grateful.

Friday dawned, daughter and son-in-law were both in school.   I kept an eye on the grandchildren.

The internet connection continues to give problems.   Sometimes everything is as it should be, then it disappears.  Worse things happen at sea.  


24 comments:

  1. I forgot all about wassailing this year. If I plant an apple tree at my new home will the rhyme still work if I say "here's to thee NEW apple tree" ? Hope so.

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    1. It will work a treat, especially if you wear a silly hat.

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  2. I wish I could have gone wassailing around my apple tree - sadly it is 250 miles away in Scotland where we are not allowed to go to - so it will have to fend for itself again this year. Love the hat.

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    1. I hope both your home and the apple tree are doing well.

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  3. I'd forgotten about that custom. I wonder if our apples trees would mind if I sang to them even if it's gone past the twelth night. Maybe I'll wait until the warmer weather.

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    1. I'm sure they always appreciate a good sing song.

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  4. Such fun and a great custom. The internet is the same here...intermittent.

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    1. I hope you soon get your internet problems fixed. We now have a new hub so fingers crossed!

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  5. Great tradition. Is the hat part of it too or it just helps you get into the right mode? Pity we don't have an apple tree

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    1. It is traditional, people used to wear costumes and fire rifles into the tree - my version was quite muted, but I regard the hat as an essential, Linda! ;)

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  6. That is a good thing to remember, worse things happen at sea. The rest usually is doable.

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    1. It was a favourite saying of my father, Joanne...he spent a few years working at sea, so i reckon he knew what he was talking about.

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  7. I made my first loaf of bread in my new Cuisinart bread machine. It's almost done and the smell is heavenly. I like the idea of 'christening' your apple tree! Who knows but what it actually works and urges the tree to produce a good crop of apples!

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    1. Congratulations on your first loaf! That particular tree is a Bramley, so the apples almost all end up in crumbles, pies and puddings. My husband would be very upset if they were rationed.

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  8. What a great custom! Good for you to wear your flowery hat!

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    1. It definitely lends itself to the occasion!

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  9. I´ve never heard of that custom before. xcx

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    1. It is a very old custom, eccentric, but great fun!

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  10. Absolutely ages since I have been wassailing! I think the last time I went I was about 14 years old. They still wassail down in Somerset where I am from ....understandably so being cider country. As I recall we used to go to this orchard to sing to the trees..the orchard was by a pub so we'd go to have some hot cider afterwards and sing some more!! Home-made bread...fabulous...that is the best!! keep well Amanda x

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    1. That sounds like the perfect way to celebrate, Amanda! Do they have any similar country celebrations in Spain?
      I really enjoy the whole process of baking bread, I find it very relaxing. Some people work out their angst on the kneading but I find the bread turns out better if you knead it with love - sounds silly, but it is true for me.

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  11. This is a lovely blog. I like the title of your blog. I live in a parsonage here in Northern US. Have a great day!

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    1. Hello Angela, nice to meet you, and thank you for your kind words. I have to be honest, our cottage is not actually called Parsonage Cottage, sorry! I decided upon 'Parsonage Cottage' after my original blog was copied and stolen. I renamed everyone and every thing, changed place names, etc, etc.

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  12. I've never heard of this before. Thank you for that glimpse of something all new.

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    1. Hello Debby! I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed a little bit of English eccentricity. Lovely to meet you.

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Lovely to hear from you!