Monday, May 25, 2020

whitsun, morris, eerie absence, gardening, cuckoos and bikes, bampton archive online

Usually, at Whitsun, the village pubs are packed till dawn. Against the hubub of drinkers, the sounds of folk musicians and singers. There's the Shirt Race on Saturday evening, and on the bank holiday Morris sides dance on private lawns, in pub yards and in the streets. There are visitors camping out or coming over for the day.

But this year, silence. An eerie absence of old traditions.

A day spent gardening - planting leeks and Fench beans (replacements for the ones that got scorched by the frost) and second sowings of beetroot, carrots and parsnips.

Then, sitting at the top of the garden by the frog pond for a late lunch. Not far off the sound of a cuckoo - never have there been so many cukoos as this year. And, let's face it, every so often the defiant roar of a bike. But no drifts of music or Morris bells, fiddles or squeeze boxes.

Meantime, you can read about the village's folklore and history at the Bampton Archive, where all its publications have been made available online free of charge.

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