Yesterday started a little later than intended and I was feeling a bit fatalistic as I saw sleety stuff falling from the sky close to mid-day, but Zac & JB made decisions for me, he even drove, and we set off to the metropolis we know in these parts as 'Hayle' to hit to stores (for stores read M&S, Next & Boots!), but we went to shop and shop we did!
We returned home with the ubiquitous socks and smellies in our carriers and soup and cakes in our bellies (not just soup & cakes, but M&S soup & cakes!) We made a slight detour to collect Christmas Pudding Ice Cream and Caramel Fudge Ice Cream from Mr. B's and got home just in time to unload the car before my next adventure began!
Ross and I went over to St Levan for the Candlelit Carol Service, we called by and collected Gill and Rosie. The church wasn't quite as full as usual but the event still ticked all the boxes for me. Lyn Batten organises it and some of the words she chose were beautiful, her Nan & Grandad would have been so proud to hear her and to see things run so smoothly. They have just opened 'toilets' after much fundraising and new gravel has been laid into the church, it makes a very satisfying crunch as you walk in along the pathway lit by large glass candle jars.
After the service we have the usual mulled wine, mince pies and catch up with friends old and new. I was introduced to the son of an old favourite of my Mum's, he has a new baby and lives in the thatched cottage opposite my old home. It was hard to explain who I was in terms of people he knew today, but then he asked how I was related to Tommy Thomas...I explained this was my Dad, and Tristan said that he had been told stories of Dad getting dressed for school standing on a stool to avoid flood water in the cottage! Well, it was a story I hadn't heard, so whether it's a bit of Penberth folklore or not I'll have to ask my brother, but it was amazing to know that my Dad, a man who died so young at just 47 over 40 years ago, is still talked about.
My cousin also gave me a book that has been compiled on the history of St Buryan School, and there are quite a few photos of my mum, but mostly, again I was so touched, by the sheer volume of information and praise for my grandfather Joe Tommy Warren who was school teacher there before the 1st WW and afterwards til 1938, til he died, suddenly from appendicitis, another man stolen well before he was 50. For the nostalgia queen that I am, it was an evening to really savour, and gave me more than a little nudge to remind me of the War Diary I have sitting just above this computer awaiting the uploading it deserves to pc.
As we came home past Penzance Ross' mind travelled to food and the thought of cooking when I got in was not on my list of best bits for the day. Needless to say I didn't take much encouragement to call in at the Dolphin for a quick snack and there we bumped into Ross' posse of pals, including Kerry just home from Palma, and Jiggy who I discovered also has the pre-Christmas ritual of holly cutting and strapping a couple of branches together with cable ties, throwing it in the corner.. and hey presto!.. legend!
Just as a little extra for the snow days, this is a picture I found in an old album, a scene you don't see a lot, with Penberth being so close to the sea. My brother Ken outside the aforementioned thatched cottage, in the days of Auntie Janie Hosking, she of the saffron buns and the twitching curtain..'Whoos-at?'