By way of a brief intermission from the on going Greek series, here is the sun over our Shropshire garden at around midday yesterday. The tail end of Hurricane Ophelia had apparently whipped up the dust of Africa along with the ash from the tragic forest fires in Portugal and Spain and so created this apocalyptic orange twilight complete with rosy sun. Nothing to do with us of course, all this global mayhem.
Two people, three shadows.
When we came home after eight years in Africa we lived for a time in Rochester, Kent, on the shores of the River Medway. It is an ancient town with cathedral, castle and cobbled streets. It’s also a place that goes in for plenty of fun activities.
For a start there’s a strong Charles Dickens connection. The writer lived in the area and in particular based some of the locations of his novel Great Expectations in and around the town. Every year, and to mark this important literary association, there is a Dickens Festival. This mostly involves people dressing up in appropriate costumes and parading about the streets. For some reason we have no photos so you’ll just have to imagine the fun of bumping into multiple versions of Miss Haversham out on the High Street.
Instead here we have the Rochester Sweeps Festival, an annual gathering that mostly involves Morris groups from across the land, but with a scattering of chimney sweeps plus a few Green Men thrown in. This particular event has been going for nearly forty years, but it harks back to centuries’ old festivities.
I attempted to unravel the history in an earlier post. So if you wish to know more about arcane English pursuits go here: Unexpected with bells, sticks and hankies at the Sweeps Festival
For now, here are a few more of Graham’s photos that did not feature in the original post. You can draw your own conclusions about the multiple cultural references, some more eccentric than others. The young women in black ‘Miss Whiplash’ ensembles hailed from the US:
This snapping of bugs is all Ark’s fault at A Tale Unfolds. For some time now he’s been showing us insect life in his South African garden. Then on Friday he set me a challenge to beat his dandelion with four bugs. So here I give you a ménage à trois with some longhorn beetles, caught on my way to the allotment, and as I was actually trying to capture some bee shots. I reckon it trumps Ark’s dandelion, and indeed his jackal flies, on grounds of raciness.
But now here is the close up shot I really wanted to show you, and the reason why I was headed for the allotment: my first main crop potatoes just released from the earth. These are Desirée, organically grown and most desirable, not only for looks and flavour, but for general resistance to drought, bugs and slugs: