Sunday, 14 December 2008

Joe Carpenter and Son

Last night we took part in a peculiarly English nativity play in Standon village church. We've done this 3 or 4 times over the past decade or so, and it's always lovely. I hoped to find a description of it on the web, but have found nothing. You can buy it from Amazon if you want to do it yourself.

It's the traditional nativity story, with all the text in verse, and a narrator, shepherds, angels, kings, etc. The action is interspersed with carols and one or two wassails, and the whole thing has a distinctly 'village' feel to it. I'm not sure really how to express that. It's not just that it's an amateur production, or that everyone knows everyone else, or that it's all a bit of a giggle and not to be taken seriously, or that everyone collapses in heaps of laughter when the angels line up on the steps to do their bit only for the tiniest to realise she's forgotten her bells, so runs back to get them. Somehow it's a combination of all those things and probably quite a few more that I've not thought of, that define this kind of warm, cuddly and distinctly rural event. Notwithstanding that the church itself was bitterly cold!

Afterwards many of us retired to the house of several of the participants (Caroline - soprano, David - narrator, Lizzie - Mary, Richard - lights) where Caroline had prepared 2 enormous casseroles and several puddings. Bloated and well filled up with booze, we were still home early, allowing time to sit in front of a log fire and enjoy the warm fuzzies of an evening well spent.

And special thanks to Jane who drove us home in my car. My turn to not drink will come on Thursday when we're singing in a school carol service, again in Standon church.

And no, I've not forgotten I'm convinced it's all fairy stories, I just suspend my disbelief and have some fun!


The Dotterel said...

Quite right too! (And isn't that a definition of faith - suspension of disbelief?)

Jane.Dudman said...

I think the warm feeling we got from this wasn't to do with religion, per se, but from the sense of tradition, of being part of village life that stretches back undreds of years.
That tradition happens to be based on religion, but you don't have to be a believer to enjoy the sense of history...and fun. And the singing was very good, too!