Drawn to the Jubilee woods by the light of bonfire and waning gibbous moonlight, the villagers once again gathered to join in with the ages old tradition of Wassailing. This year, to aid the abundant harvest of fruit on the trees, the Wassailing performed around the circle of five fruit trees in the wood – including, of course, a cider apple variety. Filling our cups with a wonderful cidery brew we sang, cheered and saluted ‘Waes Hail’! into the night before adding another toast to the tree branches – this time in the form of bread – for the sanity of the birds in the area.

Wassail, January 2012, Great GiddingWassail, January 2012, Great Gidding

But this was not all….taking steps toward the bench we were most entertained by a very clever and amusing heart-rending poem written and performed by Paul Burgess – dressed in his usual garb of scary white sheet. Sue Jarvis followed with a beautiful poem that she had written with Patrick (read the poems below).

Calamity – A Conversation By Paul Burgess

Wassail, January 2012, Great Gidding


How did this come to pass,
That I, a house of glass,
Should fall in shards upon the grass?


T’was I, the Wind replied
That tipped you over on your side,
And left your framework gaping wide.


I heard you wield such mighty powers,
Which turn to storm the mildest showers,
But what of Val and her tender flowers?


I’m afraid I’m not concerned with that.
It is my job to knock things flat
Or set you running for your hat.


But are you not concerned that this,
A dirty deed which none would miss,
Makes extra labour for poor Chris?


Why, no! I think you miss the point,
To create mayhem,God did me anoint
And, so, to altogether wreck the joint.

What you said is nearly true,
But you haven’t really thought it through,
For however hard you thought you blew,
I, Nature, in time will make it new.
And Chris your work will soon undo
After another trip to B&Q

© Paul Burgess
Entry for the Gidding Eisteddfod, 2012

Sue & Patrick’s Poem

Wassail, January 2012, Great Gidding

Looking back and thinking about 2011
It seems fair to say it was no gardener’s heaven
The winter too cold, the spring too dry
It made us gardeners cry “Why oh Why?”

Allotment holders feared a mass plant slaughter
But wait! At last! The council has put on water!
Hurrah Hurrah we can weather the drought
And we allotment holders can now have no doubt

Our tates will be rounder, our leeks will be longer
Our peas will be greener and our onions will be stronger
Another year is coming to dig and to delve
So lets sing a song to 2012

Festivities continued in the Village Hall with hot soups and a variety of foods and, to bring us bang up to date again, Michael had pasted QR codes around the hall. These Quick Response codes are black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background and when you hold your iPad or smart phone up to them you get information. The evening ended with Paul Crank taking some photos of everyone and instantly putting them on our new Giddings website!

Thank you Michael, Julie and everyone who helped to make this another ‘great’ Gidding evening.

Report by Krystyna – Jan 2012

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