Tuesday, 22 November 2016

The Magique Faraway Tree

Dearest Emily,
Every morning after travelling to work, I'm in need of a coffee and croissant and a peaceful view.
Yes, Em, I do know that I live two doors away, but that's not the point.
I make my freshly roasted coffee, I take it along with my croissant outside and sit and revel in the beauty of the view of a magnificent Horse Chestnut tree opposite my corner shop- on School Green.

 It's a delight , and I've bathed in its seasonal glory now for a year. It sits amongst a whole row along School Green road, planted at the turn of the last century, some now sadly diseased.
This one has escaped illness though- and dubbed 'harbingers of the season' I've loved watching the Horse Chestnut's changing face, as it tells us what's around the corner this season.
For me, this morning contemplation, sooths the pscyche and feeds my soul.
There's beauty in every stage of the march of time, Emily. This tree doesn't have an ugly moment. The lovely summer we had this year, followed by a very slow passage through autumn towards winter, saw it drop its fruit into the stream below, and dapple its beautiful leaves with gold, red and yellow.
For the Horse Chestnut, Winter is but a whisper of bare branched time- last December, even the daffodils on the bank chimed with its fresh new green foliage emerging just as January awoke.
It was a lovely reminder that spring wouldn't be too far away.
A little further along the row of trees is my Rabbit Hole shop-view, and this last week Emily, we got a bit of magic all for ourselves here in Freshwater.
Recently- rather unusually for us, (at least for the last four hundred years anyway) we seem to have been invaded by French persons. I first noticed this one Sunday morning as I came out of my corner shop carrying a tray of coffee and croissant to join my breton sporting, cigarette fuming friend, Steve.
As I walked through the door, I was snapped by a chap photographing my shop.
"Bonjour" I quipped aluding to the scene.
"Bonjour" he answered in proper French, and we chatted about he and his friends first visit to the Island which was 'charmant'. A week later- more French, and then last week, Uncle Joe called me from the Rabbit Hole to the corner shop- to translate a bit with some sailing book purchases.
We chatted a bit in my halting franglais and their halting fringlish.
These lovely youngsters had arrived in their sailing boat that they were taking to Brittany, at Yarmouth harbour- and had been marooned since by the inclement weather.
Two days later they appeared again, purchasing more armfuls of books, and then holing up for the afternoon with tea and cake at the Rabbit Hole, intersperced with trips up to the charity shops, and skipping over to the green to smoke.
Whilst I was baking in the kitchen, I could hear singing, a lovely harmony being practised, and in my imagination- I tagged them as Roux and his band of gypsy friends in the film Chocolat.
Little did I know then, Em.
A knock on ther parlour door- 'is it ok if we sing?'
'Of course' I  replied, later to hear that they would be performing something soon up at the Piano Cafe in Freshwater Bay.
"When?", I asked.
"We will tell you, we will be back".
I was out on friday when they did their afternoon rehearsal, which ran over into knitting class-time, causing whoops of delight to find yet another excuse not to knit...
They were to perform a 'little piece' on Sunday at three.
So, my friend Caroline and I took a hike up to the Piano Cafe for three o'clock , and sat with tea to watch whatever was about to entertain us.
 as a quite charming devized performance that began with all four facing the bar doing the 'you're going to miss me when I'm gone' followed by an acoustic guitar piece with mime- see here...

This was followed by a duet accompanied by some acrobatics, then some sea-shanties and a rousing 'Sweet Home Chicago' cover saw many of the customers up and dancing after being invited by one of the singers to join her to dance with them.
The finale involved- the girl who did acrobatics doing a handstand- which flipped her skirt upside down to reveal a floral skirt- her stripey knickers becoming a top- and between her legs- a monkeys head. This all now formed the impression of a character- (her legs becoming now- the characters arms.)
Phew, that was hard to describe- but the picture will show you better-

What fun Em, this little show was entralling and really well devized, by a group of marooned friends, who met at sailing school last year. Instead of being fed-up with their maroondom, they went around the Westy Wight- chatting to people who including myself- all fell in love with them- and turned up at the Piano Cafe to be entertained by them.
They finished with a round of 'Thank-you's' to all who had made them welcome.
I didn't want them to go home!
Hope they come back next year Emily.
Well that's my lot for today Emily- I'm off tomorrow to pick up a miniature Camper-Van, and have a surprise instore for all you girls when I visit at Christmas.
Your ever-loving Grandmother,

GiGi xxx