With the arrival of May, Spring was highly anticipated. Well, much like the Pacific Northwest, Spring tends to play a game of hide and seek over here. Mostly hiding. Since we went West to Chester the weather has returned to cool, wet, and windy. Occasionally a day will perk up and everyone will feel the heat of the sun, but nothing really permanent yet.
But, May does have other surprises for me. At school our Maypole event was a big focus the past two weeks, culminating at the Waltham Village Fete. Our school owns not one, but TWO maypoles! One for practicing on at school, and one for the Maypole Dancing, which this year was held at the Village Hall as part of the Village Fete. So, all the classrooms had to practise maypole dances for about two weeks in preparation for the final event. The two older grades also got to practise Morris Dances, and a couple Morris Men (?) came to our school to lend their hand with live music and coaching.
At our last school practise I, of course, was snapping pictures away documenting this for myself, much to the chagrin of my staff. Yes I did help, but also wanted to make sure I had some good photos too!
All our weekends are busy these days. A couple Saturdays ago we drove up to Derbyshire to see Hardwick Hall, built in the 1500s. There are actually two halls, one in ruins and one still standing. We are members of National Trust, which manages hundreds of historic sites across the country. Hardwick is co-managed with English Heritage, which manages mostly old castles and ruins. Being members gets us in to all the places for free once we joined, and the price of two visits to two places for our family equals the membership. We have been to many of their sites and really like how they preserve and present English history.
Hardwick is a Manor House: huge, opulent, cold, majestic.
“God and my right shall me defend”