Oh, how I wish my camera were mended!! This is where we went yesterday... this is the top half of the billboard poster I received in the mail!
It was held at one of my favourite
places - Rufford Park - the grounds of an abbey dissolved by Henry VIII. Part of the abbey still stands and the barns and stables have been converted into shops, cafes and seminar rooms. I'll be taking my batik class there in July.
So believe me, it's the most magickal venue, and yesterday was a magickal event...
As we walked from the car park alongside the lake, we were greeted by the sweetest lady with feathers in her hair, making puppet heads. She asked if we had any rubbish in our pockets... Sam and Nick turned out sweet wrappers and cinema tickets from Fracture last Saturday night. She had a tin full of found objects and she was going to adorn the puppet costumes with them. She put Sam and Nick's 'treasures' in a envelope with their names and said she would name the puppet she was making Sam - he just beamed from ear to ear...
As we continued along the lakeside path, we saw signs to a theatre in the woods would would be hosting a Beltane mystery play at noon. We passed mysterious sculptures and totem poles, and as we drew closer to the abbey grounds we could hear bands playing and children laughing...
In the abbey ruins, we found stalls where you could make your own beeswax candles (Esther made one in the shape of a little mouse, which we duly collected half an hour later after it had set!), where people were selling gorgeous bowls made from recycled beer and wine bottles, hand-knitted sweaters, and artwork made from found objects... I was in HEAVEN!!!!!!!!
We then walked into the main square surrounded by more stalls (handmade soaps, homemade cakes, a camera obscura - which Esther had great fun with sketching a part of the abbey!), but in the centre was the most amazing thing - a travelling Insect Circus!! It was like something from the Victorian era. There were automata and cool handcranked toys to play with. Then a wonderfully resplendent ringmaster stepped forward and hailed us to stay and watch the performance... and out came folk dressed in amazing bug costumes - wasps, beetles, earwigs... - and they 'performed' balancing acts, juggling, and other death-defying feats!! It was hilarious and sooo magickal!!
The most amazing-looking woman performed magic tricks with her 'pet' earwig. She was soooo beautiful she would stop traffic, and her arms and back were covered in tattoos!! Oh, how I wish I had photos to share with you!!
We then had venison burgers for lunch, watched Morris men, played splat the rat, guessed the weight of a handmade rug, and a whole series of other bizarre, quirky things... It was a day FULL of oooohs and aaahs, and it was such a joy to be there as a family!
I have such a treasure-house full of magickal images from this spectacular day, and I just hope I've been able to describe enough to share a glimpse with you all - it was a truly blessed, inspiring, fun day!!!!! All held in honour of this most traditional and magickal of celebrations - May Day!!