Wednesday 23 December 2009

A William Barnes poem for Christmas

Gosh, going flat out here, and the weather is doing its best to put a spanner in the works. It doesn't help matters that our son is working Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, so we have to try and get him in, despite the awfully icy roads . . .

Anyway, today the wreath got made, some baking done, a new clove-studded orange begun (so will be just right for next year!) and the meat got from the butchers. The venison is so local we could almost see if from his shop! We decided we would have wild boar sausages for Christmas breakfast, as we eat our "lunch" around 4 p.m. normally (OH doesn't do a big lunch . . .)

The weather is still awful - we have had a hoar frost, snow still on ground, then rain, then more snow and now it will all freeze into glass tonight. D is meant to be in work on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day - deep joy, at having to try and get out in that, but at least the Council came and gritted our hill today, after Next Door had his tractor in the ditch yesterday, trying to take some steers to meet the transporter at the x-roads. Fortunately the trailer with 8 beasts in stayed upright.
Here is Honey, sat in the snow and ice covering the pond, obviously wondering what all the fuss is about!

Hoar frost on the way back from Llandeilo this morning.

This is the base of the wreath, made from pliable lengths of willow, four or so tied together with string to make a rough circle, and then many other bits incorporated going over and over the base and finally tied with string all around. Then, as the weather was horrid out, we walked as far as the front wall and gave the ivy a short back and sides, and started poking one end of the ivy into the wreath, and again, going over and over until all the string was covered. Then small dried slices of manderin were tied into the wreath with very fine florists' wire.

Here is T getting fed up with poking cloves into an orange, which will be just right for Next Christmas!

The finished wreath. We added a few loops of goldy-beige ribbon to the bottom, and a lop at the top and it's hung in the porch now.

Here is a William Barnes' poem for Christmas from the wonderful book (William Barnes: The Dorset Poet, Poetry and Prose) which cost me £4.50 this morning (and I had £3.50 in credit!) :


I do seem to zee Grammer as she did use
Vor to show us, at Chris'mas, her wedden shoes,
An' her flat spreaden bonnet so big an' roun'
As a girt pewter dish a-turn'd upside down;
When we all did draw near
In a cluster to hear
O' the merry wold soul how she did use
To walk an' to dance wi' her high-heel shoes.

She'd a gown wi' girt flowers lik' hollyhocks,
An' zome stockens o' gramfers a-knit wi' clocks,
An' a token she kept under lock an' key, -
A small lock ov his heair off avore 't wer grey.
An' her eyes were red,
An' she shook her head,
When we all a-look'd at it, an' she did use
To lock it away wi' her wedden shoes.

She could tell us such teiles about heavy snows,
An' o' rains an' o' floods when the waters rose
All up into the housen, an' carr'd awoy
All the bridge with a man an'' his little bwoy;
An o' vog an' vrost,
An' o' vo'k a-lost,
An' o' pearties at Chris'mas, when she did use
Vor to walk hwome wi' gramfer in high-heel shoes.

Ev'rt Chris'mas she lik'd vor the bells to ring,
An' to have in the zingers to hear em zing
The wold carols she heard many years a-gone,
While she warm'd em zome cider avore the bron';
An' she'd look an' smile
At our dancen, while
She did tell how her friends now a-gone did use
To reely wi' her in their high-heel shoes.

Ah! an' how she did like vor to deck wi' red
Holly-berries the window an' wold clock's head,
An' the clavy wi' boughs o' some bright green leaves,
An' to meake twoast an' eale upon Chris'mas e ves;
But she's now, drough greace,
In a better pleace,
Though we'll never vorget her, poor soul, nor lose
Grmfer's token ov heair, nor her wedden shoes.


  1. This didn't land in my in box as usual for some reason, so glad I found it.

    Like with you the weather here is treacherous and the local road {the A1} was closed for a while leaving me kicking myself for not having got the lovely G a bag I wanted for her yet.

    Still, got to Edinburgh this afternoon and did most of what I wanted and the food shop is all safely stowed now. Still no bag though - grrr

    Hope you and yours have a great Christmas. Looking forward to hearing whats been going on from the bloggers.


  2. Your wreath is absolutely beautiful - love the combination of the ivy and slices of manderin.

    Our roads here are pretty lethal too - skidded my car off the road and bent the front wheel badly - scary stuff.

    Hope you all stay safe and warm over the hols!

    Willow xx

  3. Thank you for the William Barnes poem BB. They`m still talkin` loike that in the deepest Dorset villages, as you know.It will be a sad day when local dialects are gone.

    Your wreath is pretty. Not sure I shall get one done this year as the willow is alternately frozen or soaking wet.

  4. The wreath looks beautiful :)
    Our weather is atrocious at the moment, freezing rain on top of packed snow and ice! Treacherous! On top of that I have an appalling cold, thanks to the lovely children at school! I'll soon build up quite an immunity, I expect!!!

    Do take care and have a wonderful Christmas, love and hugs to you all :)

  5. Have a lovely Christmas with your family,I hope your roads stay usable,We have snow which is unusual! xxx

  6. I really like the wreath you have made, have a lovely time with your family, Goosey x

  7. Thank you everyone. Merry Christmas to you all. I am about to put Christmas on hold as I have come down with a cold/chest infection. Perfect timing - NOT!

  8. Oh no--you just got over your go-round with the flu/cold! I'm sorry to hear this!
    Horrid weather here, also.
    Stay warm and be well.
    Re the dialect poem: I listened to The Archers decades ago when they were broadcast from Canadian radio--didn't one of the old codgers talk with that accent?