"Music Hall" is a big event in Barford. Tickets are hard to come by, we were unable to get tickets for love nor money last year, as we were too slow on the jump.
The day tickets go on sale there is a mad rush, and punters form an early morning queue outside Jane and Rod's house -- as early as 7 a.m.! You would have thought it was tickets for the Rolling Stones, or the like.
The DEB and I are flirting with the idea of joining the Drama Group in 2010. I stress we are only flirting with the idea. It could be fun, though.
The week following the Music Hall was the Church Christmas Dinner, another fun-filled occasion with the requisite annual Christmas pantomime featuring more stage acts but a number of different performers than those in the Music Hall. Talent, upon talent in these parts.
The highlight of the Christmas Dinner is the the featured entertainment provided by the highly musical Williams family, Barford's answer to the Von Trapps. They are simply amazing.
I failed to mention earlier the annual Harvest Supper that happens in early autumn, another Barfordian excuse for wine, good food and merriment.
Wine, Food and Merriment seem to be common themes, and another wonderfully recurring element is our resident Magician and Man of Mystery: "The Great Barloni".
(Surely every English village has its own Magician?)
Speaking of magic, a couple of enchanting events that are now fixtures in the DEB household Christmas traditions: "The Nutcracker". This year, we saw the Vienna Festival Ballet perform The Nutcracker in Leamington Spa. Fabulous.
There is something about "The Nutcracker," that always takes me back to the golden days of my childhood.
I first saw "The Nutcracker" at the age of 7, at Ballet Arkansas. My sister performed in it as one of the Flower Maidens in "Waltz of the Flowers."
That was back when people knew how to dress for the theatre, and my memory of it is coloured with little girls with satin bows in their hair, wearing lush velvet dresses in dark, jewel tones; shepherded by lean, elegant women in furs, pearls, and diamonds, smelling of Chanel No. 5.
Whenever I see "The Nutcracker", I am there again, 7 years old; and I cannot help but cry.
Laughter is also part of our Christmas tradition, and the past two weeks have been utterly hilarious. We saw Marcus Brigstocke in Warwick, and got to meet him after the show. He is a very tall man.
This week it was a road trip with the DEN (Darling English Nephew) to Birmingham to see Russell Howard live at the NIA. Russell Howard defies description. I think he is a tremendous comedian, but also a brilliant social observer/commentator. And, he's just plain funny.
The weekend was capped off last night by a wonderful Christmas concert at the Warwick Arts Centre by Kate Rusby. She's a doll, and the show was a real treat. She performed a series of old English carols, and was accompanied by her band and members of the Coldstream Guards.
It was a magical evening, that really got us in the Christmas spirit. And as we came out of the Arts Centre, we discovered a smattering of snow!! Holly Jolly Joy!
Festivities continue today with an afternoon Carol Service at St. Peter's. (The DEB is doing a reading, I shall be there as the proud, beaming Wifey!)
Handel's Messiah, a few remaining Christmas cards, tree decorating, and baking still to done!!! Holly, jolly indeed!