This traditional event was alive and well in Hastings, East Sussex, England over the May Day Weekend. Four days of festivities involving parades, dancing, singing, drumming and eating were carried out in the highest temperatures known at this time of year for a couple of decades.
A bit about the tradition, from Wikipedia:
Jack in the Green, also known as Jack o’ the Green, is an English folk custom associated with the celebration of May Day. It involves a pyramidal or conical wicker or wooden framework that is decorated with foliage being worn by a person as part of a procession, often accompanied by musicians.
The Jack in the Green tradition developed in England during the eighteenth century. It emerged from an older May Day tradition—first recorded in the seventeenth century—in which milkmaids carried milk pails that had been decorated with flowers and other objects as part of a procession. Increasingly, the decorated milk pails were replaced with decorated pyramids of objects worn on the head, and by the latter half of the eighteenth century the tradition had been adopted by other professional groups, such as bunters and chimney sweeps. The earliest known account of a Jack in the Green came from a description of a London May Day procession in 1770. By the nineteenth century, the Jack in the Green tradition was largely associated with chimney sweeps.
The tradition died out in the early twentieth century. Later that century, various revivalist groups emerged, continuing the practice of Jack in the Green May Day processions in various parts of England. The Jack in the Green has also been incorporated into various modern Pagan parades and activities.
Enjoy the very amateurish photos taken while juggling cap, drinks, food and sunglasses…
It’s 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning and a perfect time to write. Yet the sun is shining for once this September so down goes the pen/laptop lid and it’s walking shoes on and a flask of coffee in the backpack and a trek along the wonderful promenade at Hastings. Of course you have to dodge the joggers and dog walkers but it was a beautiful scene this morning. And there’s not much better that seeing happy dogs running in and out of the sea. Even tempts you to get one yourself…
Perhaps this afternoon when the muscles start to seize up and the feet ache, the laptop lid will be lifted and the fingers start to type. Or maybe I’ll just fall asleep with a good book.
Stopping for coffee in Costa on a Thursday with the market in full swing, perfect for relaxing and people watching. Made the mistake of forgetting Costa do three sizes of cup and so used to going for the ‘large’ in other coffee houses where that size equates to our usual mugs at home. But here ‘large’ means a double handled cup with a soupful of coffee – very nice coffee but so much to drink.
Costa was surprisingly quiet at 10 a.m. so got served and a seat easily, by the time we left there were still seats available but a growing queue at the counter. Couldn’t log on to their hub for some unknown reason so had to wait until at home to write this up.
Overheard a fascinating conversation between a student daughter and her mum and dad, obviously getting ready for her return to university (yes, I’m old enough to call it ‘university’ rather than the awful ‘uni’). The girl talking nineteen to the dozen, clearly looking forward to going back yet also nervous hence her machine gun dialogue. Mum and dad were quieter, no doubt pleased to see their daughter’s enthusiasm yet sad to see her leave home again.
Stopped off on the way home and bought two small pictures in a charity shop after looking everywhere in department stores and shops for some simple pictures for a small room. Amazing what you find in charity shops these days.
Time for lunch – at home – then must try to complete some writing today or at least a final edit of my piece for Monday’s Writers Group meeting.
Lovely sunny warm day here on the south coast, just far enough away from the ‘haze’ of Eastbourne. What better way to start Bank Holiday Monday than a latte on the seafront and jotting ideas down on a notepad. Plenty of people to watch and plenty of conversations to overhear for potential ideas in writing.
A gentle breeze to cool the warming sun helps too although after a while it can make you sleepy and less likely to keep writing. Easier to listen to a well spoken couple discussing their South of France holiday while munching on their bacon baps…
And on the beach families are appearing as they discover Hastings does actually have sand when the tide retreats…
The title might sound like the opening to an exciting story but in fact it’s a phrase that takes me back to when I was about 8 or 9. A stroll along Hastings Beach made me remember the words, they were what a friend and I shouted at the waves as they broke around our feet.
Kevin was an American boy the same age as me. I believe his mother and father had divorced or possibly his mum was a widow and she, being English, had brought Kevin back to the UK. They were renting, I assume, a property in Tenterden High Street, some distance from where I lived and so I’m not sure how we became such good friends, admittedly only for a short time before he and his mum moved on. Maybe we sat next to each other or our mums met at the school gate. Anyway, I remember Kevin coming around to play on at least one occasion and another time my parents taking us to the beach, presumably Hastings as that’s where we usually went. We stood in the water and tried to be King Cnut, sending the waves back.
I can recall Kevin playing in my garden and picking up one of my toy rifles and saying to my mum that it was similar to the one used to kill President Kennedy. I’m not sure it was, mine was a cowboy-style gun but it showed how that event was still in a young boy’s mind some 2 or 3 years after the assassination.
Kevin moved on with his mum but not before leaving me one of his toy cars, a large wind-up red monster that made my Dinky and Matchbox ones pale into insignificance. I kept it for many years. Being boys we didn’t think to exchange addresses, maybe Kevin’s mum wasn’t sure where they were going, but we lost contact and at that age you just move on to the next day and the next game and the next friend. Having moved back to that town Tenterden a few years ago I used to often walk past the terraced house where Kevin and his mum stayed briefly and it would bring back memories. Kevin would now be a sixty year old guy, I wonder if he still remembers me and ‘Go back, Charlie, go back!’