Heavens! Ascot and Wimbledon have been and gone and already I’ve noticed the evenings are dark a little earlier than two or three weeks ago. All through the winter I look forward to the spring and summer and then they are here and then they are gone and it’s back to short dim days and iffy weather. I definitely have a thing about sunlight – or maybe daylight and the lack of it – technically called SAD and standing for seasonal affective disorder it certainly makes me feel sad as soon as autumn approaches. To give autumn its due it does have some good points – the colours of the leaves as they change from greens to red and golds and browns, the smell of bonfires and frosty mornings and so on but as its still just about July I’m not going to think about autumn for at least another month or two and concentrate on what’s left of the summer!
When I was little – and that’s quite a long time ago – Encombe Fête was held every other year. I’m not quite sure why – maybe it was an after the war thing. Anyway, all the village got involved and it was quite an event. Daphne Scott opened the house to visitors and encouraged everyone with their stalls etc. by donating to each one and then on the day going round and buying it all back! It was a lovely happy day in idyllic surroundings and the weather co-operated by always being dry and sunny!
A few years ago, George Pitman told me that he had been reading up on Encombe Fête in the 1920s when Eric Scott lived at Encombe and apparently after the fête the lake was lit up and the villagers danced to the village band. It’s all changed rather a lot over the years and the sale of Encombe House meant that the fête has now ended up as Kingston Fête held around the Church – probably not the best place for a fete! Over the years it has got harder and harder to run as people have moved or died or just got older or lost interest.
We were hoping to hold another fête this year but the lack of support generally is making it quite a difficult task! The future of Kingston Church is quite uncertain at the moment but, whatever happens to it, I am pretty sure the building will still need maintaining and repairing and heating and so on and to do that money has to be found each year from various fund raising events! Whether you are a church goer or not it is quite often a useful building with people round about for weddings funerals and christenings!
There have been two weddings this month in the church and also a funeral. George Pitman who lived with his wife Rosemary at the Old Post Office for many years and who was very much involved with the church – and the village generally, died this month. He was a lovely man who for a long time wrote the Kingston Notes for the Dubber and did them much better than anything I could achieve. He always managed to find some personal bits of news about people living in the village and as he had been a headmaster for many years his notes were very well written indeed. He will be very missed not only by his family but by all the people who knew him and loving thoughts go to Rosemary and the family at such a sad time.
On Sunday, the ladies from NADFAS came to the church to talk about the work they had been doing for some years refurbishing the altar frontals and we served teas and Roderick played some music and although all sorts of other things were going on locally quite a nice few people came into the church to have tea and look at the display. Thank you to everyone who helped.
It’s always interesting talking to visitors to the church – one visitor told me that he lived on the Isle of Wight but that his family – the Grant family – were local to the area – in fact one of them had their name on the role of honour in the church. It is so nice that people can trace their families back like this. And finally thank you to Hubert Beavis who phoned to tell me that he can remember picking butterfly orchids for his mother too – rather proves something doesn’t it – that when we were all picking armfuls of the things back they came every year!
And a final finally – this little poem for all the walkers I see walking along the hills not really looking at the amazing views and looking rather grim. It’s called The Rambler and it goes like this:
See the happy walker – he doesn’t give a damn he’s got his compass and his boots, – he’s never in a jam.
See the happy walker – he’s got his haversack it’s filled with useful odds and ends – hanging on his back.
See the happy walker – he’s out in wind and rain he grits his teeth and marches on – he looks like he’s in pain.
See the happy walker – so keen to ramble on he’s forgotten what he’s walking for – Just going, going, gone!
And that’s just what I’m going to do. Happy August