Journal

Vann to Midhurst

A few songs, the hunt for water, friendly people, curiousities and all…read more for details:

small-will-ed-map-temple-winds2

reading the future in a piece of tree

small-ed-woods-post-vann

Edward in Wood

(more…)

Fine things people have told us

This is a list of some of the lovely words sent to us by people from all over the world. It is, we suppose, a list of testimonials, a sort of passport, or proof of validity.
In truth, it is support and inspiration for us, the food that will keep us walking. Thankyou all for these beautiful words and thoughts.
It is not getting dark. We think we love you.
small-oak-michelmersh

Oak in new leaf at Michelmersh, the old Forest, Hampshire

(more…)

When the Dunsfold Pub caught fire…

On route to the little village of Dunsfold, we stop for a drink at a promising looking fountain, but find it has been allowed to run dry.

small-dead-fountain-pre-dunsfold

the refreshment of wayfarers is alas no longer a national priority

We ponder awhile about starting a campaign to reinstate the free waters of Britain, before realizing that we have plenty going on anyway. So we save that idea for another day, or another inspired person (you?).

We spot an organic farm shop nearby, and sing a quick song for the lady there, who throws us a handful of veg in exchange.

small-organic-farm-shop-pre-dunsfold

The organic farm shop are willing to trade

Then along we stamp, and into the village of Dunsfold. Will’s mum is driving West this very evening, and has a rranged to meet us somewhere, so we decide the village pub is as good a place as any.

We sing a few songs, and then suddenly a man rushes in, saying “Your chimney’s on fire!” No-one seems to blink, and all drink on steadily. The landlord curses and grumbles, pops outside, then resignedly telephones the local brigade, who duly pop along in full regalia.

small-chimney-fire-dunsfold-pub

The local firemen quash the flames

The do their counter-incendiary magic, and we carry on singing.

small-fire-engine-dunsfold-pub

Doorman Will ushers in the fire-stoppers

Will’s ma arrives, buys us a plate of food each, and as we sing a couple more songs, and enjoy the donated ale, she rushes around to the locals saying “That’s mys on – and i’ve brought him clean underwear.”

It’s all pretty rock and roll.

small-3-boys-dunsfold-pub

Will, Ed and Ginger drink merrily while the pub burns

The pub then let us kip in their garden, which seems the easiest and best option, and we sleep good and heavy. At 3 in the morning we are awoken by the landlady’s daughter, who has driven from Canterbury, and has been locked out. “Mum! Mum! Wake up and let me in!” she cries. Village nightlife is always a thrill…

Staying in Vann

Getting to Vann was a rushed affair. We had a certain time to be there, which is always a troublesome pre-arrangement. We climbed over rivers and through barbed wire churchyards to ensure our not being late.

standing up was not an option

standing up was not an option

a quick emergency stop before Vann

a quick emergency stop before Vann

in the gardens of Vann...

in the gardens of Vann…

the house itself...

the house itself…
Will likes it...

Will likes it...

Ginger stands resplendent

Ginger stands resplendent

A bee panics him...

A bee panics him...

"Buzz Off" he cries...

"Buzz Off" he cries...

free o' t' bee

free o' t' bee

Vann is the name of a beautiful old house, near the vilage of Hambledon, on the boundaries of 3 counties. It was partly built by Lutyens, and has gardens designed by Gertrude Jeckyll.

Frogspawn in the lake

Frogspawn in the lake

singing for our flapjack breakfast

singing for our flapjack breakfast
the beech hedge interior

the beech hedge interior

Beastly and the Beautiful...

Beastly and the Beautiful...

a helping fraternal hand...

a helping fraternal hand...

We stayed here through obscure but open connections, and enjoyed 2 nights in the luxury of a bedroom each.

We paid our way by giving 2 breakfast concerts, and an afternoon’s deer-fencing in the hazel coppice over the road.

Deer fencing Edward

Deer fencing Edward

Give him a hard hat, he thinks he's a pro...

Give him a hard hat, he thinks he's a pro...

Will and the friendly fence

Will and the friendly fence

Vann is near to the village of Hambledon, which is a fine little community. Local postal services were closed down by the nu-labour govt, so the community responded by bravely taking it on themselves. Now, most villagers volunteer a few hours a week to staff the premises, and the community benefits from a small store and post office that they pay for by their own work and investment.

So after singing to French ambassador’s wife and pal, and the gardener, we went and sung for the Llama trekkers in the Merry Harriers pub in Hambledon. Then we sung for birthday-partying children. And we also sung with Ross, a local wizard and morris-dancer. He taught us such savoury songs as ‘the cuckoo’s nest’, which is good and unsuitable for most occasions, a classic gossamer-veiled innuendo song.

The Merry Harriers pub owners

The Merry Harriers pub owners

Ross the merry morris-man songster

Ross the merry morris-man songster

Vann, and Hambledon, were fine places to stay. As ever, we almost didn’t want to leave…

and don't forget...

don't forget...

Farewell to the good people of Vann...

goodbye to the good people of Vann...