One of the best parts of being a curate here has been doing things I never expected to be involved in. The prime example is the pantomime last weekend. When I arrived last summer I was told (by my grinning vicar) that I would be in it – and after being a bit sceptical at the start, I have thoroughly enjoyed it.
The panto itself was Cinder Ella – note the ‘small but subtle difference’ – which was based more on the German version but adapted to incorporate some local Martley character. For example I was Rev Hastings, one of a long line of Rev Hastings in the area – but there the historical roots ended, not least because I played him more as an eccentric professor…
I was part of a very talented cast who gave a number of memorable performances – it’s almost unfair to single anyone out but Andy and Tony were unforgettable as the ugly sisters, and Douglas was a wonderfully whacky Colonel Currie. The play was enormous fun to be part of, and we got some very good feedback from those who’d been to watch (including a review by my friend Neil Fix).
The weather has finally turned wintry – which offers some small comfort for the farmers as the frost will kill off some of the bugs that have been enjoying the damp. This is a scene just down the road, on the way to Hilltop Farm – note the spire of Wichenford church in the distance.
Shortly after taking this I noticed a rather showy fieldfare trying to forage. There’s been a large flock of fieldfares and redwings in the orchard at the back of the village but despite their obvious presence they are very elusive for a photographer.
As it happens another fieldfare settled upon an easier option this afternoon, and started to guzzle an apple I’d left out… and was just about tolerant of my camera pointing at it.