May Blog 2021

Back to 24th April, thanks to Paul & Marilyn, we all settled down for the virtual Film Night to watch the Panto ‘Robin Hood’.  Great fun, which was back in 2015, along with many faces that sadly are no longer with us.  Hopefully the Film Nights will soon be back in the village hall for real, enjoying all that goes with the evening, especially the choc ices!!

Book Group met on Monday 17th May for the first time ‘outside’ in Chris’s lovely garden by the pond.  What an absolute treat, wonderful.  We discussed ‘Arthur & George’ by Julian Barnes, which all enjoyed giving an overall score of 7.3.  Most of the time waterproofs were taken on and off whenever the sun came out, interspersed with umbrellas being put up and down!  Lots of chatter, plenty of laughter, coffee and cakes, lovely, thank you, Chris.

Sunday 23rd the weather held for Rogation.  Everyone was welcome to join the walk from All Saints in Deane to Holy Trinity & St Andrew in Ashe, onwards to St Nicholas in Steventon and finally to St Michaels in North Waltham.  Such a lovely lot of walkers plus plenty who met at their churches for the short service.  The Rogation precession is one of the last traditions in some villages which has stepped back well into the Middle Ages, when vicar, wardens, choir and villagers would ‘beat the bounds’ to remind everyone where the boundaries lay and if court records are to be believed, to shift them a  few inches further out!  Sadly Rogation processions are largely a thing of the past here in Britain, but not in the Parishes of North Waltham, Steventon, Ashe & Deane!

The afternoon of Tuesday 25th the weather stayed fine and ‘Yes’ Steventon Singers were able to have their first singing session after all this time outside in Paul and Marilyn’s garden.  How wonderful and long may it continue, weather permitting, until we are able to sing once more in the village hall.  We all brought our own seats, also water if needed to help the voices along after all this time!  However, all sounded good, don’t know what the neighbours thought!  But we all thoroughly enjoyed it.  Thank you, Marilyn and Paul.

The Bluebell Morning was once again sadly unable to go ahead due to Covid 19, however, Julian produced with the help of Ian, a most remarkable and beautiful virtual tour.  One of Julian’s descriptions of the bluebells was…. ’The bluebells throughout the woods were like an impressionist’s painting.’  Thank you so very much Julian, superb, and yes St Michael’s Hospice needs donations even more and can go direct to St. Michael’s Hospice, Basil de Ferranti House, Aldermaston Road, Basingstoke, RG24 9NB. Please ensure that you include ‘Steventon Bluebell Morning’ your full name and address so that they can acknowledge your donation.  Hopefully we can all enjoy the Bluebell Coffee Morning in the beautiful grounds with Julian next May.

Everywhere certainly looks superb, vibrant greens and now the gorgeous scent and beauty of the May blossom.  Larks singing up on high, nesting birds soon to have their young fledging.  There has been a barn owl most evenings from 6.30 onwards, that for 15 or 20 minutes, flies low just above the hedge, up and down the road, quite amazing and spectacular to see.  Gardens are looking wonderful with the surge of growth and veggies are all doing well, unfortunately that also means the lawns and with all this rain has meant it is longer than normal… Will be interesting to see how many lawns will have some parts left to go ‘wild’  for the butterflies and insects this year.

As we all know and with great sadness, Joyce Bown passed away peacefully in her sleep at the end of April, her funeral was on 12th May at St Nicholas, Steventon.  Such a great lady who was so involved in all aspects of the village, so full of knowledge, Jane Austen being one of her favourites.  Our condolences go to all the family.

However, on 22nd May the wonderful event took place of the marriage of Joyce’s granddaughter Emily to Edward, or as he is affectionately known, Woody.  All the flower ladies who decorate the church, arrived from 9.00am the previous morning.  Chris, who had done such a splendid job organizing all the flowers, greenery and even gave us all our individual list with the number of flowers etc, also provided us with coffee and biscuits.  Thank you so much Chris.  So marvellous to all be together for the first time, very special, by the time we had all finished the church looked absolutely stunning.  Saturday arrived, and it was fingers crossed for fine weather, which it was apart from a short shower.

As a small choir was allowed, we were in the perfect position.  Emily looked so very beautiful as did her sister Hannah as Maid of Honour, along with the Bridesmaids and Flower Girl. Everyone looked wonderful.  A truly happy occasion.  Many congratulations Mr & Mrs Bridgeman.

Lunchtime already, how time flies when you are having fun.  Warm weather on the way, hurray, BBQ’s, maybe time sat out in the garden in-between weeding etc!   At least the Bank Holiday looks good, hopefully half-term also, enjoy.

Monday 24th dawned amidst a lot of expectations,  the first Coffee & Cake morning, at least 20 friends and neighbours arrived which caused great excitement.  Lots of chatter and catching up, delicious cakes, wonderful assortments, all served with beaming smiles.  Thank you so much Rachel, Tamsin and Marilyn.