Saturday, April 21, 2007

shepherding the flock

Jon and I went to North Devon recently to celebrate my Gran's 80th birthday. Lots, lots and lots of the Shepherd clan were present.

It was a good occasion, clearly meaning a lot to my Gran. We stayed in B & Bs, slept on floors and travelled around the windy Devon roads all weekend in her honour. She is a full-time carer for my Grandfather, now wheelchair-bound and increasingly lacking in confidence. I don't think he knows who I am any more, which is strange.

My Gran's feisty and sharp, though, and enjoys company (and being the centre of attention, I suspect!)

Jon discovered a Shepherd tradition he knew nothing of: Flanders and Swann. He had his head in his hands as young and old raised their voices in unison to tunelessly serenade my Gran with 'Mud, Mud Glorious Mud' at the party......

Good job he's already committed!


Anonymous said...

I'm a Gnu, I'm a Gnu
The g-nicest work of g-nature in the zoo



PS Flanders and Swann online:

Jonathan Potts said...

Put yourself in the picture: you go to an 80th birthday celebration; there's a nice buffet meal in the local village hall, a few words said to mark the occassion; lots of family there, all very nice and pleasant. Then, just as your trying to digest food at the same time as entertaining younger cousins-in-law (who are clearly fascinated by this big, strange, new attender at all family gatherings) someone stands up, gets everyone's attention and says

"Now we're all going to join together in a chorus of 'Mud, Mud, glorious mud'".

What?! We're singing ... why? Huh? Is this usual behaviour?

At this point in the procedings, the Potts family, depending on the quantity of alcohol drunk (which in the case of the Shepherds was none - flipping Baptist puritans!), would usually fall asleep en mass or go for a walk. So you can understand why I find this a bit strange.

...mind you, not as strange as Anna's Mum hiding all our milk in a jug at the back of the fridge without informing Anna or I. So I was eating dry cereal and drinking black coffee whilst said milk went slowly sour.

...or serving up cold mulled wine, but that's another story. As is the one about the 3-year-old National Geographic magazine I got for Christmas... What is this bizarre family I've married myself into???!!!

Martin said...

Follow me follow, Down to the hollow...

I actually think that this would serve as quite a nice marching song or lullaby, so it should be perfectly possible to combine Potts and Shepherd traditions at some future event.