Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Furry Dance

Albert calls for the Furry Dance to begin - with Listmom Yvonne as his partner at the head of the dancers!

Dydh Da, Oll -

Attention, Partygoers, the Helston Town band director is askin' that we settle the order of progression for the Flora/Furrey Dance.  Now, as I recall I was to lead with ListMom as my partner (don't give any any stuff 'bout her not bein' 'ere, she monitors this thing quite closely in case of any misbehavior), then the lovely and talented Jayne Mansfield and her partner (come on lads, don't 'ee be bashfull, step up and claim the prize).  Now speak up all of 'ee, 'o's dancin' with 'o, then?  Let us get this lined up proper.  Two-couple sets all in line.  Mind the music.  Way for the Mayor and 'is gentlemen to lead us off, then the band.  Out through doors of Coinage Hall, down Coinagehall Street, and 'way we go!  First stop for sherry and biscuits at Penhellis. definitely aged-friendly!!

Albert's maids!
Step off noon tomorrow, at local time - noon at your locale, that is.  Keep with the music and some respect for ancient tradition, please.   Ladies, dont 'ee forget the required big hats!

Albert of Anvower Mill, which is just up the way in Lowertown

The Furry Dance has begun and the parrots have arrived with Greg in tow looking tall, dark and handsome. They stopped off at Penhellis when they heard about sherry and biscuits but are quite fit for dancing now.  Jayne Mansfield is dancing with one of the 2 Royal Canadian Mounted Policemen I brought with me. Dressed in their red serge, black riding pants with a yellow stripe up the side and wearing brown boots up to the knee they are quite an attractive sight. Mistress Agnes looks interested in the other one having now recovered from being squashed.
The parrots are all togged out in their top hats, white ties and tails.
They don't dance well because they keep stopping to lean over to see
themselves in the toes of their black shiny boots. Somewhere they have found a couple of pretty Parakeets to dance with. They probably stole them our of a pub along the way.
I can see most of you dancing along and looking elegant, the music is grand, however some are still busily knitting scarves and making colourful feather boas for the Grand Ball.
Leaping Lorna the Cornish Child

Right on, then, the Furrey Dance weren't quite the shambles I feared 'twould be, with so many of 'ee bringin' in guest personas who 'ave no connection to Cornwall and dawnt even know 'ow to spell it or where 'tis.  Just as well I neglected to invite Captain Bligh this year.  'ee can be ever so fussy 'bout things bein' in proper order.  Even 'is pilferin' of supplies for the Bounty and 'avin' things re-directed to 'is 'ome were done in the customary manner of the time.  'twas considered part of a senior officer's pay packet then, d'ee see.

The lovely and talented Jayne Mansfield wishes to thank her partner in the Furrey for 'is solicitousness in not 'avin' once trod 'pon her toes.  Di'nt get 'eer name, mate, but well done, I d'say.

After the dancin', I turned to NPR to listen to Cambridge choristers and the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols.  Someone straighten me out on this - is it still being done at the Cathedral in Truro?  I would much like to hear it as 'twas originally done there in 1880's.
Couldn't find the Truro service Albert, but here's the Cambridge full service

Anvower Mill, Lowertown
Albert of Anvower Mill  -  just up the river in Lowertown where someone really should tell my Uncle Ronnie he's been virtually hosting me this past few days

Luscious Lorna, I see you dancing with Gregory and you say you usually dance with all the men and the next thing I know you'll be dancing with Butch, as I sit sadly in the corner clutching my wallflower.  Perhaps I need a drop of Mother's Ruin brewed by Mistress Agatha and Very Great Aunt!  Oh dear me
Duchess Daft

Left, Duchess Daft needn't have worried, Butch turned up just in time to claim her for his own!

Well, there you go again, moaning and groaning. O.K. I won't dance with Butch, but if you sit there clutching a wallflower he is not likely to ask you to dance. Here is my advice: Put on your party clothes (what are you
wearing by the way, not those old boots, I hope) and then go get him!And stay away from that Mother's Ruin, you will end up getting lost again! Was it you who got mired in a gigantic mud-puddle one year or was that Connie?
The parrots are out looking for a horse and a 747 - hard to miss a 747 providing it is somewhere in Cornwall and not in some other country.  Same with the horse, it could be anywhere - what colour is it?
Lady Lorna Learning that Furrey is not spelled Furry.

Who's for getting together for song after the dancing revelry?   Marie-Gertrud and I have a few Cornish folksongs prepared which I am  sure a few at least of you will know to join in on; or any Christmas 
carol you want.  How many of you know the St. Day Carol, probably the  most widely known Cornish carol?
Party on.

Boyd R.

O.K. Boyd, you lead, start us out on The St. Day Carol, make sure there is a part for the tuba.
The parrots love singing, they like "Going Up Camborne Hill Coming Down"...They can't talk but they can sing. Well, it is not really singing, more like whistles and screeches...!
For the parrots

Lilting Lorna

PErfect!  The usual bass line in The Sans Day, or St. Day, Carol would  fit tuba just fine.  And Goin' Up C. Hill is for everybody, parrots  included.  Do they try to imitate your lilt?  If so, your description I suspect 
is not doing them justice.


Luscious Lorna:

Everything is more than OK now as there I was sitting watching Butch when along came Sundance and bowed politely and asked me to dance. Just between you and me, he ain't half bad either!  I'm not sure why the parrots are looking for a horse.  Butch hasn't lost his horse, and nor has Sundance.
We're looking for a small fluffy blue bear with one eye missing that poor little Tuck is very attached to and he lost it while following the horse when Butch was giving Mata Hari a ride and they were singing Raindrops.
Please have the parrots find Blue Bear as Old Scruff is still nursing Tuck and while he's a very kind dog he really wants to be down at the pub singing bawdy songs with his deep cigarettes-and-whiskey voice.
Have the parrots sprouted any feathers yet with all this Cornish air and stargazy pie, not to mention fish and chips?

Merry Christmas, Duchess Daft

Julia (our wonderful West Briton transcriber) posted a poem which is very apt for our over indulgence on Christmas Day, and you can hear it recited by actor Victor Buono here

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve and the party begins in earnest, and on to Christmas Day & Beyond

From George Pritchard's Christmas Page

Star Gazy Pie Recipe
For those of you keen to make your own.

Ingredients: Pasty, 5 or 6 cornish pilchards,
2 or 3 boiled eggs (sliced).
Seasoning. Parsley.

Method: Prepare Pastry.
Put fish whole, but cleaned in a pie dish.
Add sliced eggs and seasoning.
Lay pastry over, pushing pichards heads through.
Cook in hot oven until golden brown.
Place sprig of parsely in each fishes mouth.
Serve piping hot.

Check out Tom Bawcock's Eve

King Michael & his entourage arrive safely
King Michael's Naga Boat
Well, all that bad weather and a strong headwind really delayed us somewhat,
but we have now arrived at Helston.  Tha Naga is not happy as his beard is
covered in ice and there is snow on his tail.

So what we gonna do now?  I'm off to the pub to celebrate.  Anyone coming?

Lilting Lorna replies:  I don't know . Is it haunted? If so, I have to call up from the dark ages of long ago my ancient uncle Zeph Job, he hangs around old haunted pubs a lot shouting Aaaaarrrgghh! Just to scare virtual visitors. Also the parrots do

not like Nagas, especially ones with beards. Come on over to the Furry Dance tomorrow, we could do it as Albert says, according to tradition. I have the big hat and you will have to wear a nice suit. Let us know what you will be wearing.
Lilting Lorna of Furry Tradition

A few pints later at the Blue Anchor and I'm feeling like a Furry dance.  My
RALPH ancestors should be there enjoying their Helston tradition.  Knees up!!
(Fancy a game of skittles at the Blue Anchor, Michael? 
Old Bowling Alley
Mr W. Walton, curator of Helston Folk Museum, throws the first ball to mark the re-opening of a 300 year old skittle alley at the Blue Anchor Inn, England, in 1957.)

From Michael

It's Thursday and Christmas is practically upon us.  I have been so busy that I haven't kept you all informed of the whereabouts of the Double Decker Bus.

We picked up passengers in Syracuse and Skaneateles (Is that how it is spelled?) in New York on the way by.  I am terrible with names and I have forgotten these.  Awfully fun folks though.
We picked up Richards, Boyd Stewart and got him nicely set up in the infirmary.  The nurse, Margetroyd Spinglebottom who is determined to see folks up and about went to work on him and he was down for afternoon tea in the conservatory this afternoon.   I am not sure when we cleared Newfoundland, it was lost in the clouds.  We picked up Mary Hester in Kingston on the Thames and will be landing shortly n Helston.

I hope we haven't missed anything of consequence but it is getting awfully late.

M Keith Abel

Hi Keith

Thanks for "picking me up" thought you had forgotten all about me!!  Hic! Hic!  Have drunk half my keg of Brandy as I was getting so cold waiting for
The infirmary inside the London Bus
you! Hic! Hic!  It is lovely and warm in the Infirmary so just going to have a snooze - wake me up when we get there!

Re titles my full one is : The Chamberlain, Her Supreme Excellency. The Elite Destroyer of Gwinear which I have now shortened to Her Supreme Excellency of Gwinear
aka Mary Hester

It's thrilling to be in the town of my ggg-grandfather's birth, and  the accommodations are more than could be imagined. My only concern, 
as one who has done only a little driving in the UK some years ago, is  those square-sided gutters along the sides of Coinagehall Street which  I fear could capture car or bus wheels and immobilize a vehicle.  Glad  we have an expert driver.

The nurse practitioner, whom I have been calling Marie-Gertrud --more euphonious, and she doesn't seem to notice-- is bossy but obviously competent, and actually a trained singer, so now I'm a bit intimidated 
about asking her to sing with me, but I can't miss the opportunity.  
Looking forward to sharing the remaining time with you all.
Really nice meeting Mary Hester, too!

Boyd R.

My gg-grandfather James RALPH was born in Helston in 1824.  His family moved to Camborne shortly afterwards and he lived the rest of his life there.  But RALPH is a common Helstonian name.  I wonder if James ever witnesses the Furry dance?

Michael of the Light Foot
Is this him Michael? (from 1851 Census, courtesy the Cornwall Online Census Project, a BIG THANK YOU!!)
137,Centenary St, James Ralph, Head,M,29,,Mason,Helstone Cornwall,,
,,Eliza Ralph,Wife,M,,34,,Camborne Cornwall,,
,,James Harris,Sonlaw,U,15,,Copper Miner,Illogan Cornwall,,
,,Mary J. Harris,Daulaw,U,,10,,Camborne Cornwall,,
,,Catherine Harris,Daulaw,U,,8,,Camborne Cornwall,,
,,William J. Ralph,Son,U,2,,,Camborne Cornwall,,
,,Edwin Ralph,Son,U,11m,,,Camborne Cornwall,,

Oh my goodness Mistress Agnes is pinned down under a giant squid! Can we put calamari on the menu? She was hoping for Gregory Peck as a furry dance partner but will settle for a chronologically challenged hirsute, overweight chap in red (but did anyone invite Santa?) As for hats for the dance Mistress M has her coif - very demure. I'll go for the dead bird I wore for my daughter's wedding (sorry should have whispered that in case the parrots heard.)
I've found Blue Bear - he is keeping a low profile with the knitivity sheep and the mousehole cat. Having said that the sheep are heading toward what's left of the home brew - I need to knit a shepherd without delay.
Scheherazade Queen of 1001 knights sounds great as a title if I'm allowed (but can I spell it?).  I particularly like the sound of the 1001 knights (although didn't 1001 used to be a brand of toilet cleaner?). I could even share a few of the 1001 knights around if anyone is short of a partner.

Janet prospective Queen of 1001 knights

Dear Mata Hari:

Oh poor little Tuck, he must be heartbroken!  Luckily I gave Old Scruff a good bath this morning and combed his long hair for he heard Tuck crying piteously and he took him on his lap, rocking him and gently rubbing his little back and now Tuck is almost asleep with only an occasional sob to be

As soon as I can manage to get Lorna away from smooching with the very handsome, dark-eyed Gregory P, I'll ask her to give the parrots a whistle and have them fly very low over the road that Butch's horse took and with their sharp little eyes perhaps they'll spot it. Perhaps while they are doing that they could keep a lookout for the 747 too!
I had hoped Butch would choose me as his partner for the Furry Dance, but he didn't, so now I'm partnerless and am sitting in a corner feeling very doleful.  Guess who he picked - Etta!

Warm wishes, Joan

Beloved Cornish cousins / /  I wanted to take a moment to salute you  and your families on this holy night. Merry Christmas to you. I have  included a link to a small presentation I received from a missionary 
associate from many years ago in Grenoble, France, Elder Frank  Johnston. He now is a retired music educator in Olympia, Washington. 
Peace be with you. / Scott Connell, Aberdeen, WA, just singing in the 

Thanks Scott - wonderful link!!

Ditto Scott's Christmas greetings, from near San Diego, California. I would love it if all our Cornish Listers sent greetings from wherever they are around the world. May there finally be peace in the world in our lifetimes.
Jan Rickard Davis
Lemon Grove, California, where we don't need any more rain for awhile, thank
you very much!!!!!

Great idea, Jan! Happy Solstice to all from beautiful Placerville, California in the heart of the gold country. Lovely, sunny day today and I could smell someone barbecuing steaks a while ago as I was giving the dogs a post-prandial run. Christmas in Northern California . . . More rain due tomorrow, but carpe diem, as the saying goes.HoHoHo!Kitty

Merry Christmas Cousins from Garden Grove, Orange County, California!

Jan Mackey

To all on this List
My very best Wishes for a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Kind regards, John


'Him in Scarlet at Chelsea'

To All on the List from Brian of Yass, Australia.
Sorry That I can't be with you this year  when you are having so much fun
but your progress to the Party is an entertainment in itself!!!

Brian Millett

Party Revelers,

From your Listmom - hometown Sonoma, California but currently with my daughter in Bellingham, Washington.

Yvonne Bowers

Merry Christmas, Mom!


Gngyhgk jaccsss 
From Geoff Holloway

Whas that you sed Geoff my son ????


To all my friends on the Cornish List, Nadelek Lowen hag Bledhen Noweth Da, from Albert of Anvower Mill, Howlek an Gath, and old Traveler the Wonder Dog - gone but not forgotten.

Wishing all of my far-flung cousins a Merry Christmas from east of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, Canada where we are having a very mild and enjoyable Christmas season.  :."*""^ * " :"*" :-) and that is Merry Christmas from the 2 little red featherless parrots.

Wishing everyone of my dear Cornish cousins a Merry Christmas from Denver,
Colorado where we are having a snowless Christmas which very rarely happens.

Lorna mentioned the number of John's we have and along with JohnO, JohnC, JohnZ and JohnT, I have another one. Does anyone remember John Lerwill from years ago on the Cornish List?  He was quite a poet at party time! Last evening I was reading a book by A.K. Hamilton Jenkin and he mentions Guise Dancing which took place between Christmas Day and Twelfth Night in St.Ives and Penzance when young people paraded the streets dressed in strange costumes.   I may have posted about this many years ago.

Perhaps we might hop over there and join the fun before the New Year?

Wishing you the best of absolutely everything, Joan

I have only been able to catch up on the list action of the past couple of
days tonight (27th) because my server unexpectedly cancelled my service..
said I had been off-line too long or some such thing. An hour on the phone
with a tech didn't help. Suddenly, I am back on. So here is what happened
during that time:
I lost the parrots. I searched all over Helston but could not find them. Far off in the distance I could hear singing and the oompa, pa of a tuba.I clambered over the hills, losing a few more sequins along the way until I could see a 747 parked on top of a huge bus where there a grand ball taking place. There were the parrots wearing their top hats and tails admiring themselves in their shiny round-toed boots between dances and hopping from shoulder to shoulder as dancers passed by. The Magnificent Geoff (he is Cornish) doffed his hat and I joined him in a whirling waltz. We whirled and whirled and.....well, um, er, here I am back at my computer wishing all of you a Very Happy New Year in 2011 and many genie reunions with your
Just plain Lorna

Merry Christmas to all .... and to all a GOOD NIGHT!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Two more sleeps ...

Hi Duchess and all

I'm putting up my hand to jump on the back of Butch Cassidy's (Paul
Newman's) horse with you.  We might have to put Nipper and Tuck (plus Blue
Bear) on leads to make sure they follow us.  Nipper will be wearing his
Santa hat, Tuck insists on wearing his reindeer antlers.  Both of them carry
a tune well so they can lead us in 'Raindrops'.

A much better use for a tank - love the pom pom!

A lovely Aran chair
I haven't noticed that there are any knaughty knitters attending the party
this year but I'm bringing my size 4mm needles and my stash of wool with me
just in case.

Chris, Nipper and Tuck in Perth WA - on the way to Helston

Very fetching!
Dydh da, oll -

We've passed the tip of DelMarVa, and off into the open sea.  Be there late this (Wednesday) evening.   Did we agree on day for the Furey?  I'm thinking the 24th so's not to conflict with Tom Bawcock's Eve.   Which of you gallant gents will partner Ms. Jayne Mansfield?  Requires a redoubtable gentlemen of refinement and I shall be checking credentials.  I shall be leading the event with ListMon as my partner.  Morning suits for the gentlemen are optional, else I'd wear my father's old Methodist Minister preaching suit.  I'll be wearing my very proper Cornish National Tartan kilt and a green Montrose doublet.

Of course you all remember the Furey, even if you've not been invited to the May 8th doings by the Official Committee to Exclude The Less Worthy.  Form up in line in two couple sets.  Step, step, step, hop (or skip), repeat.  At the change - the start of the B music - gentlemen pass each other by the right shoulder to turn the other gent's lady. Pass right shoulder again to turn your own lady. Repeat all, and continue until the Helston Town Band needs a respite and we make a pit stop for Sherry and Biscuits.

MaryPat, I'm sure you'll be besieged with offers to be your partner.  Since these are all Cornishmen of unquestionable good breeding and all that, I've no doubt you'll have you choice.   Only one gentleman for the dance, dear friend, you really must share the wealth.

Who's on for a side trip to Goonhilly Down to see Mr. Marconi demonstrate his "wireless telegraph"?  Ooo yes please!  Can we get one of those old fashioned char a bancs? let me see ..... here's one!!
Albert of Anvower Mill
Carol - you'll miss the JBIZC if you don't hang on to that buoy in the Delaware Bay!

Albert:  I have forgotten how to say Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in Cornish.  Dydh da. Carol  on my way to Helston

Carol:  it's "Nadelek Lowen hag Bledhen Noweth Da"  - please excuse what may be archaic spellings.   At Least I have the pronunciation right.  Weren't you supposed to be hanging on to a channel marker bouy to be picked up as we sailed past?

Albert of Anvower Mill

Confusion in Delaware Bay

Where were you?  I got picked up more or less on schedule. Y ou were nowhereto be found, and the rest of the "crew" were very evasive about your napping through the loading of me and the crabs I always bring. I hope the crates don't fail as they did one year. I still have the scars from the claws.  Perhaps you had a memory of that, and it made you suddenly feel sleepy. The crates were inspected before we were allowed on board.  I felt as though I was going through airport security. That's me in the snow attire without
shoes and catcher's mitts on my hands.

Boyd's a fan of Ian Marshall too!

Enjoying  the blog, and much appreciative of the link to YouTube for  some samples of Cornish songs from Ian Marshall.  I have his CD, but it adds so much to see the man perform!  Thank you!
Glad you liked it Boyd!

Bishop's Rock Lighthouse jogs Duchess Daft's memory

Hi Janet and Everyone:

You mentioned seeing Bishop Rock and I was interested in Jennie's photo of it on the Party web site.  As you may know, I keep a web site directory of stonemasons, builders, etc. from Cornwall and Devon, and I was in touch with the daughter of one of the mason's who worked on the lighthouse and how terrifying it was.

Matthew Andrews was a stone man who worked on Bishop Rock, Wolf Rock, Longships and the Beachy Head lighthouses.  The stone for the lighthouses was cut on land and then the blocks were shipped to the sites for assembly.
Mr. Andrews' daughter Rosa remembered him talking of the waves breaking over the stumps of the lighthouses as they were built, and how difficult it was at times even to get out there.  As the building reached the lantern stage, the spray in a storm whipping up over the top was terrifying enough, but as the waves receded for the next onslaught "it was like looking down into the jaws of hell."

Seeing Jennie's photo made me understand exactly how he felt!

Best wishes, Joan (alias Duchess Daft)

Hi Joan

I can see it all.  Last time I came past the Wolf Rock in the Scillonian, in a Force 9 gale with the wireless operator shouting "ten more minutes and every man for himself!!!", the waves were breaking right over the top of the lighthouse!  I wondered what it felt like being shut inside!  They were very brave men.
Happy Christmas to you all.
Pat in very hot and humid Perth, Western Australia.

Julie the Camborne Girl pops in
Hi Joan,
I just caught a glimpse of the message subject line and thought I would mention the fact that my brother was, at one time the lighthouse keeper on Bishop Rock as well as other lighthouses in Cornwall.
Cheers and have a great Christmas
Julie the Camborne Girl

Dear Julie:

Lovely to hear from you and your brother must be a very brave man.  All that isolation and waves breaking over the Rock - I cannot even imagine it. Were you ever able to visit him there?

Have a very Merry Christmas, Joan

Merry Christmas to all the Lighthouse Keepers (of whom there can't be many left what with new navigational aids - thanks Andrew for the following)

Lighthouse keepers are a special breed, much celebrated in fiction,  theatre and film; so are lighthouse builders.  To get some idea of  what they went through, as well as the methods and materials  employed, I can commend "The Lighthouse Stevensons" by Bella  Bathurst  (Flamingo/Harper Collins, London, 1999, the paperback ISBN  is 0 00 653076 1).

The builders of the Bishop's Rock lighthouse were following in a  grand and heroic tradition which started with the Pharos in  Alexandria, with the first to be built in Scotland, the field of  Bella Bathurst's book, being the Isle of May, in 1636.  Her book  deals in some detail with four of the engineers of the Stevenson 
family (ancestors of the novelist Robert Louis Stevenson) and a half-dozen or so of the many lighthouses which surround the Scottish  coast, including one with the delightful name of Muckle Flugga, and 
is an engrossing read, especially having regard to the techniques  available at the time and the absence of any efficient form of power  assistance.

Love those Lighthouse Keepers!

Hi Pat:

I agree completely with about how very brave the lighthouse keepers were and it was so interesting to hear from Julie the Camborne girl that her brother was on Bishop Rock.

Have a Merry Christmas and I hope we'll see you at the ball and how about joining us for the Raindrops ride?

Best wishes, Joan (alias Duchess Daft of  Kistle, Kissle, Kissel, Kisstell, Kiss-me-quick ancestry.)

The Duchess loves her Christmas present from Andrew

Hallo Andrew:

Thank you so much for this information!  "The Lighthouse Stevensons" is on Amazon and I've just ordered a second-hand copy for one cent plus postage. I'm also looking at another of her books called, "The Wreckers: A Story of Killing Seas, False Lights, and Plundered Shipwrecks".  Love to read and I'm delighted to have found an author who is new to me!

Merry Christmas, Joan (alias duchess Daft"

Check out the National Maritime Museum Cornwall and find out about their upcoming lighthouse keepers exhibition

Hi Joan,
I didn't get to see my brother when he was on Bishop Rock as I was still in boarding school in Penzance. However I will see him tomorrow and ask him to write something about his experiences. Maybe he will, if so I'll post to the list if people would be interested.

More from DD, a Knaughty Knitter

Hi Chris, Jennie and Everyone:

I'm definitely a Knaughty Knitter - I am a DVD film addict and cannot keep my fingers still while watching, so I knit all year round, mainly scarves, gloves and hats for the homeless and only yesterday took a bunch down to the Rescue Mission.  I have my needles with me and I'll knit cosy scarves and gloves for Nip and Tuck as it has been snowing in Cornwall and they'll be shivering coming into a cold winter.  I believe Carol might be a knitter too?  And Janet?

Then there is the matter of the featherless parrots, poor little souls.  I think we'll have to build them up with nourishing fish and chips at every meal which should finally grow some feathers on their chests.  One the other hand, I do wonder if Lady Lorna serves them enough whiskey?

Just what the little fellows need!

I've emailed Butch and he's looking forward to having you on the back and I hear that Jenny is a Paul fan, so he'll take her too.  He says that if there are any more volunteers for the Raindrops ride then he'll have to bring
Sundance along!  (I wouldn't mind one little bit!)

Way to go!

Merry Christmas, Duchess Daft

Steve Saunders wishes us all Christmas Cheer - and we wish you the same Steve!
Just a few kind words to you all, wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas & a merry new year.
With many thanks for all your kind help, with out you I would not have known my Ancestors. Keep up the good work.
Steve Saunders

Janet applies for a title
How are we all doing? Mistress Agnes and I rowed past Mousehole at dawn - we've picked up the Mousehole cat on the way and are heading for Helston. Unfortunately Mistress Agnes is trying to practice furry dancing, which is making rowing rather difficult. Da da de daa daa daa da de da de de da de da.
Yes I'm an honorary knitter - will begin on garlands for the dancing. In past years pets have donated their fur for us to knit Mousehole cat is looking wary as Mistress A approaches him with the shears - any offers?
Found this one complete Janet - those lambs look quite juicy!
Maybe I could bring the knitivity that my daughter has fashioned? It is, as yet, minus a shepherd and an ox but otherwise all present. The knitted sheep might be a problem with no shepherd but we could always add lamb to the menu if they are troublesome.
I'm afraid the fish and chips are no more - Mistress A wanted to keep up her strength for the rowing so she ate them. Actually I think she was trying to soak up the home brew.
Janet - I wasn't a participant in the year when everyone was enobled - I really think I should have a title - maybe I could be a sultana?

Janet, what about Scheherazade, Queen of 1001 Cornish Knights?  If you like it, it's yours.  Happy Partying - Cousin Jennie

Carol tells of the time when titles were conferred on the worthy (they had to perform a difficult task perhaps?) - we're giving them away now, all it takes is a contributionI received a title many years ago when John (last name?) who is no longerwith us was awarding them.  I think we had to earn them in some way.  AnywayI have forgotten mine, but the memory is sweet.  Carol with the Maryland
(Listmom Yvonne, can you tell us what Carol's original title was?)

Wasn't he "John O"?

Jan.  Yes, that's it, John O. I believe he was Canadian. Great fun. Never met an obnoxious Canadian, but some must exist - the ones who aren't Cornish.


Carol.  Do I remember that he passed away a couple of years back? Jan

Nadelek Lowen hag Bledhen Noweth Da to all of you Cornish listers (thank you, Albert).  Like the other two Jans in California, I've been lurking in between out of town trips.

It was John Zimmerman and Violet Sunderland who initiated the titles, after we earned them.  John O, I believe, was John Overholt and I thought he lived in the UK.  Someone else will know this.

Best wishes,
Ann Tumser

Hi Ann - Nice to see your message!
Jan Davis
It is with pleasure and some sadness to recall the brilliant JohnO who was a Londoner. He lived near the Thames River in the UK and had a great background in British History. That is how we all got our names. He came up with Royal or -near Royal Titles for all of us. Over time I ended up as Loopy Lorna, once I fell from grace as being Virtuous, quite apt. I was never allowed to sing because I wanted to do "For Unto Us a Son is Boho, ho, ho ho, ho, ho, ho ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho ho, ho ho, horn!". Neither was I allowed in the Royal Barge when JohnO, as Henry VII, or someone very like him, barged down the rivers and channels to get to Cornwall with an entourage of Royal Ladies wrapped in furs etc. His description of his cod-piece was hilarious. He was ever the gentleman with a brilliant sense of humour.
Yes, he died a couple of years ago, probably 3... and missed very much.
Loopy Lorna who is a Canadian Citizen ...but born in UK of Cornish Heritage, so I guess I fit the bill.

Gosh, Ann, I thought it was JohnO who dubbed me with a Royal ID. Maybe not, I was not among the first ones on this list, so might have missed something.  Anyway, I have decided to dub Geoff, the Australian who is being pulled around by some Cook a barrows, the Magnificent. I don't know what he will be Magnificent of  or what or why, time will tell. As Carol has mentioned, it is a sweet memory. I think I will beckon JohnO to join us at the ball. Now, let me see, Geoff the..Magnificent Master of...? Hmmmmm... Ancestral Rolls,
Polls, Lists? I am going to change it to Magnificent Keeper of the Ancestral Rolls.
Lady Lorna of the temporarily re-gained Virtue

Lorna, you are right in that you got your royal ID from John O.  John Zimmerman started giving out the titles to some list members first and later when John O. became Henry VIII and we sailed on his Royal Barge he gave me mine and yours and everyone on the barge got a title too.  I do miss John O and I hope you will get him to come to the Ball.  I remember when he mentioned living at Kingston-upon-Thames, I said that I knew it well as when I was a child I used to visit an aunt of mine who lived there, long since gone, and had such good memories of the place.  He was interested in knowing the address and he actually went there and sent me a photo of the house and was intrigued because the front door was at the side of he house.

Have you and the parrots chosen your hats yet for the Furry Dance?  There has been no sign of Connie and John T. arriving on his 747.  Wherever can they be?  Has he kidnapped her, do you think?

Warm wishes, Duchess Daft

From Carol
Lorna:  I am sure it was John O that gave me my title.  I must have it
written down somewhere in my Cornwall files. I don't remember what It was I
did to earn it. But I know these titles, while plentiful (in more than one
way) were earned. Carol of Maryland

More fond memories from Christmas Past stirs John Tremewen who's been snoozing thru the party

Hi Lorna and other old friends,

Lorna's tribute to the memory of John O prompted me to add a few thoughts:

Especially at this time of the virtual year, it's time to great homage to a
virtual Henry VIII.

But Lorna - John wasn't English! He lived in Kingston Upon Thames was a colonial! He had given some hints about his Ontario roots and I have friends in Ontario  who  had known his family back to his grandfather (I think) who was a very well known and admired Principal of a College in Brantford.

John and I swapped a number of off-list messages including the news that John's sister had introduced one of my friends to cigarettes!

I still miss ol' Henry!

Cheers and happy Christmas to all.


See, apparently I was right about John O's connection to Canada, even tho I
was wrong about his living there.  I may forget things (like where I left my
glasses), but apparently I did remember some connection.  The important
thing is that I remember John fondly (although we never met in person) and
that we who knew him on e-mail have such good memories of him. Carol will take you to the archives of the second annual Cornish List Christmas Party
Here's a tiny sample of the Great JohnO's wit and humour - how lucky you were to be in at the beginning:

"As there did not appear to be universal acclamation
for my hedgehog-flavoured(NB-spelling) nibbles,
I shall also bring some bubble and squeek! It is a
marvellous palliative for the" night before "--so I'm
told. Along those lines Joan writes:
>Better not drink too much Swanky or we'll end up in Bodmin Jail!
Best wishes, Joan<

For those who may feel they run a risk of possible/probable
incarceration,I have an involvement in the criminal justice
system and if sufficient silver were to cross my palm,I
MIGHT see if mitigating circumstances could be put
before the beaks.

The mention of silver is of course not to be interpreted as
bribery in any way,shape or form,but merely a suggestion
that the VISA system might appreciate!!!

John Overholt als The Heavenly Flier
Kingston upon Thames"

You know, Lorna, we had titles with the Xmas party and titles with the
C.I.P. thing - and I've been referring to John Zimmerman's C.I.P. *titles*.
I'm sure you know of John Zimmerman but he's (apparently) been a lurker the
last couple of years.

I'm sure many of the *old timers* remember John Coles, as well.  His
knowledge of Cornwall was remarkable and we were very close friends.


Lorna:  I am sure it was John O that gave me my title.  I must have it
written down somewhere in my Cornwall files. I don't remember what It was I
did to earn it. But I know these titles, while plentiful (in more than one
way) were earned. Carol of Maryland

Luscious (preferred name) Lorna replies
Too many Johns going on around here. John T in the 747 and no one knows where he and she have got to (don't ask). John Tremewan who revealed that JohnO was a Canadian (Colonial indeed!) - that is 3 of them! Ah, well, we love 'em all. The more Johns the merrier.
I am reporting in about my hat for the Furry Dance. It will be my usual bejewelled White Stetson with the brim flattened out and made wider by 'someone' having sat on it following attacks on the brandy barrel. I shall have it decorated by the Royal Keeper of the  Shears aka knitter of scarves
and such in her spare time... anyone want this title? It is up for grabs.
Re Royal Titles: You may dub yourselves as Royal anything or anybody -- we will believe you -- most of the time. Funny thing is, I don't remember being in Henry VIII's Royal Barge -- I wonder why? I am glad I was there though according to Duchess Daft.  I wish I could remember all of my Royal name -- it was quite long with Virtue being a big part of it.

Christmas Eve tomorrow - what day is the Furry Dance. Have I missed it? And the huge ball where Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire turn up to dance with the animals all decked out in feather boas..?
I have sent the parrots off to seek out the missing man in the party --  Gregory Peck, he usually dances with me. Sooner or later I dance with all the men... that is why I am referred to as Unvirtuous Lorna by someone at this party.
I prefer Luscious Lorna

Albert wakes and yearns for Star Gazey Pie
Now, Carol m'dear, an old fella is entitled to a nap, now'n again, ain't 'ee?   And we still haven't made it clear whether they crabs is party-goers or party eats!  That were never settled last time, with confusin' results for the crabs.

'ow many is goin' over to Mousehole for the Tom Bawcocks Eve celebration?  Can't wait for a bit of that Star-Gazey Pie.

Albert of Anvower Mill

Yes Please says Titleless Serf Janet (could that be her new title??) and Mistress Agnes
Mistress Agnes and I are up for earning titles - what do we have to do?
Janet (currently a titleless serf)

Jollity in the JB
What a night! We certainly lightened the load in the JB. Drinking the brew, and having a few of the empty casks shipped home or on to Helston, is brilliant ! Languid Lorna and Drunken Duchess Daft were so much fun! I am so glad you all hopped on for the pre-pre-party-party.

What was Mistress Agnes doing with that ... does it even have a name? Luved her description of it -- I wrote it down somewhere... It was sorrowful that we had to restrain her during the first course of dinner, oohh! the poor octopus!

From my scurrying sources, Albert ( a Prince of a Man ) was not napping when it was thought to be so. Only he can be the one to reveal his where his where-abouts were when he was ....

MaryPat ( of Excellency? )

Who also said

Yes, Janet, both You and Mistress Agnes deserve a title for sure.

What is that writing I see on the back of your left shoulder there? It is a little hard to decipher.....
It was a lovely compliment when John Travolta cried out "Sandy!" ( in boyhood exuberance ) across the dinner table to You last evening --- it gave me a moment of living vicariously -- visualizing myself as the recipient of such passionate words!


Morning Carol,

There is so much to talk about this morning! I don't know who the heck it was, but someone set up that Airport Security Game to "screen" everyone! That was all of our furry pets I believe. The ones that have fur or feathers were losing it with laughter! The parrots repeat everything they hear -- you just have to lend an ear for a minute and you have a clue to their ( and everyone else's ) shenanigans!


Kind Duchess Daft feeds the animals

Hi Catherine:

I've warmed some milk for the poor shivering cats and I've caught some fish
for their dinner, unless the Wyrm decides to eat ME for his dinner or
Mistress Agnes sees it first and eats it. She ate my order of fish, chips
and green peas and I'm very put out about it, though Very Great Aunt Grace
nearly wet herself laughing.  I think she's found a kindred spirit in
Mistress Agnes and heaven only knows what they will get up to!

Has anyone seen the lovely Jayne Mansfield?

Merry Christmas, Duchess Daft

Jan In San Diego - are you OK?

Hi Everyone:

Is anyone in touch with Jan in San Diego?  She hasn't come to the party as
she usually does and I keep seeing on TV news that there is a lot of
flooding and horrible mud slides in San Diego. Wondering if she is OK.

Best wishes, Joan

Jan in Orange County reassures us re San Diego JanHello Party Goers,

Jan Davis may be okay as she lives outside of San Diego. I believe she's
situated higher up than those who were in trouble. I've sent her a message and
hopefully she'll answer soon.

I can see that you've been having a wonderful party and wish you all:
Nadelik Lowen ha bledhen nowydh da

Jan Mackey
in Orange County by Disneyland where we are drying out

And San Diego Jan checks in with news of floods and big 'weather events' in her part of the world - hope you are all drying out now Jan, and we're thinking of you

Jan and list -
Wow, thanks for asking! I didn't realize we were in such bad shape until I watched the Weather Channel last night and then my sister called from Northern California. There has been a LOT of flooding in the usual low areas around San Diego. We get so little rain normally that when it DOES rain a lot, things get a bit dicey. The Mission Valley and Fashion Valley areas, in my opinion, should NEVER have been approved to have buildings built, and I'm not the only person who thinks that. I sold a condo there last year that I am wondering about now. Where we live, there were a lot of flooded intersections because our gutters don't have an adequate drainage system for unusual rainfall and they can't handle the run-off. But after a few hours, the water all went underground and all is well. Our house is 115 years old, with no foundation and sits on redwood 4x4s right on the dirt. We bought the house in 1997 just before the big El Nino Winter so we were concerned about what was happening that year, but all went well. After all, it HAS been here all this time without going anywhere!
I was out and about yesterday, met some friends for lunch in La Jolla 25 miles away, drove through a heavy downpour on the way home. It reminded me of the heavy rains where I grew up in Oakland, nothing more than that. We just don't have the infrastructure here to handle that much rain. Today is getting back to normal, the sun is out sporatically and no more rain expected till Saturday night, but not much.
The big worry is that Qualcomm Stadium will be "wrung out" in time for the big Bowl Game (Navy v. SDSU, my alma mater) tonight. They had crews working there all night pumping water out. A water main broke nearby that SHOULD have drained the stadium but it turned into a Football Pool, one that nobody wanted to join!!! What a mess!
Judy and I were in Grass Valley and Nevada City December 15-19 for Victorian Christmas and Cornish Christmas. From Friday till we left on Sunday, it was raining ferociously. They said 5 inches in 24 hours. Thanks goodness it was the Pineapple Express so not cold enough to snow at that altitude.
Have a Merry Christmas!!!
Jan (The other one)

Jan confesses to Joan that she's been lurking behind the potted palm
Joan - Thank you for your concern. I didn't think anybody would even miss me!!! I have been "lurking" at the party, from behind the potted palm tree over here in the corner. I was busy getting ready to go out of town for several days when the party started, then was up in Grass Valley and Nevada City for Victorian Christmas and Cornish Christmas with my sister. When I got home, I had some real estate work to catch up on and now it looks like the party is ready to break up. Darn, I missed hitching a ride with you or Connie in Utah. My surfboard is still leaning on the wall by the front door and my heated pasty slippers and Cornish plaid muu-muu are still in the closet.
You can read the email I sent to Jan Mackey about the flooding here. The bad parts were mainly in the low areas where nobody should even build buildings, old riverbeds!!! DUH!!! We're OK and doing fine. I have been out and about everyday, doing whatever I would be doing if it were the normal 75 degrees and sunny. Which is what we are all looking forward to!!!
Merry Christmas to everybody!
Jan Davis in San Diego, actually Lemon Grove, the first suburb just outside S.D.

Duchess D makes plans for Tom Bawcocks Eve

Albert m'dear, I'll join you over at Mousehole for the Tom Bawcocks Eve celebration and raise a glass or two, though I'll skip the Stargazey Pie.  Perhaps unvirtuous Lady Lorna will bring the parrots and large helpings of the Pie will put some feathers on their little chests.  I'll bring Very Great Aunt Grace and Old Scruff, the quarry dog, will sing some very bawdy songs.  Maybe Butch Cassidy will show up too and bring some of his drinking buddies from the old Hole-in-the-Wall Saloon.  Albert, PLEASE bring Jayne!

Toodle-loo, Duchess Daft

The Red Feather Boa comes out of mothballs

So there I was up on high with a Gigantic Trifle trimmed with Pasties, being drawn with rocket-like speed across the North American Continent when we suddenly exceeded the speed of light, the trifle went one way, I went the other and the parrots sped bravely on muttering something about NASA. Somewhere down below there is a part of the United States covered in trifle. We are hanging bravely onto the Red Feather Boa, it must look familiar to the 2 small parrots. Something is swishing by us, probably the Voyager on its way to Outer Space... Wow! Just a minute, I think it is Geoff the Magnificent with his Kukkabaras. I wish they wouldn't sing so loud, they've scared some tiny new feathers off  the parrots who are doing a nose-dive as Geoff and his posse pass overhead. We are descending at rapid rate over the coast of Ireland, down across Wales and into Devon. Devon? Hang a right! There, we can see the Inn coming up at rapid speed, too rapid,  watch out down below...aaaargh! Barrels and tables fly as we land. There is Duchess Daft with a small red parrot on each shoulder standing on a table with her skirts held high singing to the accompaniment of a tuba while a wild assortment of cats, dogs and a horse screech out an ear-bending chorus.  Maybe I have been knocked unconscious...
Lollygagging Lorna of the Variable Past

Carol has a flashback

I'm in! We pass through Newlyn, my grandfather's birthplace, on the way to Mousehole. My grandson was just reading about the Mousehole Cat and is fascinated by the picture of a Star-Gazey Pie.  The crabs are definitely for eating.  I've arranged ahead of time this year for the outdoor cooking essentials.  I know some of us have crazy pets, but crabs have not been one of them.

I may even stop at Paul Church where I have stood by the font where grandpaand all his sibs, also great grandpa were baptized. Do you believe those scars on the pillar are really from the Spanish invasion when they burnedthe church? Carol

Chris (alias Mata Hari ..)


Last seen Tuck was carrying him in his mouth while following the Sundance Party - perhaps he dropped him while he was singing Raindrops.  I hope those pesky pawwots haven't pwucked him up!

Chris - who has never had a Royal ID either but rather likes the idea of being Mata Hari.

Little Tuck is in for a big shock!  His favourite buddy has been eating spinach ... or something!

What a relief!  this can't be him!  Just received further info from Chris alias Mata Hari

PS - he is blue except for an orange patch on his eye (the other eye is
missing) and there is a possibility he might be a bit sticky.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Three more sleeps ...

King Michael of Lanna brings his family & I hitch a ride

I've managed at last to wake up the sleeping Naga king and Queen Aho, Lady
Eleanor and myself King Michael of Lanna are aboard and winging our way
towards Helston.  Anyone else here in the antipodes need a lift?  Shout and
we'll swoop down and collect you...

This is for Eleanor and any other little girl known to us - when I was small, there were paper dolls which you could cut out, and dresses too with little tabs to fold over & hold them on.  This lovely blog is just what you need over Christmas Eleanor .  You might even find a party dress to come to the ball in! 

And Michael, this time I knew immediately what you were talking about - but the others might have forgotten, & I can't find a good picture - can you send one in please? 

Part of the 90 Mile Beach
 I've never been in a Naga Michael, so would it be too much trouble to zoom by East Gippsland?  I'll bring the laptop so I can continue the blog, and I'll be 'somewhere on the Ninety Mile Beach'.  I'll be waving a Cornish flag and practising the Furry Dance with my cat, Tom (he's very talented and picks things up easily).  Look for the footprints in the sand.  I've always wanted to meet your gorgeous daughter too and talk about In the Night Garden.

Cousin Jennie

King Michael replies:
Changed course... swooping down the Monaro Highway, over Cann River and along the Princes Highway to Lakes Entrance...  turn sharp right along noinety mile
beach and there you are!

There are seats up there along the Naga's back.  Don't worry, you won't fall off 'cos he is magical of course.  ;-)

Eleanor says sawaadee kaar. (Which, I discovered using the magical internet, means Hello in Thai!
ขอบคุณคุณเจ้าหญิงน้อย - that means thank you Little Princess - I think!!)OK, we better get a move on 'cos the festivities will be starting very soon...

Very Great Aunt Grace joins the party with Duchess Daft - welcome Very Great Aunt Grace!

Very Great Aunt Grace
Jennie, your party web site is delightful and I love your humorous choice of illustrations.  Very Great Aunt Grace is chuckling over the photo of Mistress Agnes - she thinks she herself is much sexier looking and will stand a better chance with John T. - unless Unvirtuous Lorna with all her jewels and that flirt HSE MaryPat manage to get there first!
(I think VGA Grace is right, such lovely eyes she has!)Me, I'm not in competition.  I'll just stay quietly in a corner with Nipper and Tuck and yearning for Butch Cassidy (alias Paul)to arrive and then I'll sit in front of him on his horse (there's still room for one on the back, if any one would care to jump on), and we'll sing Raindrops Are Falling on my Head. How about you, Jennie?
The party would not be complete without Paul - the others can have John, Paul is much more my line!  What a threesome we'll make!Merry Christmas, Duchess Daft

Janet & Mistress Agnes are rounding Bishop's Rock (we hope!)

I would like to place on record that Mistress Agnes (being 420) is the older of the two rowers on the blog.
We are now heading round Land's End in freezing fog. Even I'm at the home brew. We will certainly need warming up when we arrive in Helston. Mistress Agnes is trying to think of ways to snare herself a dancing partner. With competition like Very great aunt Grace what chance does she stand? Is that Bishop Rock Lighthouse I spy in the distance or is it the glow of one of the parrots' bare little bottoms?
Put your back into the rowing Mistress A I want to arrive in time to fashion a garland for the furry dancing.
Janet - somewhere near Bishop's Rock (do hope you stay clear of those rocks Janet, it look treacherous!  Wish you had that strong smuggler/pirate chap on board!)
Mistress Agnes is remarkable for her age ... must be all that comfrey.
Thanks for the pics Janet, I shall put them in the appropriate places!  Not THERE, silly!!

Catherine and the cats on board the Wyrm seen over Kynance Cove
How's this for an approximation of the Wyrm?  Wouldn't want to risk insulting it!

I suspect what you might be seeing is the fiery breath of the Wyrm.  We are finally approaching Lizard (oops, remember Albert's campaign to have the name changed to it's original, Lis Arth = High Fortress!) after a seriously roundabout trip as the two Beasts wanted to visit various cousins throughout the British Isles and the Wyrm wanted to visit some of his relatives in Brittany as well as the dragon who he claimed lived at Dozmary Pool!  Now we just have to visit the green dragon resident in the deepest cave at Kynance and then we can head for Helston.  The cats will be glad to get in out of the cold, and hope that some kind soul might have laid in some fish (no chips) for them - they feel too frail to go mousing.  The Wyrm is well fed on Breton sheep ( though I suspect he had hopes of a plump maiden or two - I averted my eyes!) so you don't have to worry!  From now on he will behave beautifully and is, as I recall a wonderful dancer as well as a mighty hunter.  Meanwhile I need to get indoors and thaw the tuba - whisky only goes so far as anti-freeze!

More from Catherine, our Wyrm-keeper

Likewise the Nunnington Wyrm is a friendly individual - he is so pleased to get out from under his hillside (where he has been hiding since about 1000 AD) that he is always on his best behaviour.  He only eats once a year and has just feasted in Brittany so presents absolutely no risk to anyone, human or avian.  The Beasts of Bodmin and Ryedale are mighty hunters but only of rodent pests (feathers give them indigestion!) so the parrots should be fine!


Couldn't find any feathers Lovely Lorna Lamorna, will this do?
Very easy to put on! 

Languid Lorna longing to loll in Blue Ballgown
As soon as the parrots heard about Wyrms, monsters and beasts they turned
around and high-tailed it for home. I am trying to drag them back through a thick fog. Albert where are you? Are you still hanging about in that river? 
Have you made it to the Atlantic Ocean yet?  And Geoff the Magnificent, I am so glad to hear that you have ditched the old Siwash sweater and will be togged out in gorgeous array for our splendid dance at the ball. I am still planning on a blue feathered ballroom dress ala Ginger Rogers. Anyone seen a Bluebird or 2 lately?
I expect that I am over Newfoundland hoping for a break in the fog...
YooHoo down below... anyone there?
Lost Lady Lorna of Lamorna

I dunno about Wyrms, but the Naga is a very friendly beast.  He protects the
Buddha and welcomes people to temples.  He may look a little scary but he is a
good friend.