It’s a week of Steeleye Span music: #1: All Around My Hat

Attending a recent Gordon’s School carol concert, in which the school children sang the traditional Christmas carol Gaudete, prompted memories of the version by electric folk rock group Steeleye Span and Maddy Prior. This in itself was the reason for my posting a video of Steeleye Span singing Gaudete – see it HERE.

Steeleye Span, as a folk rock group, were formed in 1969, and with numerous changes to the line up have been performing and recording ever since. In the early to mid 1970’s the group saw chart success with Gaudete, and later All Around My Hat, performing it on Top of the Pops.

I’ve appreciated their distinctive British sound and repertoire, and reminded by Gaudete, have selected some five of their performances for this week.  The first is their 1975 performance of All Around My Hat.

An unequal distribution of labour – in my favour

Here are our tasks for Christmas; making and sending Christmas cards, erecting the Christmas decorations, planning and purchasing the food for Christmas, and other Christmas-related stuff I’ve probably omitted; oh, yes, presents of course.

As to the division of labour, I’ve created our outdoor Christmas decorations, and put up the outdoor coloured lights, and decorated our Christmas tree. While, my dear wife, reviewed the Christmas card list, made the Christmas cards, wrote in their dedications, and posted them, and has begun planning the Christmas festivity meals.

I reckon my share of the Christmas preparations is a lot less than that of my dear wife. But, it did take a long time to decorate the Christmas tree, which is my excuse. Hmmm, think there’s room to add some more stuff onto the tree.

Click on the image to expand, and see if you can spot the two birds. The message – Felicidades – translates simply from the Spanish as Congratulations. [Though to Spaniards it means more than that; it’s a wish for happiness, as is associated with major events such as weddings, or New Year.

We’ve sung ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ on two evenings this week

On two evenings this week we’ve been carol singing. Monday evening was at the Windlesham branch of the Royal British Legion, and yesterday evening at Gordon’s School Carol Service.

Of the many carols available, it was ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ that was the one carol sung on both evenings. Gordon’s School seem always to uncover singing and musical talent. No doubt the result of a strong music department that develops latent talent.

Gordon’s School choir gave stirring performances of Gaudete, a popular early traditional Christmas carol, and Carol of the Bells by Peter Wilhousky, another popular choral carol.

Thought you might like to listen to well regarded renditions of both carols, Maddy Prior and Steeleye Span singing Gaudete, and the huge Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing Carol of the Bells.

Lovely Christmas concert by the Band and Corps of Drums of the Royal Logistic Corps

On Friday last we were in the warmth of the Tela Theatre at Princess Royal Barracks to listen to the Band and Corps of Drums of the Royal Logistic Corps‘ Christmas concert.

Tickets for their concerts soon sell out, so keep your eye on their Facebook page for upcoming concerts, then contact Sue on 01252 833 744, or email to to book your seat.

We were in a party from the Camberley & District Probus Club, and we even got a mention from the Director of Music. We also provided an audience participant to the Twelve Days of Christmas, where cards are held up to remind everyone of the words. Always amusing.

The Band’s performances are always engagingly different. My wife particularly liking Christmas Bolero, arranged by Barry. Me, I like anything played by their big band ensemble, with a tuba adding a deep low pitched sound.

Two members of the Band are leaving, Maj Lauren Petritz-Watts, the Director of Music, and Cpl Faye Duckenfield after 12 years in the Army [second from left in the photo]. I took a very short video – see below – the Corps of Drums segment of the concert.

Surrey Heath Veterans & Families support group December newsletter

Always happy to promote the good work of Surrey Heath Veterans & Families – Listening Project, a small tightly-focussed support group that helps veterans and their families find their way through to the myriad of support services.

Here’s their December newsletter. To expand, click on the upward facing arrow at the bottom right-hand corner.

Christmas trees and Christmas decorations

A busy start to the week, resulting in an expanding waistline. Perhaps abstinence in the new Year might reverse the trend ……… must [will try] to take time out this week for some exercise.

Tuesday this week involved a trip to London for a lunch, at London Marriott Hotel County hall, and afterwards a trip to Liberty’s in Regent Street. The Regent Street Christmas Lights were the same as last year. Well, not quite, they’ve called the lights, re-imagined. Meaning they’re the same but with subtle changes.

Yesterday its was the Camberley & District Probus Club Christmas lunch, held at Pine Ridge Golf Club. Over 100 members, wives, widows and guests joined our one monthly lunch in the year where wives and partners are join us, accompanied with excellent food, humourous speeches, and general good bonhomie.

Here’s my seasonal selection of photos.


More knitted poppies needed for Lightwater’s Poppy Cascade

Here’s a message from Derek Browning, honorary curate of All Saint’s Church in Lightwater, and Chaplain to the Windlesham branch of the Royal British Legion.

A special commemoration is needed for 11th November 2018, the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. To mark this day date our aim is for a poppy cascade of knitted poppies. [See the article in Roundabout magazine, March 2017, in the image below – click on images to expand]

We’ve received around 2000 so far, and in the New Year we will begin sticking them to a netting background. If you would like to involved in this please let me know, you would be most welcome. Our closing date is for the knitted poppies is the end of August 2018.

If you have been knitting or crocheting, and would like to get rid of some (to make room for more you understand), please drop them on my front door step (16 Guildford Road), or give me a ring 01276 474345. You can also drop them into the Parish Office on weekday mornings between 9.30 and 12.00. There is no upper limit on the number that we can use, the more we get the better the cascade.