Jo Bell and I will be perfoming together again on the evening of 8th December in Northwich Library (7.30-9pm). This is likely to be the last of Poets in the Library as the format and venue are set to change in the new year, when we will move to a pub and include a workshop beforehand. The reading on Wednesday is therefore extra special. It will be very Christmassy and include wine and mince pies.
The material will include lots of food related extracts as Jo and I love food. We look at Christmas past and include work by Charles Dickens, Alison Uttley and Thomas Hardy. There’s lots of interesting historical information Jo researched, and poems about Santa Claus, presents, and booze.
Here’s an example of the sort of thing we are offering:
From Alison Uttley’s Country Things
There was an interchange of mince-pies between friends. The housekeeper at the Castle sent from her storeroom a few mince-pies, very small and puffy and delicate. They were for gentlefolk and as we tasted them we could see them served on silver dishes to the Squire’s company. Our own mince-pies were large, and bursting with mincemeat. We made scores of mince-pies in patty pans of antique mould, and the mincemeat came from the big stone jar which stood on the pantry bench. Everybody had to eat one at Christmas, — carol singers, guisers, even the beggar who came to the door and the pedlar with his pack. There was friendly criticism of the mince-pies we received from the houses of our friends. We made our wishes as we ate them, and we compared their merits. There was rivalry among them, and discussions about puff pastry or short pastry. All these small presents were moving to and fro before Christmas, leading up to the great day, keeping us in a state of excitement, as we prepared for the birthday of the Holy Child. The giving of Christmas-boxes made a bond between all classes of society, we shared the same pleasures, we had the same expectations and joy over simple things.