The annual get-together to sing Carols around the Christmas tree on Tuttington Village Green went ahead this year in relatively mild and dry weather. There was many a Christmas bite and mulled wine to lubricate the singers who numbered 30 or more. Thanks go to everyone, including the TTs, involved in organising this popular event. A collection was made for the local charity Nelson’s Journey which supports bereaved children.
After the event, a scrawled note was found on the Green…
“I think I must be lost. I’ve been going around in circles ever since the other two disappeared in strange vehicles. One of them entered something called a ‘taxi’. It disappeared so quickly I couldn’t see it for dust! The other left in a similar mode of transport. I tried to attract their attention by squeezing a small bladder that produced a loud and irritating noise on the cronky old travelling machine with two wheels I’ve been left with but to no avail. I think they’ve gone for good and my glittering burden is becoming, well, burdensome.
And now I come upon a strange scene in a wild and remote part of this foreign land. It is dark and the shapes of people can only just be made out through the gloom. There is a tree festooned with tiny twinkling lights of all colours. Many people are gathered around in a group. They are holding pieces of paper and are muttering and wailing in low voices while a small box in front of them plays musical sounds.
I move closer making sure I am not detected but the attention of the congregants is suddenly and mysteriously redirected toward one of the group holding a stick that seems to amplify his voice. From the low chatter about me I come to understand that the one speaking is called The David. Perhaps he is from *that* city and I am travelling in the right direction after all. The David seems to thank many people and the crowd respond by clapping politely but quietly in gloved hands. A few unruly souls whoop for reasons beyond me. And then, the magical bowl is brought out and the youngest person is required to draw lots but I could not determine why. There was more whooping and quiet clapping. Perhaps some winter rite will be exacted elsewhere in this strange village called Tuttington.
Then the food plates are brought around by hand maidens. I surreptitiously obtain one of the delicacies and I am led to understand from the nearby chatter that those confected by one ‘Jenny’ are to be greatly revered. I taste one of these so-called *mint spies* and indeed they are truly toothsome but I detect none of the mint they promise. The food is followed by a warm and spicy liquor that is making me a little unsteady but luckily I have not been detected by the curious natives of this place.
The music starts up again with requests elicited from the crowd. But I feel sorry for a little old man to one side of the main group whose repeated requests for a song about kings lands on deaf ears.
But time is getting late and I must continue my quest. And lo, in the south-east I spot a light in the sky that is twinkling but I detect a whirring sound as well. I will follow that as it takes me toward my next destination in the hope that I might discover once more my two other regal travelling companions. So, Onward, Onward! To Zanzibar!”