DITTISHAM VILLAGE VOICE APRIL 9

 

We will have to wait for the Meteorological  Office statistics but it would seem that this was the  coldest Easter for years but at least the sun came out on  the Sunday.  On Good Friday Bridget McCrum graciously opened her garden at Hamblyns Coombe and the rain held off for a couple of hours allowing people to walk around and see her fabulous sculptures in a dream backdrop. The property is situated almost exactly opposite  Greenway.   It is a garden of many faces like her sculptures.  There are meadows of wild flowers, pathways overhung by rare species of camellias, rhododendrons and azaleas but sadly many were not in  bloom yet,.  However, that did not matter because to hear Bridget talk of her art and the importance of  natural backdrop to her sculptures  was beauty enough..  This was part of the celebration of 50 years of South Devon being part of AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty).  If you want to learn  more about the events and activites going on all year go to www.southdevonoanb.org.uk  I have just noticed that the acronym has got turned around in that website address.  There was also an odd turn around in this  month’s Devon Life which called it ANOB.  I am sure it is not a socially exclusive society?    Later last Friday there was a delightful informal service in St George’s Church. Adults and children had chosen a really interesting variety of readings from T.S. Elliot and Manley Hopkins to Tibetan Book of Living and Dying  to AA Milne. The well behaved dogs Boris and Bramley decided not to recite anything this year.   An excerpt from The Vigil  a play written by Ladislaus Fodor in 1949 and  still very much a  play for today was read brilliantly by Ronald Travers.  It has a theme as old as man himself: Is there life beyond death? Are we redeemed by God's love or is this just a vain hope fostered by the erroneous belief that Jesus rose from the dead? The play  probes deeply into the facts concerning the Resurrection.   There were about a hundred and fifty people in church on Sunday morning and my request to Above that the daffodils would be out was granted and the churchyard and flowers in the church looked lovely. If you have some time in the next few weeks do visit Coombe Farm Studios as there is a good exhibition there at the moment with stunning new woodcuts by Paul Riley.  I never realised the work that was involved in a woodcut.  The design is painstakingly incised into the wood using a series of gouges.  Then, the watercolours are painted directly onto the block carefully balanced and rubbed onto the wood. This is transferred by hand onto specialist paper and rubbed through using a baren and more paint can be put on to add atmosphere and depth. Having to wet the paper on both sides and attach it to a big sheet of conservation board with wallpaper paste is not an easy task.  It could all end up a lumpy gooey mess.  There are also  textiles, jewelry and paintings by other West Country artists on show.. The gallery is open Mon – Fri ten to five and Sunday by appointment.  The next course is called  Being Bold With Colour which starts on April 19.  Call Tina on 722 352. In my last village voice I said I would write about health and safety nonsense.  It is a bit old hat now, I know, but  I will leave you with this found on the packaging of a supermarket’s easter egg hunt kit which contained pretty boxes with ribbons – “choking and long cord  strangulation hazard”.  I googled yellow ribbon and discovered that it is a symbol  for  the American International Suicide Prevention Program.  So maybe my cynicism is ill founded.