Thursday, January 28, 2010

Jane the Phoole Returns to Festival of Fools at Muncaster Castle 2010!

I know. I KNOW! It's TOO FANTASTIC! Phooligans, Phoole Friends and everyone who Got Behind the Phoole in 2007, I owe this to you. If you hadn't encouraged and supported me back then, I'd never have made it to Muncaster; and if I'd never been, I couldn't be invited back. But yesterday, a delightful exchange of emails with Sadie confirmed I'll be performing walkaround at Muncaster Castle's Festival of Fools 2010!

That means I have a lot of chronicling of the last trip to get through before a very firm departure date of May 28. Where were we? Ah, yes -- tea with Owl.

Muncaster Castle is very far north. Have I mentioned that? Where I live, in Milwaukee, WI, in May, the sun rises around 5:30 p.m. and sets around 8:00 p.m. And it had just never occurred to me to look up what time the sun rose and set at Muncaster Castle. We were shocked to discover a completely alien light rhythm: in late May and early June, the sun rises around 4:45 a.m. and sets around 9:40 p.m. I am not used to living in a world where the sun is up that late.

My writers.

So that first day, when I was out romping the grounds all day, I think I was waiting for the sun to lower so that I could go back inside, because that's the performance day to which I'm accustomed -- you're out until sunset. Sadie and other castle staff kindly shepherded me inside after the gates closed, and I couldn't believe how much daylight still remained! I'm used to riding the last rays of sunlight out, and then schlepping toward civilian clothes in semi-darkness. Mad place.

On one of the subsequent days, Sadie took Jenny and I for a trip to view the tallest mountain in England. I failed to write down or remember the name of this mountain, but I think it might have been Scafell Pike. In any case, I'll get to find out for certain in May, but here are some of the pastoral scenes that rendered Jenny and I quite blissfully stunned.

A Fool's progress.

There and back again.

Insolent sheepies.

The deepest lake in England, conveniently located next to the tallest mountain.

Jenn joins A-E in vista

The newest gate in Cumbria

Sheepies!

Distracting horizons

This way to pastoral romance

Listen to the babbling.

My Flickr page has many more images of this entire excursion, all snapped by the intrepid Jenny "Jiggins" Higgins.

It was lambing season when we rolled through the winding country lanes, and the fields were full of leaping, kicking, baaaaing lambies. Completely deadly cute. It really was excessive. It would have been as much as our lives were worth if we'd tried to pet these lambies, as the ewes are quite aggressive, so I had to take it out on the lemurs at the petting zoo when I got home. They bore up well. But it is immensely soothing to the city-dweller's soul to be amongst endless fields of frolicking, white, fluffulent little lambs.

Jenny and I entertained Sadie mightily by blurting out, "SHEEP!" every time we passed a pasture. We had to explain to her that that's how we are at home -- out on a drive in the country, we yell out the name of any animal we see. Even in the city, I yell "PUPPY!" every time I see a dog. The three of us shared giggles over a mutual acquaintance, someone we'd just met the day before, who had never even seen a sheep before coming to the Lake District, and who wanted very much to hug one. Nothing twisted or sinister in that, mind -- he just liked how fluffy the sheep looked, and he wanted to give a sheep a cuddle. In her delicious Cumbrian dialect, Sadie said, "He could be a sheep-coodler!" and Jenny and I were done for, laughing our heads off.

1 comment:

kailysn said...

Oh my, those pictures are gorgeous!

And I must start using your new "fluffulent" term at every opportunity. :-D