This morning I had a little spare time and I thought “I should update my blog”. Usually I go through pictures I took to remember all the things that have happened, but today there were very few. I have been working a lot of hours and that gets in the way of participating in village life.
I still managed to do a few short things. There’s a collective of wood based artists here called Wood Vibe Tribe who had a show called “Knot Again” where I did a bit of volunteer bartending. I asked for the early shift so that I could just hang out and enjoy the event after, but I was so tired I left kind of early. The gallery, Studio B, always does their opening right, with very good snacks and a fire in the back yard space. It was nice to see some people and it was just really getting busy by the time I went home.
I like all of the art from the tribe but the works of Andy Smith are my favourite. A lot of his works are geometric forms reminiscent of Celtic Crosses or mandalas. Sometimes he makes more representational shapes like hands and trees. Yes, he makes wood sculpture of trees. For this show he made the most elaborate piece I have seen from him, a phoenix rising from the fire. I can’t afford his work but luckily you see a lot of it around the village so no one is deprived of Wood Vibe Tribe.
Step joined a marching band and they played at a local benefit we went to and also in the May 1st “parade” for International Workers’ Day. It was more like a mock protest than a parade, with some speeches by labour activists in the Village Square and then a march down “Main Street”. The only thing kind of paradey was the marching band and Kerry was dressed in an all pink outfit and pranced around the band. The village had blocked the street to traffic, but being Cumberland people just drove around the pylons and used the street anyway, so the paraders had to watch out for renegade cars.
The parade ended at the Old Age Pensioners’ Hall for the annual “Bean Supper”, which commemorates the coal miners’ strike of 1912. The striking miners were made to leave their company houses and they all then squatted at “Striker’s Beach” for the winter. I guess the government was worried they would starve or riot so they gave the hungry strikers a boxcar of beans, nicknamed “Big Strike Beans”.
The Beans were pretty tasty but Meaghan lamented the lack of pork in them. This was the first year the beans were all vegetarian rather than having also a meat option. The strikers probably had no pork so the beans were more historically accurate, in a way. Also featured was some musical entertainment with songs about labour history and a reading of “The Ballad of Ginger Goodwin”. There’s a lot I don’t know but I’m not convinced the play was entirely accurate. It also ended rather abruptly with “and the 8 hour work day was born”. I think it must be kind of hard to write anything about Ginger Goodwin because so little is known about him.
As a person interested in labour history, I enjoyed the Bean Supper very much. It was Cumberland Old School Cool.
So that’s pretty much all I have been up to besides work. I did go to Gold River which is beautiful but I was really busy that day and got no pictures. Guess I’ll have to go back.