All I want for Christmas is dew (relentless rain won’t do!)



The reference to “Dew” is from memory of this lovely medieval poem

I syng of a mayden

That is makeles,

king of alle kinges

to here sone che chees.

He cam also stille

Ther his moder was

As dew in Aprylle,

That fallyt on the gras.

He cam also stille

To his modres bowr

As dew in Aprylle,

That falleth on the flowr.

He cam also stille

Ther his moder lay

As dew in Aprylle,

That falleth on the spray.

Moder & mayden

Was nevere noon but she:

Well may swich a lady

Godes moder be.



It was a wet old Christmas here in Shaftesbury, “the wetter the better” we said as my Mum , Glen the Dog and I piled out of the yellow peril in Fontmell Magna, North Dorset.


I’m not sure we felt the same way at all times in the next three hours but we dried out quick enough in the Fontmell, Nobby’s pub on the A350 – packed with admiring Londoners- admiring that is of my Mum.

I’ve said it often – I’ll say it again , the woman is in her mid eighties but she vaulted the stiles that abound as you climb up to Fontmell Down and she traversed the windswept slopes on slippery paths like a mountain goat.


Glen the Dog was suffering vicarious post traumatic stress syndrome for his master Greg, who had mysteriously slipped on a cattle grid on Christmas Eve , his ample leg had slipped into the abyss and Greg was laid up along with brother Rupert (recovering from a hip replacement) and the Old Man – lurking on the sofa. The big beasts had deserted Glen the Dog.


The valleys that run down to Compton, Fontmell and Iwerne from the Upper Blandford Road are as grand as anything you’ll find in England. Spurs run from the ridge along which the road run, the most Northerly connects with Melbury Beacon, the spur we climbed opens out onto what once was the whackiest nine hole golf club in Dorset and the final spur, which we descended – takes you down to the Springhead Trust – curated by the Gardeners to the culturati of North Dorset.

In Summer, these valleys are the habitat of rare butterflies, but yesterday they were menaced by a stiff westerly carrying rainclouds off the Blackmore vale which swept up their slopes like the sweeps of a painter’s brush.

As a teenager, I had tramped these slopes at night with friends James and Olivia – pursuing all kinds of strange phenonema including the mysterious caravans painted with question marks. Yesterday, I struggled with dog and mother on what seemed a wall of death!

We made it back to the yellow Peril (Mother’s Citroen C1) and into the pub for a pint of Burford and a tomato juice. Glen the Dog kept out of harm’s way till a lady stepped on his tail and we made our way back to Shaftesbury, elated by our conquest of the Down.

Christmas was the better for our walk but made by the delights of being with our family and by the pleasure of texts from others sharing the delights of their day.

Glen and Hen

No church this year, but to glory in the hills of Dorset was all the spiritual uplift I needed!

Today Yeovil play Plymouth and I’m on the coach down from the Huish with Miss Tuppence and the die-hard fans who are the best in the land.

Here are some wonderful pictures of their jaunt to Leyton Orient including one of my son Olly.

Leyton Orient v Yeovil Town 191215

Leyton Orient v Yeovil Town 191215


Happy Christmas- and for those for whom relentless rain is making Christmas a misery – relief is due!

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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