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                        Living in America vs England



November blog 2017

Posted by dawngriffis on November 4, 2017 at 9:50 PM

This has been a strange autumn/fall here in Vermont. We did not get the colour on the trees as brilliant as usual. Across from our house many trees are still green, some just getting colour while others have completely dropped their leaves. Our colour time is usually end of September to about 12th October. We haven’t had a killing frost yet, I have known that to happen as early as 28th August, but definitely in September. Of course according to those that think they know better, there is no such thing as global warming!

My husband Mike is still having problems requiring more admissions to the hospital; this has not been a good year for the Griffis household.

Today 4 Hartford High School students are coming over to help me get the garden/yard cleaned up for the end of the year. I have had very little time to do anything myself, so it is a mess. Our local High School has a program whereby for all students to graduate, have to do 40 hours of community service. I think it is a fabulous idea all around, for those receiving the help, and for the students to realise people do need help.

I am purposefully posting this blog today because of the poem Beverley Coleman wrote for Britain for last weekend, which should tell you it’s not about November 5th Guy Fawkes Day, when bonfires are lit, and fireworks set off. she told me to change the month to November to work for here, so enjoy.


By Beverley Coleman

Two am in the morning

On a dark November day

Sixty minutes on the clock

Seemed to go astray.


I went to bed at midnight

Did nothing to my clock

Was woken in the morning

My goodness what a shock. 

My clock right by my bedside

Was showing half past eight

Wow that was some sleep I’d had

And I was feeling great.


then turned on my iPad

And there before my eyes

A different time was showing

Now there is a surprise. 

It was only seven thirty

However can that be

Why would my faithful little clock

Suddenly lie to me. 

Now I was in a panic

Was it half past seven or eight

This question it was bugging me

I was getting in a state. 

The magic man had been around

He decided on this day

We needed extra time in bed

So with our minds he’d play. 

He thought I know what I will do

I’ll give an extra hour

So he turned the clock back easily

Because he had the power.

And now the evenings darker

And the Morning it is bright

I’m not sure what I’d rather have

But I won’t put up a fight

Because if we do wait a while

When it is early Spring

You know when all the bulbs come up

And the birds begin to sing. 

Those minutes ....yes those minutes

That you can’t get out your head

When you think it’s two o’clock

It’s Three o’clock instead.

So the hour we gained that winter’s night

He finally took away

Spring forward and Fall backward

Is the saying to this day.

The big thing that happened in our family this past month is our youngest grand daughter Victoria Ada married Austin Andrus in Kentucky, sadly we weren’t able to go, but I’ll post a couple of pictures for you to see. Our eldest grand daughter Ruth-Ellen, her sister, was maid on honour and our eldest grt grand daughter Aubree was the flower girl.

In UK town and city fairs are in abundance during this time of the year.  They were chartered to take place hundreds of years ago, by whom ever was the reigning Monarch at the time. Banbury has one of those such fairs. David S Woodman gave me the history of Banbury’s Michaelmas Fair and of course Bev wrote a poem. Bev and Chrissie Ansell also supplied me with some photos of it, for you to see. In the 19th century many people met the future spouses at the fairs, it is how my grt grt and grt grand parents met.

I will see what I can find for US photos for this month, but mother nature was not so accommodating as usual, so please forgive me if they are a bit lacking! 

Here is the information about Banbury's Michaelmas Fair su[[lied by David S. Woodman.

History of Banbury Fairs

The Michaelmas Fair is on this week (October 18th) in my home town of Banbury. The Michaelmas Fair originated as what was called a Hiring Fair and it dates back some 600 to 700 years. Farm workers, labourers, domestic servants and some craftsmen would work for their employer for a year at a time, from October to October. At the end of their employment they would attend the Hiring Fair dressed in their Sunday best clothes. The prospective workers would gather in the street or market place, often sporting some sort of badge or tool to denote their specialty; shepherds held a crook or a tuft of wool, cowmen brought wisps of straw, dairymaids carried a milking stool or pail and housemaids held brooms or mops, hence the derivation of the term “Mop Fair”.

Potential employers would move amongst them discussing experience and terms and, if they were thought fit, hire them for the coming year. Once agreement was reached the employer would give the employee a small sum of money (the “Hiring Shilling”;) and the employee would remove the item signifying their trade and wear bright ribbons to indicate they had been hired. They would then spend the money amongst the stalls set up at the fair which would be selling food and drink and offering games to play. The yearly hiring included board and lodging for single employees for the whole year with wages being paid at the end of the year’s service. These fairs attracted all the other trappings of a fair, and they turned into major feasts in their own right, and attracted poor reputations for the drunkenness and immorality involved.

The nursery rhyme/song, with which we are all familiar, derives from the hiring fairs. Johnny, on securing employment for the year, had promised to give his sweetheart the ribbons and a few trinkets:

"Oh, dear! What can the matter be?

Dear, dear! What can the matter be?

Oh, dear! What can the matter be?

Johnny’s so long at the fair.

He promised to buy me a trinket to please me

And then for a smile, oh, he vowed he would tease me.

He promised to buy me a bunch of blue ribbons

To tie up my bonnie brown hair.

Oh, dear! What can the matter be?

Dear, dear! What can the matter be?

Oh, dear! What can the matter be?

Johnny’s so long at the fair.

He promised to bring me a basket of posies

A garland of lilies, a gift of red roses,

A little straw hat to set off the blue ribbons

That tie up my bonnie brown hair.


Oh, dear! What can the matter be?

Oh, dear! What can the matter be?

Oh, dear! What can the matter be?

Johnny’s so long at the fair." 

During the 14th and 15th centuries, Banbury became indelibly associated with fairs and markets. The first mention we have of a fair is in a charter of Henry II of England (5 March 1133 – 6 July 1189), who granted an annual occasion for Whitsun

Banbury Fair

By Beverley Coleman

October how exciting

It’s time for Banbury Fair

Everyone from all around

Is going to be there.

It’s been a great tradition

Since 1154

Part of it a hiring fair

And then was joined by more.


Now by the nineteenth century

Three fairs rolled into one

The hiring and the livestock

And the pleasure just for fun


As time went on it dwindled

And in the fifties all’s not lost

The big rides they were introduced

But I wonder at what cost.

Marvelous it seemed to work

Good fun was had by all

The Big Wheel and the Waltzer

We all could have a ball.

The scene was set for everyone

A new sweater you would buy

To attract your new intended

A girlie or a boy.

Many many happy hours

We’re spent in those three days

Finding, loving, marrying

It really was the craze.


And now the years are passing

And I still make my way

To the Market Town of Banbury

To see the grand display.

The dodgeums by Beverley Coleman




Fair by Beverley Coleman

waiting for rides by Beverley Coleman

Not for me! See Banbury Town Hall in the shadowsby Chrissie Ansell

Prizes galore by Chrissie Ansell

New one for me? by Chrissie Ansell

Independant drivers by Chrissie Ansell

Lt to Rt Ruth-Ellen, maid of honor, Victoria Ada, Aubree flower girl.

Lt to Rt. Siblings and parents with Austin Andrus our new family member Ruth-Ellen, Reuben, Austin, Victoria, Jane, (Mom), Ken (step-Dad),Seth

Autumn by Jane Glick

 4 Corners Farm this year

Winter squash at 4 Corners Farm

Of course pumpkins at 4Corners Farm

The following two are my new offerings

That's it folks hope you remembered to turn your clocks back. Now we are back to 5 hours behing Britain! Have a good month. For those in the US, Happy Thanksgiving 

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