Monday 14 December 2009

Brussels Brontë Group Annual Christmas Lunch

In the photos: members enjoy the entertainment provided by Sherry Vosburgh and Sheila Fordham, sing carols and try to answer the quiz questions! The winning team displays its prize.

On Sunday 13 December 2009 25 members of the group met for lunch at the Brussels restaurant "L'Epéron d'Or" which is an old acquaintance of our group's as we have met there several times.

The atmosphere of the restaurant, which is furnished in an old style, fits very well with the spirit of the Brontë group. The meal was delicious and tasty but on this occasion, the guests were regaled not only with the food but also with the surprise entertainment by Sheila Fordham and Sherry Vosburgh. The former delighted us with a poem written by her and inspired by the Brontës' Christmas day (see below), and the latter sang rousing Swedish and English carols. We all did our best to sing along!

Also this year, we had an entertaining quiz on the Brontës' lives and works and an invitation from Franklin, who is to have an exhibition at the Parsonage Museum in 2011, to visit his studio to view his work.

It was a delightful meeting with which to close the group activities in 2009.

Report by Oscar Rodriguez

Sheila's poem:


'Twas Christmas Eve in Haworth,
And all around was still,
Doors firm shut and curtains drawn,
No footstep on the hill.

'Twas Christmas Eve at The Parsonage,
And things were getting merry,
Tabby had baked some apple cakes,
And Branwell had been at the sherry!

And lo - but hark - what sound is this?
At the door a sudden knocking.
Answer the door young Branwell Patrick quipped,
As he was hanging up his stocking.

A couple stood upon the step,
In the eerie glow of the lamp,
The man dark haired and swarthy,
The girl a wild eyed scamp.

"Come in, come in," bade Charlotte,
"Come in and rest awhile,
What brings you out this Christmas Eve,
O'er moor and heath and stile?"

The young girl spake:
"We come from old Top Withens,
The farm up yonder high,
We love the moors, they are our home,
The heather, the rocks, the sky".

"We must be gone", the grim man said,
"We cannot tarry 'ere,
But thank ye for the apple cake
And 't foaming tankard of beer".

Said Anne:
"Pray take this shawl to keep you warm,
You'll catch your deaths if not,
You hurry back to hearth and home".
He said "Christmas Eve - what rot!"

The family saw the couple out,
They walked into the mist,
Whence they came, whither they go?
Do such people exist?

'Twas Christmas Eve in Haworth,
And all around was still,
"They do exist" affirmed Emily,
As she took up her quill.

Sheila Fordham

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