Boekka’s 7th Year

The Boekka Guise team has experienced many changes since it first began in 2010. A change in appearance meant the Teazers who wore face masks changed to face blacking for disguise as it is easier to wear and traditional for Guise performers.  Penkevyll has had two changes of tatter and ribbon colours and now wears the traditional Cornish colours of black, white and gold.
We attempted to combine a Morris side with Boekka’s ‘Oss and Teazers as my son (our first rider) was eager to teach a Morris team. We had however heard from an experienced Morris dancer that when a group number exceeds 7 members, the group dynamics change and problems can occur. We found this to be the case, especially when our recruits joined for reasons other than dancing abilities, so it was not surprising that they were not members for long. We discovered it is not easy to recruit Morris dancers in West Cornwall as most local musicians and dancers prefer to participate in Cornish traditional performance and for some reason Morris dancing is considered an ‘English’ pursuit.  Boekka then reverted to a Cornish ‘Oss and Teazer team only and this works well.
We have three riders for Penkevyll the ‘Oss, two are local and the other lives further away. The rider who lives the farthest attended Sidmouth festival with his Morris team and then continued his journey to Cornwall to visit us. It was an ideal opportunity to get two of our riders together to practice with Penkevyll and the rider with more experience gave the newer one advice on ways of moving the ‘Oss to give her personality and character.
We also took the opportunity to photograph Penkevyll (Cassandra’s ‘Oss) and Morvargh (my ‘Oss) together.

 

I also had time for Teazing practice with Penkevyll. The energy of the ‘Oss is fast and wild and the Teazer blends with this energy incorporating fast, wild and ‘earthed’ movements.  Slow movement with the ‘Oss can still have an edge but needs to be done in a certain way and Cassandra is the only Teazer who has accomplished this judging by other performances I have seen.

 

 

This practice coincided with Boekka’s 7th Birthday, so we had a celebration together with Prosecco and cake.

 

After practice we spent the evening in our local pub the St Buryan Inn for music, singing and dancing which the locals and tourists enjoyed. Some of them moved from the lounge bar to the public one to listen and join in with dancing and singing.

 

 

We had a wonderful afternoon and evening. It is good to now have three riders (as well as my son who rode in the past) who not only respect but understand the spirit of Penkevyll. Boekka is now a small but happy group with good energies. Long may it last.

 

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Handfasting Celebrant Memories

Cassandra and I have been celebrants for many Hand-fastings since 2009.
We do our utmost to provide couples with the ceremony they desire and work closely with them leading up to the event.
We conducted a Handfasting ceremony for a young couple at St Loy woods. It was important to the bride that the bluebells were in bloom as it marked a special time of the year for them.
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Bluebells at St Loy Woods

 

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Ceremonies can vary in size and location, some couple invited many guests and others prefer a more intimate occasion with only themselves or they invite a few close friends.  The ceremonies held in public locations understandably attract ‘on-lookers’ whether it be the creatures of the wild or the ancient spirits of  land and sea, also in human form with passers by. The ceremonial training I have had within the Alexandrian tradition is useful when setting up the sacred space to perform these rites.

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The image above is from one of our first Handfasting ceremonies at the Merry Maidens stone circle.  Only the couple and their family members were present as it was requested at short notice, but it still resulted in a wonderful event for them. Chinese tourists passed the site during the ceremony on an open top bus and captured images of the occasion.

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Cassandra and I performed this Handfasting ceremony ( image above) in the grounds of a Mill house which was our place of residence in 2010. It was a wonderful warm October day amongst the trees beside a small stream and the ceremony was magical.

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This ceremony (see image above) had a medieval theme and the venue chosen by the couple was King Arthur’s castle in Tintagel. There were a few rain showers but it did not dampen the celebrations at this ancient site. We were invited to a hog roast buffet in the King Arthur’s Arms, so we joined them in their celebrations and had a wonderful time.

 

Image - Mandy Raywood

 

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This ceremony (see images above) was held at Prussia Cove the location where the couple first met.  We had warm sunshine that day and working magically close to the sea was an extra special experience.  A friendship developed with the couple after the ceremony, we visit them often and they now have two adorable children.

 

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Boscawen-un stone circle is a popular site for Handfasting ceremonies. We will always remember this particular one as our ‘Obby ‘Oss Penkevyll made an appearance and performed with her Teazers from Boekka.

 

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Madron Baptistry was the venue for this Handfasting (see images above). A couple had traveled from France accompanied by their family. They stayed at Godolphin House where we later joined them for a sumptuous medieval wedding feast with copious amounts of champagne held in the fabulous dining room.

 

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A couple from overseas had their ceremony at Sancreed Holy Well. They requested we purchase and decorate their broomstick in order to infuse it with fertile energy. Six weeks after the event they informed us that they had conceived and now have a beautiful daughter!

 

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Image - Lee Searle

This ceremony ( see images above) was performed at the Sennen Coastguard look-out on a cold, wild and windy day! We attempted to place the altar accoutrements upon the table but they would not remain upright. The bride’s veil attached to her hat was vertical most of the time and the guests were huddled behind the building to shelter from the force of the wind.  We were determined to continue and the wedding party took it all in good humour. We were all appreciative of the warm open fire in the First and Last public house after the ceremony.

 

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This Hand-fasting ceremony was held in the beautiful Carn Glaze Caverns. It was for a couple who had invited a small family group.  The acoustics in the Caverns were wonderful when Cassandra used her bull roarer and hearing the echoes of the marriage vows beside a fabulous blue lake.
We conducted another Hand-fasting at this venue for a jolly couple. Their laughter is infectious to all who know them. They also requested a performance by our ‘Obby ‘Oss Penkevyll and Boekka during their feast in the caves, along with a fire display team. (See video footage below)

 

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We were delighted to receive a visit from them recently and were pleased to hear that they are both well and happy together.
These are just a few of the Handfastings we have been Celebrants for. Each and every occasion is special and unique in its own way.
If you wish to make enquiries about a Handfasting ceremony visit my contact page.