I've always felt quite lucky to have my birthday fall within the Christmas season. I think it would feel odd not to have decorative lights, Christmas trees and music everywhere during birthday time. The fact that I'm getting older is simply making my love for old-ladyish things more acceptable!
If you know me, you'll already know that I often act closer to age 84 than 34 in terms of the things I like. Examples: tea cups, knitted things, early nights, clothing from any era pre-1960, old style jazz music and records on the record player. I was told recently that my 'pop culture' knowledge stops at 1942. Likely true.
So in true fashion, birthday dinner number one was spent with my family at Black Creek Pioneer Village. Again, if you know me, you'll also already know how I also love pioneer villages. I had never been to one at night though, which was the beauty of last night. We were able to wander through the lamp-lit village after dark which was quite a treat.
It was so interesting to see what it would have been like back in the days before streetlights. Let me tell you, it was dark! The tall, kerosene street lamps cast no light at all, but rather, just guided your path so you didn't walk off the dirt road. Homes looked welcoming, lit with lanterns and burning beeswax candelabras. But once inside, you'd be knocked over by the kerosene fumes that filled the tiny rooms, and subsequently your head.
I had visions of travellers arriving in the cold by horse drawn carriage, wrapped in cloaks like Scrooge himself, and entering a rowdy saloon. I can only imagine that the kerosene in the air mixed with the mead in your belly would concoct quite a state of drunkenness. But not to worry, I'm sure you could find a lumpy straw filled bed to rest on up in the Inn. I love this stuff.
How amazing would it be to experience a week in a village such as this? To dress the part and play the part, and really experience that kind of history? No? Well maybe I stand alone with my thoughts on this one. I suppose huddling up to a lantern to see the pages of the book you are trying to read could be quite challenging.
They did mention yesterday that once darkness fell, most work would have to stop, as you can imagine, because without the ease of a light switch, lighting up your room would be quite the production. There is such a warm coziness created by lamplight though. Everything seems just that much more romantic, and I think I'd appreciate things a little more for having to work harder to achieve them. As we wandered from home to home, we were greeted in warm kitchens and delighted with treats like sugar plums, turkish delight and freshly baked gingerbread.
It proved to be difficult to take good pictures in so much darkness, but I think you get the idea, and your imagination can fill in the rest!