I have never quite understood the Englishman’s stance on patriotism.  Some people seem quite terrified of it that somehow it smacks of Nazism.  The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word as ‘love and devotion to one’s country’.  What is wrong with that sentiment?.  Now, Jingoism defined as ‘extreme patriotism in the form of aggressive foreign policy’ is a different kettle of fish. The words of Rule Britannia could fit into that category, I suppose, but the words  I vow to thee my country do not, I think, signify any   aggressive foreign policy. The  St George’s Day Concert in our village was quite simply a delightful evening with a programme of instrumentals  and singing ranging from Nimrod to Woodlands of England and readings from John Clair to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The English Weather.. Everyone enjoyed the enthusiastic singing by Blackawton school choir, the fine tones of Martin Dibben’s rendition of There’ll always be an England and a grand selection of songs by the opera singer Alison Pearce.  Brian Patten had written a very funny version of how the dragon was slain and Martin Holland’s Rutland Water by Malcolm Bennett played on a muted trumpet was quite lovely.  There were too many wonderful acts to list them all here.  Suffice to say that for such a small village to put on such a grand affair was impressive. This is the third concert arranged by Tom Leeman and they just get better and better.

On Sunday afternoon down at the Ferry Boat there was a very different type of ‘concert’ but it was equally moving.  Some years ago a certain Steve Dillingham came to Dittisham for a weekend and stayed on  for two years working as a barman there.  He died last January and Sunday would have been his 56th birthday.  He was a man who ‘enjoyed the best things in life – beer, friends, food and music’.  Many of his friends were there and the music played by Alfie Romero,Wild Bob Borgos, Max Cahn and Elliot kept everyone happy in the sunshine.  £500 was raised for Devon Air Ambulance . 

Here are some events and dates for the diary:

Thursday, May 6th the annual plant sale at Blackness Cottage, East Cornworthy.  It starts at 2.30 and is in aid of Cornworthy Church renovation.

Down on the Quay an All Star Band for the  Dittisham Fringe Music Festival on Saturday May 8th starting at noon.

A Garden party at the Heighway’s place  Middle Meadow, May 22nd   noon until 3pm.  Ploughman lunches £6.00 per ticket.  Available from Dittisham PostOffice/Red Lion Inn..  There will also be live music, a bring and buy plant sale and a raffle.  All proceeds to the Macmillan Cancer Support Trust