Christmas in Gunni.

What a weekend in this mad, lovely village.. Last night the Buccaneer hosted some kind of bacchanalian midwinter event ..a 60's disco run by 'the Committee', hosted by Gilly the landlady and supported by the oddest selection of party people you could wish to meet. The music was inspired, the frolics already legendary, the bottoms swinging and stinging with joy under the flashing twirling lights of the bijoux fun palace that is the backroom of the Buccaneer. Mayhem in a grey and sprawling border village in Cornwall.
Now Sunday night and the hangovers fade and we're back at the Bucc for Carols Round The Tree , full of cheap house whisky and love .. There's nowhere else I'd aspire to be at this moment . Gunnislake is awe inspiring in its unpretentious ordinariness .. and thats what makes it special and out of the ordinary .. We are such a huge cross section of people , happy souls, grumpy bastards, people with money, people with none, incomers, old families.. The festive lights are shining down on the wet streets and the woolly hatted heads of men, women and kids, laughing , shouting, glad to be here ..a little band plays and carols are sung , Father Christmas arrives and sits himself on an incongruous gold velour settee and is swamped with laughing dancing kids .. The Buccy windows glow and inside it's festooned with gorgeous glittering decorations and a wall of customers clapping gloved hands at the bar and throwing small change in the tinselled buckets. Gill is the best landlady a village could hope for . Her pub embodies all that's good and kind and community in Gunnislake, and after we've sung and gossiped and marvelled at the remembrance balloons as they sailed skywards, we women sit by a banked up glowing fire, an extended coven , draining our glasses and discussing the state of play with our love lives, kids and separate fortunes and our hopes for 2018. The closeness in this sprawling village is sometimes so astounding, the happiness I've found here moves me .. In the dark it's beautiful, little lanes and alleys, so many homes set like glowing teeth in the night in a huge poor mouth, the notorious pounding main street, the vanished glory of Commercial Street, the housing estates, cottages , the decrepit but noble Public Hall and Social Hall and the four pubs , the menagerie and terrifying windows of Pete and Di's Bazaar and, the glory of it, bigger than all of us, the huge pointed pine forest that sillhouettes itself for our wonder, that looms over us, lies under a moon for us and makes this the place of fairytale villagers, Simple Jacks, dames and widows. This ordinary , extraordinary place is something else, something that no outsider that decries it, can really understand . Gunnislake, we love you.