Photos (c) Anguskirk

"Whenever I hear the word 'Gypsy,' I feel the wanderlust spirit call to me. I see visions of mysterious campfires and exotic dancing. I hear echoes of lively music and gentle laughter. I feel the pull of more romantic and adventurous times gone by. While these visions do not accurately describe the life of the Gypsies, there is nothing that captures the essence of romance and adventure as fully as a magnificently carved and brightly painted Gypsy Wagon." ~ Delvin Jasper Tetz, 1914-1975

Today, Maddie read Chapter 2 of The Wind in the Willows, which begins with Toad showing the Rat and the Mole his new gypsy caravan. After we discussed the chapter, she was asked to draw a picture of a gypsy wagon or vardo. As it happens, I had just been reading about "gypsy caravans" the night before in How the Heather Looks, so naturally this led us to some impromptu research: Gypsy Waggons being very informative, and the photos here simply gorgeous. If I should ever become very wealthy, I *must* have one of these!

UPDATE: In resuming my reading of How the Heather Looks, I was pleased to find another caravan reference here:
"I have wanted to live in a caravan ever since I was ten years old and read a book called The Slow Coach, by E.V. Lucas. It is about a family of English children who receive a caravan delivered to their door mistake, and who set along the dusty roads on a series of delightfully pastoral adventures. The book has the same Robinson Crusoe quality that the Arthur Ransome books have, although itwas written a generation earlier and is long out of print. I had not been able to find a copy to read to Ian, but I think I managed to communicate some of its charm by telling him about it and finding substitutes. We read Doctor Dolittle's Caravan by Hugh Lofting and The Fairy Caravan by Beatrix Potter..."
A quick Google search revealed that The Slow Coach is available from Google Books, which makes me seriously happy because that means I can have a copy printed!
After our school work, I was inspired to do some additional research on the history of the Romani in England. Here are just a few of the random, interesting things that I found:
So, *lots* of new reading to do, but I'm quite pleased with what I found (there's so little material available elsewhere!).
I've long had a deep, abiding fascination with Romani culture (much to my husband's distress), and music in particular ~ oh, the music! Several years ago, I discovered the films of Tony Gatlif, a director of Roma descent whose films are especially rich with Romani music and dance. Really, one must watch them for the music! In particular, I loved Gadjo Dilo; I was thrilled to see that he currently has a new film out, Liberté. Here are a couple of clips from his films Gadjo Dilo and Vengo:
    "Tutti Frutti" from Gadjo Dilo

    "Arrinconamela" from Vengo

    1 Comment:

    1. Storybook Woods said...
      Isn't slow coach an amazing book. I tresure my copy. Clarice

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