20 August 2010
Illustration friday - by the skin of my teeth
Here you have them all in rough - star/moongazing hare, Stargazer Lily and Star Gazey Pie. Ever heard of Star Gazey Pie? This pie originates from the small fishing village of Mousehole (pronounced Mouzel) in Cornwall, in the southwest of England. As legend has it, for many days one winter, the seas were too rough to bring in the catch and the village had little to eat. However, eventually, one fisherman called Tom Bawcock, braved the storms and went out fishing. Against all odds he managed to bring back enough fish to feed the starving villagers and for ever more, December the 23rd has been called Tom Bawcock's Eve. To make the small catch go further, the fish were baked in a pastry case with the fishes' heads poking out up at the stars, hence Star Gazey Pie. The man was revered for saving the inhabitants' lives and his festival is an annual attraction in Mousehole complete with illuminations and depictions of Star Gazy Pie in lights.
I visited the Mouzel a few years ago and bought a copy of Antonia Barber's delighful tale The Mousehole Cat, illustrated by Nicola Bayley which tells the story of this legend. The illustrations are delightful!