Monday, 29 December 2008
The Crone (the Druidical equivalent of a Dame - a man pretending to be a woman)
The Principal Druid (a woman dressed up as a man)
The Pantomime Unicorn (like a pantomime horse, and yet somehow more mystical)
The Baddie (Drayton Parslow, just acting normally)
During the entrance procession, the congregation may shout "He's Behind You!" to the Principal Druid. Upon the Principal Druid turning round, the Baddie should hide behind a couple of acolytes.
Dividing the Congregation
One half sings "Bind us together" together with the Principal Druid. The other half sings "Kum Ba Yah" with the Crone. Nobody wins.
Archdruid: The hills and forests are filled with the divine. The brooks are the the flowing life-blood of Mother Gaia.
All: Oh no, they're not!
Archdruid: Oh yes, they are are.
All: Oh no, they're not....
The Amusing Chase Scene
In which the Baddie chases the Principal Druid round the Orchard. Involving much amusing hiding behind trees, suddenly coming face-to-face and both running away, and tripping over branches. All done in a strictly liturgical pattern.
The acrobatic interlude
In which Hnaef and his acrobatic team will break several bones and strain a number of muscles, while attempting to do headsprings over the altar.
The Flying Scene
The Principal Druid discovers that, simply by hooking herself up to the harness provided, she can pronounce the final blessing from a point 20 feet above the congregation. And then hang there for a while as Hnaef tries to work out how to lower her back down again.
Don't forget, everytime you say you don't believe in Beaker People, somewhere in the forest a dryad dies.
There have been people blaming this lack of attendance on 'flu, on going away for Christmas, and on "pebble fatigue", whatever that may mean. However my suspicion is that it all comes down to Young Keith's new Wii Fit which he got for Christmas from his uncle, the police constable.
I don't care what Wii Age you have all obtained, you should still be making New Moon celebrations. And I'd be grateful if someone could remove the beard from my Mii. That's not funny.
Wednesday, 24 December 2008
1. It's not enough to make somewhere a thin place, just for you to feel particularly spiritual there and label it as a thin place yourself. This would be dangerously democratic and give everyone the idea that they had their own right to experience of the divine, unregulated by the necessary druidic power.
2. If you believe you have identified a thin place, you must fill in the "thin place potential identification form" (TPPIF). This should clearly indicate where the thin place is (OS reference + a short description); why you think it may be a thin place; and what kind of vouchers (MFI or Woolworth's) you wish to receive as your reward.
3. Upon receipt of a TPPIF, we will ensure that a triad of druids (the minimum number) will investigate within 3 days. Such investigation may include, but not necessarily be restricted to, pendulums; prayer; casting of lots; checking the guide book or whatever seems most appropriate.
4. If the thin place is confirmed, you will receive a "thin place confirmation form" (TPCF) which you should show at the Shop Yurt to receive your vouchers, or alternatively a very small beaker with the words "a present from Hunstanton".
5. Upon confirmation of a definite thin place, Hnaef will tape the area off with red and white (or, according to the liturgical time of year, yellow) emergency tape. We don't want just anyone blundering around on sacred ground.
Tuesday, 23 December 2008
The idea of a Ritual Lake has all sorts of echoes in mythology and religion. We think of the Lady in the Lake, who handed a sword to Arthur. Of the lakes into which swords, coins and other precious items were thrown as offerings to the Guardians. Of the story of Hermaphroditus and Salmacis.
Young Keith's plan is that we are going to be able to create wooden pathways across the Ritual Lake - areas of liminality, neither water nor land. In other words, thin places. When the sun rises over the mist on the lake, says Young Keith, we will feel close to the earth, and also to heaven.
Some have pointed out that, if the lake reaches the depth that Young Keith is planning, it will flood most of Husborne Crawley. But I shouldn't worry too much. Given the local geology, the water's draining away into the Greensand as fast as it can flow in. In normal circumstances we'd point this out to him, but he's busy and happy so we'll tell him after Christmas.
Sunday, 21 December 2008
Sunset tonight is 15.54. Please be there sharp. This isn't one of those occasions when you can turn up late and wait for the worship to "warm up". Except given we'll be lighting the Solstice Fire that's exactly what the worship will be doing.
Winter Solstice Sunset
The Gathering In Apprehension
"Raise your banners high
Don't die, Sun - don't die!" (repeat 12 times, in growing despair)
Looking to the East in Silence
All: "Is that the sun down there or is it just the floodlights from the Amazon warehouse?"
The Archdruid remembers that the sun sets in the west.
Looking to the West in Silence.
At the precise time of sunset, the Solstice Fire is lit from the eternal flame. An appropriate song (for example, "Eternal Flame" by the Bangles) may be played.*
"Let the flames burn high
Goodbye, Sun - Goodbye!" (repeat 12 times, growing gradually sadder)
As it grows darker, panic may spread among the congregation. The Gibbon Moon folk, generally of an excitable nature, lose it completely and run into the fields, howling with fear.
Archdruid: Darkness falls and the night is with us. The year is dead.
Young, keen and generally stupid Beaker Folk may leap over the Solstice Fire, in an age-old and traditional ritual. Those whose hi-viz vests catch fire are doused with water from the Safety
The lighting of the Bling
Archdruid: OK, Hnaef - flick the switch
The Orchard is illuminated with the light of a thousand suns, as Santas, Snowmen, Inflatable Alan Carrs, flashing lights, Singing Ringing Tree, dancing penguins, a sleigh and about a million blue LED icicles blaze into view. The congregation may go "Aaah".
All: Great - can we go now? Arsenal-Liverpool just kicked off.
Archdruid: Fine by me. Got a busy week ahead. See you tomorrow at dawn?
All: Yeah. Let's hope the Sun rises...
Archruid: I'm sure it will. Let's face it, that's why we lit the fire.
Note - Can somebody please bring a lighter? It would appear the Eternal Flame has gone out.
* Not the Atomic Kitten version. We may be neo-pagans but we're not barbarians.
Saturday, 20 December 2008
Note that all community bling must be switched off tonight. It won't do any harm for one night, and expresses sympathy with the sun. You can't prepare for the great act of Darkness Fear by illuminating the village with a 20-foot inflatable snowman. Likewise hi-viz colour tonight and tomorrow is violet. It's not much use as hi-viz, but I got them cheap because of a mistake at the factory. I've had them for years, and always thought they'd come in useful one day.
I'm pretty sure wassailing was heard somewhere down Aspley Road last night. Please do not wassail before the Solstice. I note how much you all itch to wassail, and it's one of the highlights of this Yuletide season. But still - it's like sneaking into the loft while your parents are watching telly to try and see what Santa's going to bring. Or at least try and keep it to a minimum. Oh all right, maybe a quick wassail....
Thursday, 18 December 2008
I feel I should point out the integrity of what we did here. We ripped a form of worship out of context, and used the repetitive singing of simple songs, in a language none of us understood, to give us a feeling of deep spirituality without any any ethical content or challenge. We generally went away feeling fulfilled and untroubled.
Seems completely consistent with our normal practice to me.
Monday, 15 December 2008
They wanted to mark the passing this year of both Brian Wilde and Kathy Staff by going downhill in a wheelbarrow. Why they chose Dunstable Downs is beyond us all. Pascomb Pit is one heck of a slope to try this stunt for the first time. They're still in the L&D but Arfwit's femur is at least not a compound fracture.
In a traditional pyramid selling scheme, you sell shares in your scheme and run away with the money, leaving your customers hoping that they will be able to do the same.
But our scheme is entirely legitimate. For a small donation of £100, you can buy an authentic Beaker pyramid, hand-crafted from traditional styrofoam in a lock-up garage in Elfield Park. So the Community gets £100 (less a small contribution towards administration, styrofoam and the rent of the garage) - and you get a pyramid. Where's the catch in that?
Frankly, if you think £100 is a reasonable price to pay for a triangular lump of plastic that may - or may not* - increase your spiritual awareness, indicate the presence of ley lines, channel the astral plane and sharpen razor blades, then that's your lookout.
The noise you heard in the background may well have sounded like "ker-ching", but that was just your pyramid-enhanced ethereal awareness. Honest.
* Our lawyers have asked us to say.
Sunday, 14 December 2008
8 am - Chasing an old man around with a yard brush
10 am - Gossipping and Bickering
12 noon - Wash Day
1 pm - Hanging out the Washing
2 pm - Cream cakes (unless Ivy gets there first)
3pm - Brushing t'yard
4pm - Sitting in a side car looking grumpy
6pm - Suspicion and aggression
8pm - Dragging Wally out of the Pigeon Coop
Dress Code - Wrinkled Stockings
Saturday, 13 December 2008
Friday, 12 December 2008
Nice and drizzly in Husborne Crawley. Can anyone who sees the moon at any point this evening let me know? And ideally send me a photo?
On an unrelated note, now that the withies are up on the Moot Hall, can I expreess the thanks of the Druidical Team to the Folk who are so kindly making the trips down to the brook in freezing conditions and carrying the clay back up, as tradition dictates, in their bare hands. We really appreciate your efforts throughout the hours of daylight over the last three weeks. However...
The endless trips across the lawn of the Great House have worn a path across the lawn. This lawn has been in place for 497 years, ever since my many-times grandfather laid it out, at the cost of 52 under-gardeners. Clearly we cannot trample on tradition in this way.
Therefore, please can all daubers (as I believe the technical term is) please take the tour via Crow Lane. Yes, I know it's an additional mile or so. But believe me, it's worth it.
Thursday, 11 December 2008
The order of service for the 9 pm observation of "What the heck was that?"
Introit - "Fire" in A (Brown)
9.05 - Pouring out of Beakers (full of Kerosene)
9.10 - Lighting of the sacred flame
9.15 - Running around like headless chickens
9.20 - A moment of silence, as we reflect that whatever Buncefield did to Hemel Hempstead's house prices, it was nothing compared to what sub-prime trailer parks in the US managed
9.25 - Another, more profound, moment of silence as we remember we had mates who worked there - and give thanks it happened in the middle of the night.
9.30 - Discovery that the sacred flame and the kerosene have unexpectedly got too close together
9.31 - More headless-chicken behaviour, this time in earnest
9.32 - The Blessing - "Rejoice, it could have been much worse".
For a start - the bling that's appeared on the Great House. The illuminated Gibbon Moon is probably acceptable. After all, it is a figure of reverence to the Gibbon Moon people. It's also one of the best-sellers in the Luton Airport outlet. Some of this is probably down to the fact that it's so large and brightly-lit, passengers in planes going into Luton can actually see it. The Santa, LED icicles, "Singing Ringing Tree" and the illuminated twenty-foot Alan Carr (why? why?) on the other hand, less so.
Then there's the new shopping outlet in the car park. I don't remember giving permission for "World of Wicker", and it's taking up a lot of space which would otherwise be used for parking 4x4s. But the thing that's really causing the trouble is that it appears to be a 24 hour traditional Beaker Christmas Tree Lights shop. Walking around it yesterday, I didn't even see any wicker. So it may be breaking the Trade Descriptions Act as well.
All in all, it appears that the approach to Yule this year is getting rather commercial.
Let us remember this time of Advent as a time for introspection. For self-examination. For considering what we will do when held to account at the end of time (by the Moon Gibbon, if that is in keeping with your beliefs). A time for lighting a candle in the darkness and considering the frailty of life. A time for donning our hi-viz in liturgical Advent orange, and heading out into the orchard to consider the beauty of the full moon. So it better be dark by full moon, or Hnaef's coming round with the wire-cutters.
Tuesday, 9 December 2008
8am - Choosing of new names: three Folk are choosing their names today, and their options are strictly limited to names from Noggin the Nog.
10am - Berlioz's Requiem - played on the Mouse Organ
12 noon - Building the Iron Chicken
2 pm - Filling-up of Beakers and Pouring-out of Beakers to be conducted entirely in the Clanger language. Swanee whistles will be provided.
4pm - Reverencing of Bagpuss
6pm - Rides on the Ivor the Engine experience. Well, OK, we go down to Ridgmont and get the train to Bletchley and back. Welsh accents compulsory.
Please note that for today, Aspley Heath has been renamed "Pogle's Wood"
Sleep well, Oliver.
Sunday, 7 December 2008
Moon Gibbon Merchandise
Moon Gibbon Keyrings - Keep your keys safe this Christmas with our lovely Moon Gibbon Keyring. If you can't find your keys, just whistle and it will sing "The Funky Gibbon". Only £75!
Saturday, 6 December 2008
The Beaker Advent Sale!
Why not visit all our outlets this Advent?
50% off all woad-related products at the Woburn World of Woad
The Beaker Experience, Luton Airport
The Doily Clearance Extravaganza - up to 75% off some of the tackiest doilies you could possibly want to give to a hated relative this Christmas.
Traditional Beaker Cider (Duty Free sales only)
Traditional Beaker Beakers, handcrafted in an industrial unit in Bletchley
Traditional faux alpaca rayon/acrylic mix Beaker sweaters and pashminas
From the Book Yurt on-site in Husborne Crawley
The Beaker Common Prayer - written in authentic 16th century English and wrapped in an alpaca wool dust jacket covered in indecipherable runes that might just be mystical
The Beaker Worship Manual Vol I (Choruses in the Ancient Beaker Language)
The Beaker Worship Manual Vol II (1010 ways to use Tealights and Pebbles)
The Complete Beaker Worship Manual (Vols 1 & 2 combined)
The Beaker Worship Manual Vol III (Labyrinths and Standing Stones)
The Beaker Worship Manual Vol IV (Make Way for Beltane)
The Combined Beaker Worship Manual (Vols 1-4 combined)
The Beaker Worship Manual Vol V (Now That's What I call Beaker)
The "Honest, it's definitely complete this time" Beaker Manual Vol III (Incorporating all the above, plus, strangely, "Sounds of Living Water")
And now - a fine selection of Authentic Rustick Beaker Furniture which we knocked up out of bits of old wood in the shed, in an attempt to cash in on the collapse of MFI*
And don't forget - you can get up to 5 years' interest-free credit**
* It is not recommended that Traditional Beaker Furniture be sat on or indeed used in any way. We definitely wouldn't use it. We prefer sitting around on bean bags. Apart from Hnaef's throne.
** Absolutely not subject to any credit checks. Beaker Bank plc is happy to make enormous loans without any security, safe in the knowledge that the Government will bail us out without any financial impact on ourselves. All interest-free credit carries a 20% annual insurance charge in case you fail to make any payments. And we send the boys round to get the goods back.
Thursday, 4 December 2008
This role will encompass the duties of the former Arch-Assistant to the Archdruid, but will also take in a supervisory role over the processes involved in maintaining discipline around the Community. With this in mind, I am pleased to annouce the appointment of Hnaef to this dynamic new role.
Hnaef has had many years' leadership experience within the Moot House, and a 25 metre river-swimming certificate. We think the river may have been sacred as it appeared mysteriously one night in the middle of the path... what more recommendation could you want for a senior leader?
I hope that you will join me in welcoming Hnaef in his new role. There have been some grumblings about his involvement in Drayton's recent experiences, in the cash-for-tealights affair, and for the allegedly suspicious inducements he received for nominating Argwit and Ludwig as Half-Druids. If anyone has any issues with Hnaef's new post, I am happy for them to discuss those issues with me directly. After all, I know where you live.
Wednesday, 3 December 2008
After a thorough and wide-ranging review, I have concluded that Hnaef was wholly responsible for this unfortunate, unwarranted and illegal intrusion into Drayton's affairs. Just because Drayton took an irresponsible and dangerously misguided interest in the affairs of the running of the Beaker Alpaca and Mushroom farm does not justify his mistreatment.
I have therefore regretfully had to sack Hnaef from his role as Arch-Assistant to the Arch-Druid with immediate effect. We cannot tolerate this kind of behaviour.
I hope we can now draw a line under the whole affair.
Monday, 1 December 2008
Although Hnaef and I spent several hours discussing how Drayton could be more constructive with respect to our employment of Kosovan and Congolese refugees, I would like to stress that I knew nothing about it in advance, and was totally unaware that it was happening at the time. I only found out about Drayton's incarceration after Hnaef told me about it. I should stress that Hnaef enjoys my complete confidence, and will continue to do so until it is necessary for me to sack him for unlawful imprisonment.
Saturday, 29 November 2008
And then we heard the screams from the Orchard. It turned out that the Church of the Order of the Moon Gibbon had convinced themselves that the fog was the direct result of the work of the Moon Gibbon, and that the Moon would be blotted out forever. By the time we got out there, they were laying on the ground hyperventilating and had to be restored by a series of brisk slaps to the face.
I just pray that we get a clear night some time soon...
Friday, 28 November 2008
Drayton was previously asking awkward questions about the takeover and running-down of Mrs Whimsey's Doily Shops. Going round writing "The Archdruid is a bad businesswoman" on the sheds around the Community was not the most constructive way to deal with this issue. However the "cease and desist" notice seemed to have the desired effect.
But Drayton was not satisfied. Now he has started to muse about the legality of the (remarkably cheap) Kosovan and Congolese gardeners that we are using in the Community mushroom farm and alpaca ranch. This sort of behaviour can only destabilise a happy community. So Drayton spent a few hours, at the request of Hnaef and myself, discussing a better way of moving the debate forward. Like stopping talking about it.
It has been pointed out that Drayton's little chat with us co-incided with the attention of the community being drawn in another direction, with the unfortunate incident of Young Keith running amok in the refectory during lunch. I can only emphasise that this was a total co-incidence. We would have beaten Drayton up - sorry, had our discussions with him - either way.
Thursday, 27 November 2008
We are a group of post-christendom pre-Celtic druids and hippies, spending all our time lighting tealights and meditating on pebbles, and with absolutely no commercial sense or experience in the furniture market. So it is true we could probably have come up with a better business plan than the existing management of the company achieved. However we've still got our hands full with the issues arising from winding-up the doily shops and the new alpaca venture.
Monday, 24 November 2008
But while we wait for the alpaca breeding programme to come on-line, don't despair! You can already buy sweaters, in an authentic Beaker pattern, in authentic acrylic in a range of authentic Beaker colours (brown, beige, or khaki).
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
However... I've had a call from Whipsnade. Apparently one of their Bison is missing, and they thought of us. Anyone got anything to tell me?
However - not so grateful to whoever it was that put the Minotaur in there. Please could you remove it immediately?
We realise that, as the prophet Bertie Wooster put it, some fairly rough work has been carried out at the font - with children particularly these days given names such as Aston Martin, Key-fob, Branston and Gloria Mundi.
The Beaker Naming Ceremony offers the opportunity to take on your true name, and one reflecting your concern for nature or some aspect of your personality. However it is important that new Beaker People put some thought into their Beaker Names before they attend Moot for approval of their Beaker Names. Ensuring that the names meet some essential standards will prevent unneccessary time spent trying to think of new ones. Therefore please bear the following in mind:
Generally, names must be genuinely Beaker-ish - or at least sound like they might be. So Birdwitt, Ggrelthrop, Argle, Keith and Eileen are all acceptably Beakerish names. Turns out that Hnaef is Anglo-Saxon, but it's a bit late to change it now.
It is acceptable for people to adopt the names of small villages in the South Midlands that sound like they might be real people. This reflects our concern for a living concern with the landscape, rooted in the deep history of this land. Who knows - names such as Drayton Parslow, Marston Trussell and Burton Dasset may even go back to Beaker times. Note however that this only applies to small settlements. So Warwick, Dudley and Chester, for example, are all out - not least because they are geographically inappropriate. Luton, likewise, is totally unacceptable.
Names that are Druidic are acceptable because, as we know, the Druids were originally Beaker People. This gives us issues with names relating to the Arthurian cycle. On pragmatic grounds, we were prepared to accept Morgana, as there are so few villages with feminine-sounding names. On the other hand, we decided that Merlin was out - consider it our protest against that programme on BBC1 on Saturdays. Mind you, we'd still advise keeping your eye on Morgana. You don't pick a name like that for nothing.
Note that people have also already tried the following names, which have all been rejected as insufficiently authentic, or just plain stupid: Gandalf, Ijsselmeer, Ikhnaton, Itsacon, Tesco, Uncle Bulgaria, Dumbledore, Ragwort.
Monday, 17 November 2008
Brelgert, for instance - we thought he was so butch. His habit of wandering around the garden in a checked shirt, cutting down trees, gave us a certain impression of his personality. And yet his rendition of "I will Survive" left us all wondering. Certainly Mrs Brelgert was less than impressed.
And Grelwart. It was bad enough that he claimed to be performing a rendition of "Smack my Bitch up". But we've a horrible feeling that what he was actually singing was "Smack my Bishop". I mean, which would be worse? Our ecumenical relationships could be awfully strained.
And as for Hnaef. Generally so restrained, so English, so inclined to impose his liberal, tolerant views on everyone whether they like it not. So where did the obsession with "Psycho Killer" come from? And why did we have to hear it so many times?
However, we have to look on the bright side. There's no doubt that the Beaker Folk are considerably more extravert than they were even last week. Thanks to the rock-breaking, the foundations of the Moot House are well on the way and everyone is generally looking more toned. Here's to some dedicated whittling this coming week.
Saturday, 15 November 2008
Much in line with my expectations, it turns out that, to a Beaker Person, you're all INFP. So this explains why so little construction has taken place. You've all been wandering about considering how you relate to the task 0f building a Moot Hall - wondering what it must feel like to actually be a length of willow - trying to understand you place in the sheer mootiness of it all - while a great pile of badly-whittled sticks has lain around on the grass where a Moot Hall should be appearing.
Well, winter's going to be here soon and I'm sick to death of having to host a bunch of hippy new-age wannabes in my Dining Room for want of a better "space"(or "room" as we used to call them...) So I'm taking some drastic action.
To encourage a few I's to turn into E's, I'm introducing compulsory Karaoke. The landlord of the White Horse was not encouraging when I suggested we should hold it there every night, so instead it will take place in the Apple Shed. Yes I know it's full of apples, but you should all have thought of that before you started skipping around thinking the stars are God's daisy chain and that shooting stars are dying fairies.
And to get some Judging and Thinking behaviour going on around here, I'm introducing a daily mental maths exercise instead of the Pouring out of Beakers ceremony. And a rock-breaking time instead of Filling Up of Beakers (because if we're scrapping Pouring out of Beakers, let's face it, Filling up of Beakers is going to get a bit messy).
So enough with the rich inner lives already. We're gonna whip some druids into line here and get the Moot House built
Friday, 14 November 2008
For we know Husborne Crawley to be an eerie, slightly on-the-edge, thin place. And it is said locally that, of a Hunter's Moon, the form of Herne the Hunter, having lost his way in Windsor, is to be seen looking for his lost wolves or whatever it is he does. Or maybe one can see the sight of Edith Weston, cruelly burnt as a witch by the 2nd Duke. Or it could be the sound of the Gabriel Hounds, as they hunt for lost souls over Aspley Heath. Though let's face it, they'd be better heading off for Milton Keynes, or maybe hovering over the lost souls in the traffic jams on the M1.
So as we made our observations of the moon, it was with no little surprise that we heard the howling coming ever closer, through the cool of the night, under that Hunter's Moon.
Sunday, 9 November 2008
Archdruid: Brothers, sisters, and siblings of unspecified gender, we gather together to remember the 19th anniversary of the coming down of the Berlin wall.
All: Ooh, is it 19 years already? Seems like yesterday.
We spend a moment wondering where the last 19 years have gone.
Archdruid: We remember all the walls in our own life we have built - between ourselves our God, between ourselves and others - even within our own minds, between aspects of our own personalities.
Another moment is spent as we try to imagine building a wall between aspects of our own personalities, and wondering what the Archdruid is on this morning.
Archdruid: We remember those in our lives that have caused us to build these walls. All those teachers who wouldn't leave them kids alone, the parents maybe lost in unexplained wild-animal mysteries over on Aspley Heath, the forces of authority. And we say together:
All: All in all, you're just another brick in the wall.
Archdruid: OK, I know what you're all waiting for. Let's get on with it.
All: Tear down the Wall! Tear down the Wall!
The Arch-Assistant to the Arch-druid will hand out safety goggles, gloves, and sledge hammers. Or, as it may be for Duplo, blow-torches.
After the Tearing Down of the Wall, this hymn may be sung:
All: All alone, or in twos,
The ones who really love you
Walk up and down outside the wall.
Some hand in hand
And some gathered together in bands.
The bleeding hearts and artists
Make their stand.
And when they've given you their all
Some stagger and fall, after all it's not easy
Banging your heart against some mad b*gger's wall.
Saturday, 8 November 2008
We have realised that the problem is a simple one of supply and demand. And since it is an economic problem, there is an economic solution.
We have therefore engaged on a thorough sweep of the Husborne Crawley, Aspley Guise and Woburn Sands area - with raiding parties into Ridgmont, using the wonderful new bypass - and collected every acorn that was to be seen. We were aided in this by Carlos, our friend from the Altimira Folk of Asturias, who was able to adopt some technology generally used by his compatriots to hoover up all the fish in the North Atlantic. We have now built a giant bonfire of acorns (and a few unfortunate woodland creatures that fell foul of the indiscrimate nature of the acorn collector) and have spent all night burning the lot.
So hurry to buy your genuine druidic acorns while the limited stocks last! Only £5 each, and every penny goes towards the Great Trilithon appeal. After we've paid for the acorn collector.
Friday, 7 November 2008
As you all know, Hnaef performs the role of Arch-Assistant to the Archdruid without payment, combining this with the "day job" of running an archery school for people with no thumbs. We wish to recognise this in future by referring to him as a "Self-Supporting Druid" (SSD). The old name, "Not a Proper Druid like Eileen" (NAPDLE), will no longer be used for people with this status. This recognises that Hnaef is indeed a proper druid, even when dressed in his instructor's uniform and covered in arrow marks.
Wednesday, 5 November 2008
Firstly, Bonfire Night is simply a degenerate version of the original, Hallowe'en (or Samhain* as the Celts knew it)**
Secondly, it's a celebration of religious intolerance. Although dressed up as a celebration of the saving of the incontinent and dubiously-bearded James I (&VI of Scotland, of course), the clue is in the burning of the Guy. Poor Guido is the scapegoat of the 17th Century, and an encouragement to the persecution of Catholics. Since the Beaker Folk are a tolerant and egalitarian people, we cannot accept this attitude. Guy Fawkes is therefore abolished, at least in our little corner of Husborne Crawley.
It has come to my knowledge that some Beaker People snuck off to the fireworks at Turvey last Saturday. Clearly we cannot tolerate dissent in this area, so they have been confined to the Doily Shed for the duration. There's nothing I hate more than the celebration of intolerance of other opinions.
* Some claim that Samhain should be pronounced "Sawin".
** In which case, why don't they spell it properly?
Tuesday, 4 November 2008
8 am - Quick nap
10 am - Being slightly uncertain where we are (NB this could equally apply to Dan Quail or, indeed, Dubya)
noon - One for the Gipper
2 pm - Star Wars
4 pm - Re-enactment of the invasion of Grenada (at the duck pond)
8 pm - Last Tango with Maggie
10 pm - Bedtime for Bonzo
Dress code - implausibly orange hair dye.
Sunday, 2 November 2008
Secondly, you can sponsor a small part of the building of the new Moot House. Most people would go for sponsoring a brick, but as we're rebuilding in traditional Beaker wattle-and-daub, we needed a new twist. So for just £5, Hnaef will wittle your name onto a birch twig, which will be incorporated into the new building. Just imagine - you could be immortalised as a benefactor for oooh... anything up to three or four years.
Saturday, 1 November 2008
It was with great regret that we had to start the procession from the Great House rather than the Moot Hall, the Moot Hall having burnt down during last week's Festival of Creative Worship. However, it was still a moving site as the green hi-viz of the Festal Druids glowed in the shimmers of moonlight that we could see through the mist. Arfur turned up wearing the wrong colour hi-viz, but then what do you expect? The procession through the Orchard was sufficiently impressive - but the shock came as we rounded the Doily Shed to find - no Duckhenge. Our magnificent trilithon, bought at the cost of so many ducks as the creosote leached off into the pond last year, has gone. The Samhain Rites were nothing like so magnificent without a henge monument.
Investigation has shed light on the incident. Burton and Drayton have admitted they chopped Duckhenge up when they ran out of firewood during the Saluting the Moon ceremony. In olden days, anyone chopping up and burning a sacred monument would have been hanged from the nearest trilithon. Ironically, even if this were still allowed, the nearest trilithon is in any case now a pile of ashes. Burton and Drayton have now erected a giant thermometer outside the community visible from the Aspley road, and the "Great Trilithon Appeal" is now officially open.
Meanwhile, due to the shortened ritual, it would appear Young Keith and his friends went off to the White Horse for a couple prior to some fairly foolish trick-or-treating. I don't know who got those Russell Brand and Jonathon Ross masks, but they've terrified poor old Mr Garcia down Crow Lane.
Tuesday, 28 October 2008
Sunday, 26 October 2008
Hnaef's use of the music of lesser-known Ukrainian nose-flute worship music put us off to a melodic, if frankly baffling, start. Likewise Burton's "twenty minutes of yodelling". Burton's explanation that it freed our spirits from the oppression of the Mind seemed highly likely. However whether that is actually a good thing is a matter for some debate. Elwick's creative use of pebbles of course had to be brought to a quick conclusion, as stoning is no longer a legal method of ecclesiastical discipline in this country.
From then on, it's fair to say it was all downhill. Full marks to Birgit on the ecumenical front for using a theme that was entirely in keeping with today's Christian lectionary. And I'm sure there is a creative way to represent Ezra's reading of the Law. I just don't think that liturgical dance is necessarily that creative way. Meanwhile Hrastmir's representational tableau "Death is nothing at all", had to be cut short so we could pull him out of the pond and administer the kiss of life.
But in retrospect, I hold myself partly to blame for the final disaster. We were running out of time, and it was my idea to hold the last two items concurrently. Given my Health and Safety background, I should have thought harder. But who could have predicted that Roswell's raffia "Machu Pichu" and Chelsee's "Night of a thousand tealights" would react together so disastrously? The good news however is that although the Moot Hall has now been burnt to the ground, at least the Father Christmas has gone west with it. And hopefully the insurance company is not a victim of the credit crunch. Yet.
Saturday, 25 October 2008
And goodness knows, we Beaker Folk are in touch with the seasons. We love to anticipate, experience and celebrate the rhythms of the year. As we pass from Yule to Easter, from Beltane to midsummer, from solstice to solstice and equinox to equinox - our liturgical hi-viz vests change colour from red to green, yellow to pink: marking, celebration, and - let's face it - mourning passing time. We see the new life of spring, and the death of winter - yet a death that still has promise, as the crocus deep below the ground already anticipates the spring in the depths of winter.
We appreciate the seasons.
But I still don't appreciate the giant flashing Father Christmas that has appeared on the roof of the Great House. It's still October. Please remove it.
Monday, 20 October 2008
Álvaro Arbeloa is the right-back for Liverpool Football Club.
Arbor Low is a stone circle in the Peak District. It does not sign autographs, nor is it a friend of "Stevie G". It doesn't overlap Dirk Kuyt. It just kind of lays there, looking like a knocked-over henge monument.
Hope that clears up any confusion.
Monday, 13 October 2008
The Milton Keynes Single Mothers' club has had to be suspended since the 275 pumpkins that were contributed to them last year just lay there and rotted. This follows on from the previous year, when all those lettuces had wilted by the time we got them to the Rabbit Refuge. And some members of the Mothers' Union got all over-excited by Hnaef's collection of novelty parsnips. So just tins of beans this year, please.
Contrary to the rumour that went around last year, we do not have to sacrifice anyone to the God of the Corn. We are a peaceful religion, and do not sacrifice anyone to anything. Poor Drayton got very nervous last year, what with Young Keith following him around with a tape measure and a frying pan.
Burton has promised to dress up as Jack in the Green. We've explained his costume and duties very carefully to him, as it was rather embarrassing last year when Hnaef, under a misapprehension, got dressed up as Jack in the Box instead. I never want to have to remove a Beaker Person from a spring that size again, as long as I live.
The enactment of Bacchanalian revels last year got a bit out of hand. Perhaps we could go for a tableau of people reaping this year, instead?
And finally the perennial reminder - no matter how tempting or how autumnal, we do not want the mass-release of a horde of woodland creatures into the Moot House at any point in the ceremonies. Somehow every year someone gets over-excited and we end up over-run by panic struck rabbits, foxes and squirrels. Last year was definitely the worst, and I do not, under any circumstances, want to face another badger in a mood like that.
Thursday, 9 October 2008
President: We come together today to contemplate one of the great mysteries of life. How come Kirsty MacColl's no longer with us, but Shane MacGowan's still going strong?
All: Yeah, you'd have got long odds against that 10 years ago.
President: We pause to acknowledge that we are in the presence of the company of heaven.
All: There's an angel floating round this house. Floating round my house.
President: Do we always have to be sorry?
Congregation: Why can't we just be happy baby?
President: "You scumbag, you maggot"
Congregation: "You cheap lousy faggot*"
President: "Ooh, I forgot that line. That's not very good is it? We didn't really ought to have included that."
Congregation: "Well come to that, you've not exactly been that kind to maggots**, have you?"
President: "Not in the same league though?"
Congregation: Maggots are people, too!
The service ends in a brawl. As usual.
* The Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley would like to apologise to any punks, bums, people on junk, or anyone else that may have been offended by this liturgy.
** No maggots were hurt during the making of this blog post.
Late result - England 2 - Colombia 0
Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Thanks to the Worship Team for the special Michaelmas celebrations last night. A real alt.worship feel, with Hnaef dressing up as a Michaelmas daisy to sing "Supper's Ready" as a tribute to Peter Gabriel. Nice to see that the Dragon Slaying dance has come on well since April, with fewer burns and only the odd sword wound to deal with. But I think Burton chucking Young Keith out of the tree to symbolise the fall of the Serpent from heaven was a bit rough, especially as he landed in the duck pond. Still, as the book says, it was certainly "woe to thee" to assorted parts of the community as he crawled out covered in smelly mud and went in search of Burton to take his awful revenge. I think Burton reckoned his time was pretty short last night...
Sunday, 28 September 2008
Thursday, 25 September 2008
On the other hand, we made an absolute fortune over the last months thanks to the demise of Mrs Whimsey's Doily Shops Ltd. You may remember that we took Mrs Whimsey's over at a knock down price, on the grounds that we could keep this traditional and much-loved British industry in action, and incorporated it into our own doily production supply chain - thus achieving what I believe is referred to as "vertical integration". We then carried out a sale-and-leaseback of the shops to a separate limited property company, then watched and grinned as the value of the land crashed and the property company went bust. The property company had borrowed the money from Abbey, but fortunately since it was held at arms-length by an offshore holding company, the bank can whistle.
But being good stewards, we were not simply going to bury this money as in the parable of the talents. Oh no. We put it to good use taking short positions on HBOS. We're absolutely rolling in it now, and we can use a small portion of the money to pick up the chain of now-disused doily shops for a song.
Sunday, 21 September 2008
Note that the Solstice is 13.04 tomorrow afternoon British Summer Time. So you all get a lay-in. However starting at 11 am, the proceedings will be as follows:
Donning of the hi-viz (pink, from the Solstice to Samhain, with steel toe-capped books for Oblates and Assistant Archdruids)
Lighting of the Autumn fire
Ceremonial processing of the druids (clockwise around the bonfire - mind the sparks, those hi-viz vests were a job lot, and aren't guaranteed fireproof)
Scattering of the maple leaves (Hnaef to organise finding some maple trees)
Racing around the orchard trying to get away from the burning maple leaves
Collective cry of "nights are definitely drawing in. Starting to feel a bit nippy in the evenings...
Buglers and Tabla Drum players perform the ritual hymn ("March of the Druids")
To celebrate the sheer equinoctialness of it all, Burton will then perform a liturgical tightrope walk along a rope strung across the duck pond. He's feeling a bit nervous at the minute, so please can you all stop sneaking up behind him and shouting "splash"!
The service will conclude in utter chaos, as is traditional, and the handing out of portions of apple and blackberry pie that, if last year's is anything to go by, will either be freezing cold or burnt to a crisp.
Tonight's anthem at Howling at the Moon will be "Last Day of Summer" (K MacColl)
Monday, 15 September 2008
Hnaef has kindly offered to cut everyone's hair into the appropriate style, and set himself up in the Woodshed with a pair of electric clippers and a manic grin. Small pieces of tissue paper will be handed out to put on any nicks.
Please note that we had a misprint in the recent newsletter when it said that I had been on pilgrimage at Lourdes. I'd actually gone to Lords, for South Africa game.
Friday, 12 September 2008
6 am Anthem - "A Elbereth Gilthoniel"
8 am Recovery of the Silmarils
10 am Pipeweed Break
11 am Second Breakfast
12 noon Dwarf throwing
2 pm The annual Barrel-riding ritual. Gather at the Three Fysshes, Turvey, for the great Throwing in the Ouse.
4 pm Resuscitations
6 pm Dragon-slaying
8 pm Barn Dance - with music by Sauron and the Balrogs
12 midnight Departure to the Gray Havens
Thursday, 11 September 2008
However the raucous chanting afterwards was definitely unseemly. Especially that rather lewd one about Mr Tito.
* The author of this Blog would like to stress that using home-made equipment to access Setanta is strictly illegal, immoral and probably quite stupid, if you fall off the stables roof, as Young Keith managed to do. The Archdruid's suggestion that it is in any way morally acceptable is as wrong as her beard is long. Not that she has a facial hair problem. Or at least, not that you'd dare mention it to her...
Monday, 8 September 2008
Old Miss Tims got quite a shock, and has had to be revived with a large brandy. And Mrs Lane has started to look at her Brian in quite a disappointed way.
The appearance of any more "chalk figures" will be treated severely. It's just a shame there's never an auto de fé available when you need one.
Thursday, 4 September 2008
Tuesday, 2 September 2008
Sunday, 31 August 2008
On the Community trip for a few days down to the West Country, Archdruid Eileen gave me the job of collecting some pebbles from the beach for future ceremonies. I though that being an accountant would help me to ensure that I collected an appropriate number of pebbles. So looking through the Beaker Folk records, I found that in 2005, just 1 ceremony used pebbles. In 2006, clearly the sense of meditation on the Creation and sheer pebblyness had started to strike a real chord, and there were 3 such ceremonies. This year we are on track for 27 pebble-related acts of worship. By June 2010, we will be heading for pebble involvement every day, as far as I can tell.
At the same time, the size of the community is growing. So the number of pebbles per act of worship is now growing exponentially. In short, by 2015 I calculate the community will require something of the order of 20 million pebbles to satisfy its worshipping requirements.
That's a lot of pebbles.
So I filled the back of my beaten-up old beige Saab with as many pebbles, cobbles and other related small stones as I could from Bude beach, and headed up the Atlantic Highway en route to Husborne Crawley. Unfortunately, my calculation of weight is not as accurate as my calculation of pebble requirements, and I broke my back axle just outside Bideford. In coming to my assistance, a policeman noticed the cause of my predicament. I am now undergoing investigation for driving a vehicle over its maximum legal laden weight, and mining without a licence.
If only all policemen were related to Young Keith.
Tuesday, 26 August 2008
Can I remind Beaker Folk that we chose this site because of its significant position on the Greensand Ridge. This means that in making cuttings in the landscape, you are exposing sandstone, not chalk. If you want to make Chalk Cuttings, you want to join our sister-community, the Iceni Folk of Houghton Regis. That's if they come out of their bunker.
In the meantime, I congratulate whoever it was that cut the Long Man of Wilmington into the lawn in the orchard. Quite a good likeness of the original.
Thursday, 21 August 2008
Archdruid: The shareef dont like it
All: Rockin the casbah - Rock the casbah
Archdruid: The shareef dont like it
All: Rockin the casbah - Rock the casbah
Liturgy of Middle-Class Atonement for what they've done to everyone else...
Archdruid: The wives hate their husbands and their husbands don't care
All: Their children daub slogans to prove they lived there.
Archdruid: A giant pipe organ up in the air
All: You can't live in a home which should not have been built
Archdruid: By the bourgeoise clerks who bear no guilt
All: When the wind hits this building, this building it tilts.
Liturgy of Middle-Age Regret that we're not as young as we used to be
Archdruid: Breakin rocks in the hot sun
All: I fought the law and the law won. I fought the law and the law won.
Archdruid: I needed money cause I had none
All: I fought the law and the law won. I fought the law and the law won.
Anthem: "London's Calling" to the tune of "Cambridge New"
Archdruid: My daddy was a bankrobber
All: But he never hurt nobody
Archdruid: He just loved to live that way
All: And he loved to steal your money
Invitation to the Riot
Archdruid: White riot - I wanna riot. White riot - a riot of my own. White riot - I wanna riot. White riot - a riot of my own
All: And also with you.
The service will conclude with the burning down of the Potting Shed, unless Hnaef manages to stop them.
Happy birthday, Joe Strummer, wherever you are.
Wednesday, 20 August 2008
8 am - Invasion of the large slobbery dogs
10 am - Realisation of inherited guilt
12 noon - Gazing into the abyss
2 pm - Naming the Un-name-able
4 pm - Lurking fate
6 pm - The fall of civilisation
8 pm - Brandy Barrels
Monday, 18 August 2008
I say final, because unfortunately Dominga chose for her canvas the stretch of the M1 a few feet south of Junction 13. She did a good job of it - not everyone can strip precisely two inches off the tarmac over such an intricate design - but the people at the roadworks at J8 were livid when they found out that an excavator and a number of cones were missing. And obviously the closure of the northbound carriageway while she carried out the work went down very badly with the Highways Agency. So I'm afraid Young Keith's uncle the policeman came round earlier to inform Dominga it would be best if she left the country immediately. It was, all things considered, with a certain degree of relief that we just dropped her off at Heathrow. Not least because it means I won't be waking up every morning wondering what animal has miraculously appeared in the garden overnight.
Saturday, 16 August 2008
We will remember the guidance of this great man, who told us don't be cruel, and don't let your cheating heart lead to you crying in the chapel. Otherwise you'll realise you've lost that loving feeling. You will wonder, was anyone else a fool such as I? You need to be all shook up. So let your wooden heart be softened. Realise you've got a lot of living to do - it's now or never. And we can receive burning love, and look forward to peace in the valley, where we will enjoy paradise hawaiian style.
At this last full moon of summer, Hnaef will be re-lighting the fire. Having bought himself a new lighter, he will be using his latest flame.
The Clambake will be held in the Orchard, once we've re-laid the turf over the picture of a turtle that was cut into it overnight.
Today's liturgical dress: Blue Suede Shoes.
Friday, 15 August 2008
Next year, there will not be a cricket match. I think it's fair to say that neither side exactly entered into the spirit of what was meant to be a relatively unserious affair. At one extreme we had Burton Dasset's complaints when he realised that the cricket ball is actually quite hard. And at the other, we had Drayton Parslow's sledging. I realise there were also complaints about my bodyline bowling technique, but I was merely trying to rough up their captain prior to bowling the yorker. Hnaef really didn't help matters by wearing a straw boater with his whites and walking round the outfield with a teddy bear called Aloysius, but I simply put that down to his Upper Class upbringing.
But I think it's fair to say that it was the after the game that things went seriously wrong. It's possibly my own fault as I should have explained the concept of inculturation to Dominga more clearly. At around 6 o'clock last night, while we were sharing an act of worship with the Guinea Pig Worshippers - a fairly pointless exercise, since their worship is conducted entirely in squeaks, grunts and whistles - We asked Dominga if she would check that the barbecue coals had caught properly. Dominga walked past the Guinea Pig colony in their sacred cages on her way to the patio area. Unfortunately, being from Peru, she assumed they were the hors d'oeuvres.
Suffice it to say that though they were - all things considered - quite nice about it, all Beaker Folk are now banned from Stewartby. And what with this and the growing number of shivering gibbons about the place, the Animal Rights people are starting to take an interest again.
Wednesday, 13 August 2008
At some point in the night, it would appear that somebody dismantled the cairn, and laid it out in the shape of the Moon Gibbon on the lawn.
What can it mean?
Tuesday, 12 August 2008
Thursday, 7 August 2008
The fracas seems to have arisen between those who claimed that the Moon is inherently feminine (as evidenced in Greek and Roman mythology) and those that call the Moon "he" (in line with, for example, the Hobbits). In any case, it all got a bit fractious and Gnoor is now suffering from a severe bruise which he seems to have received from the blunt end of a wood-splitting maul.
To try to clarify the matter - the Moon has both masculine and feminine attributes.
For example, in its brightness and clarity, its beauty and - particularly during its first and last quarters - its delicate and fragile nature, the Moon clearly shows her feminine side. One might also refer to the way that the pregnant Moon in its first and second quarter grows towards Full.
On the other hand, one might argue that in the way that it disappears at New Moon, the way that the clouds can hide it from view and, particularly when near New in the Summer, sometimes it just clears off completely, like someone who romances you on holiday in Rimini and then never writes and all your post is returned "Not Known at this Address", the Moon has strongly male attributes. Pig.
Saturday, 2 August 2008
And Lammas itself. Well, it's clearly a pagan festival, as documented in the official records that go all the way back to... ooh, well at least 1957. And it's meant to be an early harvest festival, celebrating the bringing-in of the wheat. Wheat's in short supply in the Beaker Allotment, so the festival had to be slightly tweaked to whatever produce was being brought in. OK, so beetroot is hardly a substitute. But it's still the fruit of the earth. And yes, Drayton shouldn't have eaten quite so much beetroot to celebrate the festival. But no-one was to know that his face would go quite so red. And the tests at Milton Keynes General have confirmed that all the other medical danger signs he was showing were also simply indicative of beetroot poisoning. He's on an intravenous drip of pickling vinegar, and we're hoping he'll be back to normal within a week or two.
Friday, 1 August 2008
In line with the best Health and Safety guidance, I should point out that we issued everyone with strict instructions as to not looking at the sun, not least because there wasn't much to see.
We currently have several acolytes walking round the orchard bumping into trees. This was due to their looking directly at the sun against the direct advice of the board of Beaker Folk plc (incorporating Mrs Whimsey's Doilies Ltd (now in administration)). We additionally accept no liability for any permanent damage to the optic nerves of people foolish enough to have purchased Young Keith's home-made "smoked glass".
Thursday, 31 July 2008
- Everybody must stop whatever they are doing immediately.
- Unless it's not wrong, of course.
- Or possibly if they sincerely believe it's not wrong.
- Or if they're not sure if it's wrong, try and have a guess one way or the other...
- Or if they aren't going to take any notice of us anyway as they don't have to.
- But at least, be careful.
- And respect other people's views. That's very important.
- Except the ones we don't agree with.
- Especially the American druids. They just do what they like anyway. Swine.
- And the African druids. Telling us what to do like they think we're not the ones in charge.
- And to the writers of the minority report asking us why we all got here by plane and 4x4 (and Eileen's Archdruidic Helicopter) when the world is struggling with climate change. For goodness' sake, get some sense of proportion...
Tuesday, 29 July 2008
The major grouping of Beaker Folk are those that use Tealights in worship. Tealights are particularly handy in finding your way around dark orchards while waiting for moonrise. The Tealight Folk are generally fairly hardline against pebbles, but otherwise prepared to tolerate most forms of Beakerism.
The most liberal and welcoming of the Beaker Folk are those that believe that through the contemplation of pebbles we gain an understanding of the smallness of the Created Order. Being the most liberal, they are prepared to listen and understand other people's viewpoints. They hate the Tealight Folk and the Primitive Beaker Folk with a vengeance, because these groups are less tolerant.
Julian Beaker Folk
Like Pebbles People, but with hazelnuts. Oddly, they are all in fact called Julian.
Primitive Beaker Folk
Eschew both pebbles and tealights. Normally to be found shivering in the dark because they are against modern forms of heating and lighting. Happy to burn wood to keep warm, but their strict prohibition on using matches means that starting a fire can be a bit tricky.
Extreeme Primitive Beaker Folk
Like the other Primitive Beaker Folk, but more Methodist.
Spend most of their time drinking french liqueurs. Friendly but generally incomprehensible.
Fertility Beaker Folk
Spend a lot of time dancing naked on Aspley Heath. Frequently arrested by Young Keith's uncle Brian, the police constable.
Third Church of the Moon Gibbon
Believe that the moon is in constant danger of being swallowed by the Moon Gibbon. Spend a lot of time praying desperately at times of New Moon. Can be paralysed with fear at times of lunar eclipse.
Beaker Folk Together in Husborne Crawley
Spend all their time trying to get other Folk to join them, on the grounds that they bring people together regardless of their detailed beliefs. Organise committees whenever possible, and for whatever reason. Only two of them.
Charismatic Beaker Folk
To be honest, they're not all that charismatic.
Finally, there are the people who worship Kirsty MacColl as the Moon Goddess. At least they're musically sound...
Wednesday, 23 July 2008
As usual, the 4"x4" square panel on the front of the surplices has been bought by a major local brewer. Some objectors have claimed that having alcohol advertising on druidic surplices encourages binge drinking, but I've not noticed that any of the Beaker Folk need the slightest encouragement anyway, and booze pays.
All members of the Druidic party are entitled to attract their own sponsorship for the 3"x3" space on their back. Some druids attracted sponsorship from some very dodgy sources last year, so please can you tone it down, lads and lasses.
Replica Druidic Surplices are now available in the Beaker Shop. Note particularly that we recognise that my own replica surplice (squad number 8), bearing my full title "Archdruid Eileen Victoria de Russell Mountebank-Fitzsmithers" came in a bit pricey at 20p per letter. So this year we have a discount version, simply saying "Eileen". You can also get a variety of "celebrity" surplices bearing names such as "Gerrard", "Torres", and "Carragher".
Monday, 21 July 2008
An interesting couple of talks over the Full Moon period, but maybe a few lessons to be learned.
The talk from our visiting speaker from the Easter Island Big Face people on "why we should all be nice to each other and learn to listen" was rather spoilt by an outbreak of pebble and brick-throwing from all sides in our recent "pebbles or tealights" debate. Apparently the tealight faction thought he sounded rather anti-tealight, while the pebbles people thought he was insufficiently condemnatory of tealights. I don't think this is the way we should greet our brothers and sisters from other cultures.
Young Keith's talk on Bloke-ist theology was if anything even more disturbing. It's important that we encourage our younger Beaker Folk to share their gifts. And I thought when we had discussed it that Keith's concerns over the "feminisation" of Beaker worship, and the Beaker tradition of strong female leadership, were worth unpacking. Unfortunately, it would appear that having read "Wild at Heart" just after being dumped by his girlfriend, Keith went slightly over the top.
To correct a few things that Keith said during his talk:
- While it shares some religious aspects, football is still not, technically, a religion.
- Gender is no barrier to becoming Archdruid. Not being the person who owns the Great House, on the other hand, is.
- Hnaef's beard is not fake. He's just an empathetic and warm human being.
- Ronnie Wood is a sad case of a man with problems who needs help through a crisis. He is not "an example to us all".
- Even if you could find a bear in this country, it's probably illegal to shoot it.
- The original Beaker Folk were gentle and peaceful. They did not spend their lives fighting endless border disputes. Apart from the sporadic and isolated massacres of other cultures, obviously.
- There is no plan to put oestrogen in the Beaker water supply.
- Painting yourself blue with woad, and climbing the wall of Woburn Safari Park to wrestle with the wolves is not a sensible, or indeed legal, rite of passage to prove you are a "Beaker Warrior".
Just as soon as Keith is out of hospital, I will be explaining the error of his ways to him.
Meanwhile, on the "festival of peace and reconiciliation" that young Dora organised for us at the full moon itself - thank you, Dora, for organising such a comprehensive assortment of items for contemplation - the pebbles, to remind us of the smallness of the earth. The hazelnuts, to remind us of Mother Julian's vision. I know that they were de-shelled and packaged, but hey it's July and that's all Waitrose had. The potter's clay, with which we could envisage our lives being re-modelled. The raffia, with which we could weave the tales of our lives into an autobiographical basket. And the "shredding station", where people could write their failings and troubles on pieces of paper and then shred them away.
Now, I know that the shredding station was noisy. But that was no reason for somebody to shove the potter's clay and pebbles into it. It wasn't big and it wasn't clever.
Mind you, at least the rest of the meditation was quiet. And you'll all be pleased to hear that Elouise is nearly over her anaphylactic shock now.
Saturday, 19 July 2008
Burton has now declared that he is channeling the spirit of the Moon Gibbon. He has recently taken to hiding in the trees, and then chasing after dog-walkers and courting couples on the assumption they are egg-stealing. When challenged as to what he is up to, he says that he is merely the one who is making a path in the forest, declaring the way for the True Gibbon, whose fur he is not worthy to groom.
If Burton tries to explain any of this gibberish to you, please can you ignore him.
He's not the Moon Gibbon, he's just a very spaced-out accountant.
Wednesday, 16 July 2008
8am Pointless wranglings over obscure doctrine (will continue forever)
10am Filioqui-ists to gather in the orchard for double processions
12 noon - Lunch
2 pm - Guarded peace overtures
4 pm - Political overtones
6 pm - Linguistic misunderstandings
8.30 - Unexpected outbreak of ordinations
8.33 - Tuttings and Sighings
11 pm - Anathemas
NB today is an international celebration and therefore various people may be in different time zones. For example, for members of Gafcon, all timings must be adjusted to about 1500 AD.
Sunday, 13 July 2008
On an unrelated matter, please can people stop shoving slices of ham and processed cheese under the potting shed door for Drayton Parslow and his unreformed friends to eat. I know you're being well-meaning, but I'm afraid that a certain amount of strong-arm treatment is needed if we're going to crush their shocking attitude of intolerance.
The Archdruid put forward a motion - "That all Beaker Folk should be more tolerant of others, whether they like it or not". A number of members of the Moot suggested that the essence of tolerance is being able to respect people you don't agree with, rather than only those you do. So the Archdruid had them locked in the potting shed until they develope more tolerance.
Saturday, 5 July 2008
I must say that having joined what appeared to be a stray group of Beaker Folk over in the woods near Woburn Abbey, we're all very pleased that the Powers of Light have once again defeated the Moon Gibbon, and are now pulling the moon back out of its mouth. I can't wait to share this information with the Archdruid when I see her.
Friday, 4 July 2008
Thursday, 3 July 2008
It's no good complaining that you can't see the moon because it's cloudy. You also can't see the moon because it's daylight and it's New Moon. But the service is the service. You'll just have to get wet and shiver with the rest of us. Just pity the poor souls on the Night Watch.
Oh yes - and please bring a doily.
Wednesday, 2 July 2008
The moon is not being eaten by a giant gibbon. It waxes and and wanes in a perfectly scientifically-explicable way every month. That doesn't make it any less wonderful, or any less of a spiritual experience when we commence tomorrow's Watching for the Moon service, but it does mean that the maniacs down the far end of Husborne Crawley, living in a tree as homage to the Moon Gibbon are not to be encouraged. However, out of our Beaker sense of respect for other faiths, neither should we pelt them with apples . (Hnaef, please take note - this is even if they persist in the view that the Gibbon commands a patriarchal society where the leader is always referred to as "the Old Man of the Woods").
Tuesday, 1 July 2008
Sunday, 29 June 2008
Now I know what you are thinking. You're thinking "this is just like one of those cod-traditional Celtic songbooks they're always publishing, full of bad poetry and corny social concern. If I ever hear "Brother, Sister, let me serve you" again I'm going up to Iona with a bulldozer". And I can understand that attitude. But don't forget that this is Beaker worship. An authentic tradition - two thousand years older than the so-called "Celtic" civilisation (of which we have no historical record in Great Britain). Indeed, Hnaef assures me that he translated every single song out of the original Beaker tongue, from a scroll that he acquired from "some bloke in Woburn Sands". Unfortunately the scroll has since been lost, destroyed in the Records Shed Blaze that so inconveniently also lost last year's VAT receipts.
So rush down to purchase this last record of authentic Beaker Folk culture from the Beaker Mall. £22 or, with "Junior Beaker Praise" by Dug Hourly, a mere £30.
Saturday, 28 June 2008
Granlich had asked for a "short chat" in which he informed me that he has found some spiritual meaning in the rituals of the Stewartby Hamster Worshippers. Obviously, we are an open and democratic community, and one that values diversity and supports its members in their search for meaning in life.
I therefore declare Granlich to be an un-person. He has been removed from the premises and dumped in the middle of the Ridgmont by-pass: it is, after all, in the right direction for Stewartby.
Hnaef has finished collecting Granlich's belongings into a cardboard box. At the New Moon, we will ceremonially dump them into Willen Lake.
Tuesday, 24 June 2008
It should be commonly known that currently Burton is unable to achieve full Initiate status within our Beaker community, due to his remarkable tardiness in signing off our annual reports. Apparently he is still having trouble understanding that we have genuinely lost the receipts connected with last year's expenses. Until such time as he declares himself satisfied, we will be unable to confirm his status as a full Beaker Person (and therefore no longer eligiblwe to be our external examiner). In the meantime, and once he's recovered from his state of exhaustion, I guess there's nothing for it. He'll have to keep banging the holes out of doilies.