A few instructions on the Eve of St John. Please can you all note:
Filling-up of Beakers at 6 pm is according to the standard ritual. I will not be attempting to emulate Kate Bottley. I haven't got those moves. Or, if it turns out I have, I will probably inflame the old arthritics.
Running-into-the-woods is at 8pm.
Running-back-into-the-woods-when-we-realise-it's-wet will take place at 8.10pm.
The time from 9pm to 11pm will be spent arguing over which St John is which. For avoidance of doubt, this is St John the Baptist's Eve. He also gets the Lamb and Flag in Oxford and the colleges. So there you go. All your answers on a plate.
Anyone looking up at the Super Moon and making the joke "well, it don't look that super to me," will get a beaker of water thrown at them. Including the beaker.
Throwing apple-peel to discover your future husband, for those few female Folk who fulfil the criteria of being unwed virgins, is a silly 18th century revival. If you do it, please don't try and claim it's a pagan rite. There is, as nearly always, practically no evidence of that. In these days of serial monogamy, we will of course be providing plenty of apples. Please can you avoid sowing Parsley seed - this alternative ritual will nearly always result in Drayton Parslow demanding we throw the practitioner in the duck pond to see of she floats.
Please note that the Midsummer bonfire is not lit with real bones. I know it's traditional, but we're trying to respect the views of our vegetarian, vegan and gluten-allergic folk. Not that the last ones need to worry about bones, but they get upset if we forget they exist. Could anyone planning to jump over the bonfire ensure they wear safety goggles. Also - remove your hi-viz first. I got them cheap, and I'm not convinced they're flame proof. That kite mark looks like it was drawn on with crayon. Which means next time I need to get Burton a proper stencil.
Now that the nights are drawing in, please can you make sure you lock the door after 10pm. This ensures security, and also really annoys the Beaker Fertility Folk. The weather now being only moderately horrible, they are planning to stay out celebrating their unsavoury beliefs until the small hours, and the least we can do is lock them out in the rain.