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Saturday, 15 March 2014

Ceremony of Well-wishing

On average I receive a letter from "A Well-Wisher" about once a week.

I'm not sure what the A stands for - Andrew, perhaps, or Audrey. Also I am not sure about whether the writer is one of the Somerset Well-Wishers, or perhaps a scion of the Leicestershire branch of that noble and ancient English family - it is said that Gascon de Wisher served as lieutenant in the Breton archers at Hastings, and took the first part of his name from the family seat he established in Somerset.

In any case, the latest letter is typical of Mr or Ms Well-Wisher's oeuvre.

"Dear Archdruid  
It has come to my knowledge that you have moved the tea light stand.
You should of course be aware that the tea light stand, which was donated to the Beaker Folk by a lifelong member, was placed centrally between the northeast and Northwest doors so as to symbolise "light shining in the darkness" - a Beaker beacon of hope.  
By moving the tea light stand - in the face of 200 years of tradition - to the eastern quarter of the Moot House you might as well trample on the grave of that loyal member. I am writing to the Royal Ancient Order of Druids to protest. 
Be aware that I, and many other people with the best interests of the Beaker Folk at heart, are watching you. You will trip up. You will be found out. And then, when your disgrace is revealed, our joy will be complete.
Yours 
A Well-Wisher"
Where does one start? Obviously with the fact that, being only a decade old, the Beaker Folk's only life-long members are unlikely to have donated the tea light stand. There's only so far pocket money will stretch. I actually bought it myself, thinking it might bring in a few quid (it does). And since I installed it, I have received letterz from A Well-Wisher complaining about me moving it into and then removing it from the south apse, the Chapel of Contemplation, the Room of Viewing (ie the Telly room) and the Corridor of Uncertainty. The whole reason it's on wheels is so we can easily move it about.

OK. We had to change the wheels. The original castors meant it was so mobile that we had that occasion when, at the height of Yulefest a few years ago, a screaming Marston Moretaine ended up spreadeagled across a fast-moving and fully lit tea light stand, as it shot out of the Moot House and down into the Duck Pond. But when, on good Health and Safety grounds, we fitted lockable wheels. I received a letter from A Well-Wisher. Informing me that I was ruining the stand by removing the original Georgian castors.

I now have enough letters from A Well-Wisher that I have the ability to use them in a creative liturgy. And so, in an early-Spring version of Well-Dressing, today we will have a Ceremony of Well-wishing at the Wishing Well.

The Little Pebbles have crafted the letters into an eight-foot papier-mache representation of the sort of person who writes letters to the Telegraph. At noon, we shall carry this wondrously formed little tableau down to the Wishing Well. We shall throw it in, and leave it to bob around until, gradually, it sinks to the bottom. It will then sit there, unmoving and immovable, until it dissolves and dissipates into the brook. None of us will touch it - nobody will move it. It will remain, unchanging, until it is forgotten, irrelevant and gone.

We, meanwhile, will process to Bogwulf chapel. Apparently the Victorian Society has received a letter from "A Well-Wisher" telling them about the marvellous pitch-pine pews. We need to get them chopped up and in the Beaker Boiler before anyone manages to place a preservation order on them.

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