Wednesday 26 September 2007

Food, Glorious Food

I'm starting to wonder whether this agreement with Bernie was such a good idea.

Sure, he is diligent in his role as food-gatherer. He is also a marvellous cook. He produces cheap, nutritious food in line with the Beaker tradition of environmental sustainability. And it tastes good. But when he said he was foraging on the sides of the roads, I thought he meant gathering nature's autumnal bounty of nuts and berries.

And you know, there's something deeply troubling about eating road-kill. Although it's kind and brave of him to run backwards and forwards across the M1, collecting dead animals (thankfully he now wears a hi-vis vest). And it's even more dangerous doing it at Junction 13, where there's cars coming in all directions.

On the bright side, the venison stew last night was delicious. He won't tell me what we're having for lunch, but the thing hanging in the larder looks disturbingly like a badger...

Wednesday 19 September 2007

A visitor

Just after lunchtime prayers in the (La Tene style) I heard a knock at the door. Someone calling themself Bernie. He was wondering if he could join the Beaker Folk. When I explained that the Folk have been dispersed, and I am now an anchorite in the Beaker Tradition, he asked if he could be one of them.
So I explained to him that the point of being an anchorite lies in solitariness - that Mother Julian spent her life in a cell the bigness of a hazelnut - and he asked if he could be an anchorite in the garden shed.
It seemed reasonable, so we went down to the shed - only to discover that a couple of the Hermits of Suspicion were still there. I asked whether they had room for one more, but they just looked a bit wary. In the event, Bernie is now installed in the old cowshed in the Orchard. I have agreed he can join me in the Great Hall for meals, provided he looks after the vegetables. To be honest, however, while an organic and sustainable lifestyle is of course right, I think I may need to head for Tesco's at Kingston. Swede every day for a fortnight can get a bit wearing. Mind you, it makes being solitary a blessing.

Tuesday 11 September 2007

Tidying up

I thought it was time to clear out the room that had been used by the "Creative Worship" group for planning creative worship. In Daddy's day it used to be his study, and every wall was covered in bookshelves and filing cabinets.

Mostly the filing cabinets seemed to be full of stones. After a while trying to shift them by hand I realised the job was going to take months. So in the end I brought in a bit of help (a couple of builders and a mini-digger) and now I have a spendidly gravelled drive!

The shells I found in the coal shed have also been useful in creating a decorative mulch for the front (and back) flower beds. But I'm not sure what to do with the remaining 15 cubic metres.

As for the tealights, I've melted most of them down and been able to create a life-size model of Anthea Turner. I'll be using it as a garden light during the autumn months.

Sunday 9 September 2007

Dedication's what you need

According to Archimandrite Simon, an anchorite should be named after the church to which he or she is attached. The nearest church being St James - but Archdruid James.... doesn't really have a ring to it. I wonder if the vicar would consider re-dedicating it to St Eileen? Of course, we would have to find a St Eileen first...

Friday 7 September 2007

No No Smoking

I have spent the morning scraping "No Smoking" signs off various walls around the house.

The smoking ban was a particularly tricky point with local environmental officers, who couldn't work out whether the house - and particularly the Moot Hall - was strictly a residential, business or public property. In the end they decided to ban smoking anyway.

It is a great pleasure to be able to have a pipeful of "Archdruid's Special Blend" inside - particularly now the evenings are starting to get cooler. When I argued that they were acceptable within the house as they contained only herbal ingredients, they went away but send the drug squad round instead.

Thursday 6 September 2007

Archdruid Anchorite

The old Moot House seems strangely empty now.

In the end, it was inevitable that the cafe-bar would have to go. After all - when asked if they could bring a glass of tapwater for a customer, young Kevin replied "What else do you want - the Moon on a stick?" Well, that kind of disrespect to the Moon could not be tolerated.

OK, driving the entire staff and customers out into the dark of the Husborne Crawley night may have seemed rather hasty. Especially when it was pouring with rain and many people did not have time to grab their coats. And yes, it made the Woburn Advertiser. And yes, when they came back the next day there were wolves roaming the Community grounds. But the people at the Safari Park were very gracious about it, and understood why I had needed to "borrow" them.

But now at least I have peace to pursue my dream of the true Christian religion, expressed through reverence of Creation. Without drunkards wandering back from the White Horse late at night, installing power stations in the Orchard, or filling the duck-pond with railway sleepers.

I wonder where the ducks went...