Monday 31 December 2007

New Year's Eve - a warning

OK, we've got through the Yule festivities without anything really stupid happening. No animals disappeared from the Safari Park, no roadkill for Christmas dinner, nobody frostbitten on Aspley Heath - although to be honest that's probably down to the mild weather rather than any sort of common sense on the behalf of the current flock of Beaker Folk.

As far as we're aware, the first Beaker Folk celebrated New Year at All Hallows - or possibly 1 February - or 25 March - or possibly Christmast. It all depends what spurious point you're trying to make about paganism pre-dating Christian festivals.

In any case - what I'm trying to explain is, 31 Dec - 1 Jan is a totally arbitrary distinction. It has no real meaning. It's just the change between two dates.

Let's hit the mead!

Sunday 23 December 2007

Activities for December 23

Full Moon, and the 43rd anniversary of the departure of Dr Beeching from the railways

6am - grumbling about what time it is

6.30am - donning of anoraks

7am - words of thanksgiving that the Bedford-Bletchley line is still running

8am - breathless excitement at the possible forthcoming reopening of the Oxford line

8.30am - cursing the memory of Dr Beeching

9am - doffing of anoraks

11am - martins

12am - nuns

2pm - terse

4pm - socks

6pm -10pm - migrations

11pm - barking at the moon

Saturday 22 December 2007


Overall, unimpressed with the behaviour at Solstice.

Many Beaker Folk chose to opt out of the shortest day of the year, claiming they had Seasonal Affective Disorder. This is of course a serious condition for those who suffer it. However I suspect that most of those huddling under their duvets and shuddering at the sight of daylight had simply spent more time in the White Horse than was strictly necessary.

Most Beaker Folk eventually made Sunset on the 21st. The Act of Darkness Fear seemed to be treated in quite a post-modern fashion - the comment "Well, it's not the end of the world, is it?" was seriously inappropriate in the context of the Beaker tradition that, at Solstice, only prayers and (vegetarian, non-violent) sacrifice will save the world from darkness.

The evening Community Solstice Party was likewise somewhat spoilt. We had invited the Aspley Guise Lady's Bright Hour for a celebration of Yule Cheer. Young Keith's rendition of "The Best of The Prodigy" was not warmly received. However it is fair to say that "Firestarter" was at least appropriate to our later bonfire celebrations.

Sunday 2 December 2007

Beaker Bling

Having fought a short and clearly unsuccessful campaign against the outbreak of festive Bling in Advent, we have decided that it's better to join 'em if you can't beat em. Putting that 30 ft illuminated polar bear in the Ancient Oak must have taken some doing. As my niece Alysia would say, "nuff respec". (I really must persuade her to move out of Houghton Regis - or "the Hood", as she insists on calling it).

Therefore, in the potting shed, you can now find a range of exciting and traditional Beaker festive ware.....

Weatherproof tea-light holders in the shape of Mother Christmas....... £4.

Please note that in line with our environmental credentials, parrafin wax-based tea-lights are forbidden in the Community. They are produced from a non-sustainable resource, and they release dangerous benzenoid chemicals when burnt. Tallow tea-lights are very suitable for outside use, but a bit smelly for the Moot House. They are also unsuitable for vegetarians. Beeswax tea-lights are also available in the potting shed, at the very reasonable rate of £5 for a dozen. These are unsuitable for vegans, but then what isn't? For vegans, an alternative to parrafin , tallow or beeswax tea-lights is stumbling around in the dark. With all the carrots you must be eating, you'll probably manage.

Dancing snowpeople that sing Christmas carols in eight indigenous Malian languages.... £6

Inflatable Druids with flashing sickels and mistletoe..... £20

Life-size polystyrene Stonhenges - ideal for those Solstice celebrations - £250