Tuesday, 27 December 2011


First Wassail tonight. A tradition of great antiquity, which our foremothers and forefathers believed would bring better apple crops - either because they thought they were appeasing the spirits of the trees, or because they were blasting hibernating caterpillars out of their snooze.

Ah, the past would've been great, wouldn't it? If it weren't for plagues, civil wars, oppressive feudal lords, religious wars, frequent deaths in childbirth, rats, ruinous overseas wars, crop failures, natural disasters, the Vikings, the Normans, internecine wars, breaking your leg and never being able to work again, malnutrition, dirty water and smallpox. And village feuds, warts, lice, The Strangles, public executions, malaria, backbreaking labour and invasions.

Now we've had some problems with this ceremony in the past. So I'm taking the liberty of publishing the following list.

Singing, Traditionalist Attitudes, Hi-viz, Goodwill to All People, Wellies, Tea Lights in horn-effect lanterns (available from the Beaker Bazaar).

Cider, Mulling, Beards, Smocks, Fake Dorset accents, Fireworks (with Beaker People at a safe distance, in accordance with Best Practice H&S), Over-romanticised views of the past.

Shotguns, Howitzers, Polar Bears, Grumping, Debunking, Accusations of Paganism, Helicopters, Chainsaws (they scare the trees), Running around with applewood-smoked cheese saying "look what we did with your mate", Releasing killer bees.

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