Saturday 20 March 2021

Celebrating Vernon Equinox

And so, as we stand around the smoking ruins of Duckhenge, looking out across the fetid waters where Young Keith drove the sit-on mower during his ritual First Mow of Spring, and as the Little Pebbles learn about proactive environmentalism by dunking mallards in soapy water - we remember the sad life of Vernon Equinox.

When Orton Equinox married his blushing bride, Summer Solstice, back in Yule 1964, they had no idea of what might befall little Vernon, the cause of their rapid wedding. 

Born in March 1965 young Vernon was a dreamy child. He made it his habit to see the sun rise over the Rollright Stones each day. This was inconvenient to his parents, who nearly killed themselves driving there from their home in Leeds.

As he grew up, Vernon Equinox became increasingly frustrated with people who confused his name with that of the first day of astronomical spring. Googling his own name - a natural hobby for those wanting to know what people think about them - only turned up pages of badly-informed reddit posts, Canadian Chevrolet garages, Beaker Folk pages making the same joke every year, and terrible poems. And the ever-mocking question: "Did you mean Vernal Equinox?"

 Vernon had to make his own name. For a while he changed his surname to Junction. But people thought he was a village in Buckinghamshire, and asked him if they could still get to Ramsgate.

Eventually Vernon decided show biz was the way. He painted himself green, put a giant flower over his head in the manner of Peter Gabriel, and went around town centres as a dancingdaffodil - the living embodiment of Spring. But he found himself involved in a turf war with a bunch of itinerant Morris Dancers from Cleckheaton.  In keeping with West Yorkshire tradition, their battles were fought out in local food. Many a Morris Dancer came to grief under the weight of Vernon's mum's heavy-battered Yorkshire pudding. And one skirmish - outside the fish shop in Garforth - he won by throwing a large cod with plenty of vinegar at the ringleader. But they came back in larger numbers. Bought a special meal deal with a can of cola. And Vernon had had his chips.

So in light of his terrible failure, the Beaker Folk mark this day in honour of Vernon Equinox. A man doomed by his name. A man who embodied the way each bright new year fails in the pitiless light of the summer sun, and dies in the bitter cold of winter. And most of all, a reminder to us all. Never get in a butty fight with a Morris Dancer.


  1. What strange new world is this? I am delighted that a Terry Pratchett fan in another group has raised my literary consciousness to new levels by linking to this blog.

    1. Interspersed between the happenings of the Beaker Folk are some of the best Christian ‘sermons’ you will find on any blog anywhere.

    2. Well thank you very much, Rowland. And welcome, varafarina. You only have 16 years to catch up on.

    3. Thank you, Archdruid and Mr. Wateridge. At my advanced age I think I'll start with the here and now if that's all right.

  2. I never knew that Vernon Equinox was a real person?

    I just thought that loads of druid types worshiped at that time, and I suspect that the Beaker folk were secretly worshiping him, rather than the cosmic event.

    I believe that the Man Fox might have something to say about this, he has opinions for everything else.


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