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Sunday, 31 August 2008

Pebbles


Bad news on the pebble front, I'm afraid.



On the Community trip for a few days down to the West Country, Archdruid Eileen gave me the job of collecting some pebbles from the beach for future ceremonies. I though that being an accountant would help me to ensure that I collected an appropriate number of pebbles. So looking through the Beaker Folk records, I found that in 2005, just 1 ceremony used pebbles. In 2006, clearly the sense of meditation on the Creation and sheer pebblyness had started to strike a real chord, and there were 3 such ceremonies. This year we are on track for 27 pebble-related acts of worship. By June 2010, we will be heading for pebble involvement every day, as far as I can tell.
At the same time, the size of the community is growing. So the number of pebbles per act of worship is now growing exponentially. In short, by 2015 I calculate the community will require something of the order of 20 million pebbles to satisfy its worshipping requirements.
That's a lot of pebbles.
So I filled the back of my beaten-up old beige Saab with as many pebbles, cobbles and other related small stones as I could from Bude beach, and headed up the Atlantic Highway en route to Husborne Crawley. Unfortunately, my calculation of weight is not as accurate as my calculation of pebble requirements, and I broke my back axle just outside Bideford. In coming to my assistance, a policeman noticed the cause of my predicament. I am now undergoing investigation for driving a vehicle over its maximum legal laden weight, and mining without a licence.
If only all policemen were related to Young Keith.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Chalk Cuttings


Since Dominga has returned to Peru, we appear to have been collecting a number of similar, if more traditionally English, geoglyphs.


Can I remind Beaker Folk that we chose this site because of its significant position on the Greensand Ridge. This means that in making cuttings in the landscape, you are exposing sandstone, not chalk. If you want to make Chalk Cuttings, you want to join our sister-community, the Iceni Folk of Houghton Regis. That's if they come out of their bunker.
In the meantime, I congratulate whoever it was that cut the Long Man of Wilmington into the lawn in the orchard. Quite a good likeness of the original.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Liturgy for the nativity of Joe Strummer

Preparation

Archdruid: The shareef dont like it
All: Rockin the casbah - Rock the casbah
Archdruid: The shareef dont like it
All: Rockin the casbah - Rock the casbah

Liturgy of Middle-Class Atonement for what they've done to everyone else...

Archdruid: The wives hate their husbands and their husbands don't care
All: Their children daub slogans to prove they lived there.
Archdruid: A giant pipe organ up in the air
All: You can't live in a home which should not have been built
Archdruid: By the bourgeoise clerks who bear no guilt
All: When the wind hits this building, this building it tilts.

Liturgy of Middle-Age Regret that we're not as young as we used to be

Archdruid: Breakin rocks in the hot sun
All: I fought the law and the law won. I fought the law and the law won.
Archdruid: I needed money cause I had none
All: I fought the law and the law won. I fought the law and the law won.



Anthem: "London's Calling" to the tune of "Cambridge New"

Offertorium


Archdruid: My daddy was a bankrobber
All: But he never hurt nobody
Archdruid: He just loved to live that way
All: And he loved to steal your money

Invitation to the Riot

Archdruid: White riot - I wanna riot. White riot - a riot of my own. White riot - I wanna riot. White riot - a riot of my own
All: And also with you.

The service will conclude with the burning down of the Potting Shed, unless Hnaef manages to stop them.

Happy birthday, Joe Strummer, wherever you are.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Today's program - St Bernard's Day / Lovecraft's Birthday

6 am - Call of Cthulu

8 am - Invasion of the large slobbery dogs

10 am - Realisation of inherited guilt

12 noon - Gazing into the abyss

2 pm - Naming the Un-name-able

4 pm - Lurking fate

6 pm - The fall of civilisation

8 pm - Brandy Barrels

Monday, 18 August 2008

Farewell to Dominga

I must say that Dominga's final geoglyph at our Husborne Crawley community was her best. A beautiful, geometrically arranged and yet naturalistic armadillo, twenty-five feet across.
I say final, because unfortunately Dominga chose for her canvas the stretch of the M1 a few feet south of Junction 13. She did a good job of it - not everyone can strip precisely two inches off the tarmac over such an intricate design - but the people at the roadworks at J8 were livid when they found out that an excavator and a number of cones were missing. And obviously the closure of the northbound carriageway while she carried out the work went down very badly with the Highways Agency. So I'm afraid Young Keith's uncle the policeman came round earlier to inform Dominga it would be best if she left the country immediately. It was, all things considered, with a certain degree of relief that we just dropped her off at Heathrow. Not least because it means I won't be waking up every morning wondering what animal has miraculously appeared in the garden overnight.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Full Moon / Remembrance of Elvis Presley

On this particularly solemn day, can we have a little less conversation before the ceremonies?

We will remember the guidance of this great man, who told us don't be cruel, and don't let your cheating heart lead to you crying in the chapel. Otherwise you'll realise you've lost that loving feeling. You will wonder, was anyone else a fool such as I? You need to be all shook up. So let your wooden heart be softened. Realise you've got a lot of living to do - it's now or never. And we can receive burning love, and look forward to peace in the valley, where we will enjoy paradise hawaiian style.

At this last full moon of summer, Hnaef will be re-lighting the fire. Having bought himself a new lighter, he will be using his latest flame.

The Clambake will be held in the Orchard, once we've re-laid the turf over the picture of a turtle that was cut into it overnight.

Today's liturgical dress: Blue Suede Shoes.

Friday, 15 August 2008

August Moon Festivities

All in all, our August Full Moon ecumenical activities with the Guinea Pig Worshippers of Stewartby went quite badly.

Next year, there will not be a cricket match. I think it's fair to say that neither side exactly entered into the spirit of what was meant to be a relatively unserious affair. At one extreme we had Burton Dasset's complaints when he realised that the cricket ball is actually quite hard. And at the other, we had Drayton Parslow's sledging. I realise there were also complaints about my bodyline bowling technique, but I was merely trying to rough up their captain prior to bowling the yorker. Hnaef really didn't help matters by wearing a straw boater with his whites and walking round the outfield with a teddy bear called Aloysius, but I simply put that down to his Upper Class upbringing.

But I think it's fair to say that it was the after the game that things went seriously wrong. It's possibly my own fault as I should have explained the concept of inculturation to Dominga more clearly. At around 6 o'clock last night, while we were sharing an act of worship with the Guinea Pig Worshippers - a fairly pointless exercise, since their worship is conducted entirely in squeaks, grunts and whistles - We asked Dominga if she would check that the barbecue coals had caught properly. Dominga walked past the Guinea Pig colony in their sacred cages on her way to the patio area. Unfortunately, being from Peru, she assumed they were the hors d'oeuvres.

Suffice it to say that though they were - all things considered - quite nice about it, all Beaker Folk are now banned from Stewartby. And what with this and the growing number of shivering gibbons about the place, the Animal Rights people are starting to take an interest again.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Waxing Gibbons

Once again the Moon Gibbon people seem to be confused. The moon is "Waxing Gibbous". I cannot stress too strongly that this is not the time for "Waxing Gibbons". It's frowned on by the RSPCA, irresponsible and cruel.

Odd occurrences in the Old Herb Garden

Very strange. Woke up this morning and wandered out into the Old Herb Garden for my Daily Dozen exercises. There's a cairn of stones out there that we built one day as part of a "Service of Feeling Generally Well-Disposed to Each Other". Or rather, there was a cairn.
At some point in the night, it would appear that somebody dismantled the cairn, and laid it out in the shape of the Moon Gibbon on the lawn.
What can it mean?

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Welcome to Dominga


We are happy to welcome Dominga, our exchange visitor from the Nazca people of Peru.


The Nazca people dedicate their lives to revealing the underlying power of the earth by making animal and geometric symbols in their back gardens. They believe this taps into the same energies as the original Nazca folk who created the gigantic pictures in the Peruvian desert.


Dominga claims to be descended from the original Nazca people on her mother's side. Can't say whether this is true or not, but she's certainly a dab hand at the Pan Pipes, so a great help to our evening worship. Not that it could be much work. The sound of Burton's arhythmic tabor playing while Grigor warbles aimlessly on the flute would frankly disgrace Celtic Christianity, let alone something as authentic as Beaker Worship.
On an unrelated matter, please be careful while walking around the Ceremonial Votive Pits. After all last night's rain, they're completely full and some Beaker People returning from the White Horse last night nearly drowned. They're due to be filled in next Full Moon, so you don't need to be too careful for too long. In the interests of health and safety we've put red-and-white stripted tape around them, and we're lighting some yellow lamps at night. Makes them not very sacred-looking, but you can't be too careful.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Late Night Theology

By all accounts there was a nasty falling-out in the Community Bar (please note - donations only, definitely no purchases. We don't want to upset the Revenue) over a theological dispute last night.

The fracas seems to have arisen between those who claimed that the Moon is inherently feminine (as evidenced in Greek and Roman mythology) and those that call the Moon "he" (in line with, for example, the Hobbits). In any case, it all got a bit fractious and Gnoor is now suffering from a severe bruise which he seems to have received from the blunt end of a wood-splitting maul.

To try to clarify the matter - the Moon has both masculine and feminine attributes.

For example, in its brightness and clarity, its beauty and - particularly during its first and last quarters - its delicate and fragile nature, the Moon clearly shows her feminine side. One might also refer to the way that the pregnant Moon in its first and second quarter grows towards Full.

On the other hand, one might argue that in the way that it disappears at New Moon, the way that the clouds can hide it from view and, particularly when near New in the Summer, sometimes it just clears off completely, like someone who romances you on holiday in Rimini and then never writes and all your post is returned "Not Known at this Address", the Moon has strongly male attributes. Pig.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

The Lammas Lies Down

So the whole Lammas / Solar Eclipse was slightly disappointing. We finally managed to upload Filstarkix's pictures, using his special Solar Eclipse lens, onto the community PC, only to discover that he had been pointing the camera the wrong way. All the photos that we initially thought showed the surface of the moon, turned out to be the top of his head.

And Lammas itself. Well, it's clearly a pagan festival, as documented in the official records that go all the way back to... ooh, well at least 1957. And it's meant to be an early harvest festival, celebrating the bringing-in of the wheat. Wheat's in short supply in the Beaker Allotment, so the festival had to be slightly tweaked to whatever produce was being brought in. OK, so beetroot is hardly a substitute. But it's still the fruit of the earth. And yes, Drayton shouldn't have eaten quite so much beetroot to celebrate the festival. But no-one was to know that his face would go quite so red. And the tests at Milton Keynes General have confirmed that all the other medical danger signs he was showing were also simply indicative of beetroot poisoning. He's on an intravenous drip of pickling vinegar, and we're hoping he'll be back to normal within a week or two.

Friday, 1 August 2008

Solar Eclipse Mania

No, I couldn't tell the difference either.

In line with the best Health and Safety guidance, I should point out that we issued everyone with strict instructions as to not looking at the sun, not least because there wasn't much to see.

We currently have several acolytes walking round the orchard bumping into trees. This was due to their looking directly at the sun against the direct advice of the board of Beaker Folk plc (incorporating Mrs Whimsey's Doilies Ltd (now in administration)). We additionally accept no liability for any permanent damage to the optic nerves of people foolish enough to have purchased Young Keith's home-made "smoked glass".