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Monday, 30 March 2009

Acceptable expenses

After certain complaints were made, I have completed my investigation into my own expenses, and am completely exonerated.

The subscription to "What Sickle" is definitely necessary. Nobody should expect an Archdruid to be cutting mistletoe with sub-standard equipment.

The "Archdruidmobile" is simply standard issue. The Porsche Cayenne may look like a giant ugly toad, but it combines a reasonable top speed with 4-wheel drive. Essential for getting around the grounds very quickly in bad weather.

The subscription to the "Playdruid" channel is so I can keep an eye on what sort of stuff needs banning.

The "second home allowance" for the home in Crow Lane is completely reasonable. Sometimes after an evening at the White Horse I just can't make it all the way back to the Great House. Nobody should expect an Archdruid to have to sleep in a ditch. That's only for the Novitiate.

The "third home allowance", for my auntie's villa in Montego Bay, is necessary for recuperation. After a hard year's druiding it's only fair that I get a couple of months off in a suitable location.

I hope the whispering campaign will now cease.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Boat Race Day

A beautiful sunny day as once again we celebrated the Husborne Crawley Alternative Boat Race - our annual tribute to the real thing.  Husborne Crawley lacking anything that might plausibly be described as a river, this year's event took place on the Ouse at Turvey.  Our attempt to stage it on the Lea at Luton last year came to a rapid conclusion, of course, as the oars were stolen.

As is traditional, the eights representing each side have to dress up as people we feel are most closely associated with the two universities depicted.  So this year, the Oxford 8 were depicted as Cardinal Newman, John Betjeman, Michael Palin,  JRR Tolkien, Edward Pusey, John Wyclif, William Golding and Tim Berners-Lee with Alan Bennett as cox.  Likewise, Cambridge were represented by Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt, Michael Winner, Norman Lamont, Kim Philby, Donald Maclean, Alastair Cambell and David Mellor, with Sid Wadell as cox.  

After a couple at the Three Cranes, and a couple more at Ye Three Fysshes, the crews headed out onto the river below the bridge.  Cambridge's attempt failed early on, when Norman Lamont (Hnaef in a grey wig) caught a crab and went overboard.  In an attempt to avoid then, the Oxford crew swung wildly to the right and crashed into the bank, breaking the taps off the old bath tub they had unwisely used as their boat.  I've no idea how so many of them got in it in the first instance.  As the river filled with half-drowning English theologians, traitors and darts commentators, we realised that the course had in any case been particularly badly chosen, as they were all dragged towards the weir.  A terrible breakdown in Health and Safety planning on my part, I am afraid.

The rapid deployment of lifebelts and ropes meant that we managed to drag our shivering and sodden brothers and sisters to the side, and I am pleased to say that only three or four are still - quite literally - light blue.  The event was once again declared to be a draw.  We continue to hope that one year, one team or the other will stay in possession of their boat and afloat long enough actually to win the race.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Changing times

We have agreed to change the rules on eligibility to be Archdruid of Husborne Crawley.

You will be aware that previously, in order to be Archdruid, you had to be me. Well, that's not going to change. However I am aware that one day in the distant future, it will be time to hang up the hi-viz and steel toe-caps and take it easy. Indeed, one day I will slip over the brook that is crossed but once, to reside in Avalon, the blessed isle of the apple trees. Obviously, don't get your hopes up. We're not talking imminent here.
However. The Foundation Garments of the Beaker Folk (we drew them up in the White Horse late one night, and having run out of beer mats we wrote them on an old vest) state that the Archdruid cannot be married to a member of the La Tene Folk of Luton, without forfeiting the right to be Archdruid. This of course came about through a tiff I had previously had with one of the aforesaid La Tene Folk. Celtic toe-rag.
In any case, there is a small but hypothetical chance that a future Archdruid might want to yoke themselves - albeit unevenly - with one of these heretical booners. And who am I if not a supporter of tolerance and compassion towards those with alternative religious views? Therefore we're going to change the rules.
In future, it will be perfectly acceptable for any member of the Beaker Folk to marry or otherwise consort with a La Tene person.
Provided they convert.

I hope that tolerance is now clearly established.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Available for Weddings, Bar Mitzvahs and Charities...

We're glad to have obtained our licence for conducting weddings. A wide range of neo-coenobitic and pseudo-pagan wedding services can now be catered for. So if your idea of an authentic, traditional wedding experience includes jumping over broomsticks, handfasting, foot-tapping, ear-piercing or the exchange of mutual tattoos, the Moot Hall, Husborne Crawley is the place for you.
After the religious and civil procedures are over, the Beaker Bar (contributions only - we do not charge, to avoid upsetting the Revenue - just don't dare leave without "contributing") will be the perfect place to reflect upon what you've just been through, while sipping a glass of sparkling mead or traditional Beaker carrot juice. Then dance through the night to Hnaef and the Eyebrows, our Wicker-Man tribute band. The happy couple can spend the night in the Aspley Suite in the Great House, while there is plenty of accommodation for guests in the left-over tent village from the Shrine of St Joseph.
We've installed an emergency wall in the Dining Hall. At the least sign of trouble between the families of the Bride and Groom (or, in these days, Bride and Bride etc...) - simply by the Best Man / Best Woman / Bloke of Honour pressing the Panic Button, the wall descends, dividing the hall into two totally separate sections. NB this may not work for people from Norfolk.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Brothers?


We can't believe we'd never noticed this before.  Are they related (well, clearly... after all, according to the one on the left we all are).





Tuesday, 17 March 2009

We note the attached cartoon from Dave Walker.  

Very amusing, and the Tea Lights ring true.  But where exactly are the piles of pebbles to accompany them?

Vernal Equinox

There's been some mis-hearings around again, and after the problems with the moon gibbon we'd like to squelch it quickly.

The special Occasion on Friday is to celebrate the Vernal Equinox. Vernal is a old Latin-type word and means "related to spring". It is when the day lasts precisely 12hours (more or less) even though, for various technical reasons, it is daylight for slightly longer than that.
What it is not - is the "infernal equinox". It is not a special day for celebrating the dark side of spiritual life. Please do not get this confused. I gather some people have been planning to celebrate a day of Anti-Beaker on Friday. I repeat - you have mis-heard the terms.

To add to the celebrations of Spring, on Saturday we will enjoy a trip to the Lambing Day down on Willow Farm. That should be fun.

And yes, for those want to point it out - Friday is the 20th of the month. The Equinox is a day earlier than it sometimes is. Something to do with the earth's wobble, I dare say.

Please note that Filling up of Beakers is cancelled this evening. Unfortunately Eldwig, Gardwulf's four-year-old, stuck the beaker on her head this morning and we're currently debating whether to use butter or a mallet to get her back out.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Traditional Beaker Music

It would appear that someone has put the video of our Traditional Beaker Music evening on the internet. We hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

The Beaker Common Prayer

To celebrate the Spring Full Moon we are happy to publish the Beaker Common Prayer. Feel free to use these resources to enrich your spiritual experiences and generally gooey feeling. Subject to the copyright and licensing arrangements, of course.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Shrine Closed

Young Keith has come to me and confessed that the toenails in the Shrine are not Joseph of Arimathea's, but are in fact his. What led him to cutting his toenails in the orchard, and then leaving them tidily in a discarded tea light holder, is beyond all of us. But eventually he decided that, in line with the Beaker principles of honesty, and what with his uncle being a policeman and having a reputation to keep, it was best to 'fess up.

Likewise the Husborne Holly. On investigation in the under-gardener's diary we have discovered that my daddy had it planted in 1973, thinking that if it turned out well he might invest in a hedge. Sadly the accident with the baler prevented that hedge being planted. I confess I don't remember it being planted, but then I was a sickly child and generally to be found mooning around in the library rather than out in the garden.

So to all the pilgrims, especially the ones who suffered in that unexpected hail shower when their tents fall down, I can only apologise. I would suggest that if you wish for further retreat experiences you continue to remain with us as we have a tea light festival starting Monday. And to those wanting their money back, our lawyers are prepared to argue that gullibility is a reasonable defence in matters of faith and law.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Luxury Pilgrim Accommodation

The sudden influx of pilgrims is having a real impact on our ability to cater for all accommodation needs.  We've moved additional pilgrims into every available bedroom and dormitory, but we're in danger of breaching all health and safety guidelines, and you know how much I'd hate that.
In desperation we've put up a row of tents but the people staying in them are freezing in the latest cold snap.  This isn't what we'd want people to experience as part of the Joseph of Arimathea experience, but money's money when all's said and done.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Husborne Crawley Scam

We've been hearing reports that the "Husborne Crawley" (also known as "01525") scam is once again being perpetrated.  This is where people receive emails from someone claiming to be the widow of a deceased druid, who is trying to smuggle hundreds of thousands of tea lights out of Husborne Crawley, and will send them to you if you send them £200 to cover the postage.

You should ignore all such emails.  Since we seem to have millions of the things kicking around the premises, all you have to do is turn up at the Great House, and for a mere administrative charge of £50(cheques to be made payable to Eileen Michaela Russell-Fitzroy) you can take as many as you like.  So much better than throwing away your money on a stupud fraudulent scheme.

Shrine on you crazy diamond

We're pleased to announce that the Beaker Shrine of Joseph of Arimathea has now expanded to the point where we are able to open the Shrine Shop.
People have been coming from as far away as Woburn Sands and even Bletchley to see the holy toe-nails, so we are able to cash in facilitate the sense of awe by providing a host of devotionally-related objects.

Holly saplings, budded from the Husborne Holly, are available for a mere £19.  When you consider that these are cuttings from a genuine relic of 1st century Beaker devotion, and a miracle to boot - you'll wonder which is the bigger miracle, the price or the tree.

Joseph toenails, displayed in perspex in a replica tea light holder (made from a genuine recycled tea light holder) - £7.49.  Or, for the same in onyx, £15.49.

Doilies in the traditional "Glastonbury" pattern - £7 per 100.

"I've seen the Husborne Holly" t-shirts - £12.

Or come online at http://www.beakerprotectiveclothing.co.uk for all the latest Beaker workwear.  It's not related to Joseph of Arimathea, but we hate to miss an opportunity.

Monday, 2 March 2009

The Beaker Shrine

Further to our previous discovery of our connections to Joseph of Arimathea, we are pleased to announce the opening of the Beaker Shrine.

We celebrate the journey that Joseph took as he journeyed cross-country from Lowestoft to Glastonbury in the 1st Century, carrying the Holy Beaker. Stopping for a drink at the brook near the late-Beaker Community, Joseph may well have carried out the ancient ritual of Pouring out of Beakers.

Turning right immediate after you pass under the Great Trilithon as you drive into the car park, leave your 4x4 at the gate to the Big Field. Following the yellow plywood arrows we have nailed to the gates and trees, you will find, within an acre of landscaped meadow, the Joseph Hut (previously the Tool Shed). Here you can pay your respects to the Holy Toenail Clippings.

Some have questioned the authenticity of the Husborne Crawley Holly, which we believe Jospeph brought with him on his journey. Their argument is based on its being of the variegated variety Silver Prince, which was developed in modern times. All we can say is - what more of a miracle could you want?