Wednesday, 30 July 2008
There is a long linkage between myself and the druid gorsedd in Brittany. A history that stretches back over half my life to people who are no longer with us here.
The story really is a long one starting with my upbringing in a nominally Christian family in both industrial diverse anglicised South and the organic rural Welsh West of Wales.
The concept God or deity was a bit of an inconvenience to these Anglicans whose conservatism was not always spelt with a small “c”.
My father was quite insistent that I should never be baptised, meaning that to this day no religion can claim me or hold me.
I came across the druids by accident; the first druid ceremony I went to was a ceremony for the recent dead. This was a mind and life changing experience.
I knew of druidry of course, the neo druid movement that gave birth to the pagan republican rituals of the non conformist Gorsedd of Wales were a pure invention of Iolo Morgannwg; seer, soothsayer historian or schizophrenic depending on who you ask. A man who with others reinvented the Gorsedd in the 1800’s a time of extreme social change when as ever millenarian movements tend to take hold.
Trouble was, this movement based on a probably fabricated history has within it a spirituality which had never ever been there for the former head choirboy who in his later years passed much of his time in Anglican Church reading the gentle words of the Koran as the ritual was gone through around him...
Strange, an empty religion steeped in history and heritage and lacking any spirituality contrasts with naturalist religion invented recently drawing it’s roots from a religion about which little is really known, allegedly once practised by “celtic” peoples whose very existence as an entity has increasingly been called into question.
So anyway this weekend past we celebreated the wedding of the daughter of one of our oldest friends at a well in a forest near Nevez. If you search quest france you may well find a report and maybe a photo.. Followed by a lovely civilised wedding party which unlike many I have attended in wales did not result in a fight!
I tried to post a photo on here but the internet cafe and my computer seem to be locked in a war one with the other as to who is going to do what to whoom.
This is all a bit of a surprise really. Just as I had resigned myself to a month of silence the chance presents itself and I explode back into blogworld with errrh a blog actually.
What is possibly even more suprising is the course of events that I am about to detail. Us off somewhere should have the grisly ghouls amongst both my readers rubbing their hands in gleeful anticipation of a tale of disaster and catastrophe.
Well OK, we forgot the cooker. Yes we cooked breakfast and then left it behind having to resort to telephoned instructions to the perfect one (managements eldest son) left behind to guard the house as to how you disconnect a gas cylinder.
Thinking about it that has probably produced a disaster at home of which not one has informed us since the phone melted in the subsequent explosion and fire.
But I digress, we made buisinesike progress to Daycastle where we collected a child (and made up the number of minutes late leaving HQ) We made leisurely progress to Exeter which made for a frantic last 15 miles as we headed for Plymouth with the options of either changing money or making the ferry in prospect.
As it turned out we did both and we fed the kids as well.
The first day, I think the last few weeks really hit me, oh and we realised we had forgotten the strimmer and that the grass, uncut this year was chest height. Oh and we found I hadn’t paid the phone bill either, now you mention it there are elements of normal service.
As I said the first day I fell asleep several times, just crashed on the settee which was of course the perfect preparation for a wedding. Wedding?
Now I have got very brave here and decided to type this at home before venturing to the internet café, braving my blog and using something the kids had told about, cut and paste to stick this into my blog. One of the principal reasons for us to be here is a the wedding of Eva the daughter of one of our longest standing friends locally, obviously wedding means photographs and I am less confident in my ability to cut and paste such a technically challenging entry. It will have to wait.
Waiting is not an option with children having worked up on Gureledan, yesterday we set off for Trevignion and the sea with canoes Now I like sea canoeing, far better than pottering around a flat lake, and yesterday the sea was serving up surf. Let me immediately make something clear, despite what you might read elsewhere, I was coming back in on the surf displaying my usual consummate skill when I reached the point where I felt is prudent to alight. Naturally, to achieve this I allowed the canoe to go broadside to the wave which allowed me to step off with dignity. There is no question that I capsized and the phrase “fell off” should not even enter thought. And I don’t care about the video footage, that is “misleading” to put it mildly, I have agreed not to sue, well unless it goes on you tube….
Wednesday, 23 July 2008
I think I might be out of here for a few weeks now.
I am not talking about today but, it's 10.30PM , we were on plan to be fully loaded up by 8PM
The floodlights are on outside.
The van door is still open.
There are bags being filed.
I really could manage without this.
Maybe I will go and find a Chatauneuf....
I might be gone some time.
Junior mechanic gets to grips with the problem
I'll just lean on this bit...
Back it goes.
Impressive hall shame about the food.
Hommerton College - and they let me in!!!!!
Dance of the sugar plum Sir Bruces......
Rob can normally hide is transvestite tendencies but sometimes he gets caught out....
She who does not do ironing was fair taken up with it all last night and of course all those other things that need to happen.
Yesterday was a waster of a day for me. Lots to do and none of it doable without key things in place none of which were.
Still, we are slowly getting there, a neighbour has borrowed the IVECO so hitching up of trailers, the last major taks is having to wait for later.
Really I could have used the woodman being there today so of course he is not.
Management has gone off to the dentist and Matalan.
Yesterday, she descended on wedding dress buying bent and she fell foul of one of the curses of the age. As one gets older one notices that those who manufacture clothes increasingly skimp on material, so something which was a comodious size 93 a few years back is impossible to get into any more.
She did contemplate a crash diet, but that might not have delivered down a dress size by Saturday and anyway leaving me to deal with the St Emilion alone would have been a totally unreasonable thing to expect me to put up with...
Still the dread hour approaches, by 8 pm tonight it will either be all sorted or all kicking off.....
Monday, 21 July 2008
A few rushed days to come and we will wake in our little house in Brittany.
Birds will sing outside the window, the fresh Breton sun will pour through the blinds every morning.
The days will start with a desperate rush to be out of the house in time to catch the Intermarche before the midday shut down.
Occasional walks into town to feed the tribe at 10€ a head. Eating out is something we simply cannot afford here.
But what else is there?
Crisp lemony Sur lie for 3€ a bottle.
Punnets of peaches for just a touch above nothing.
Proper coarse Gros Plant to swim the moule in.
I cannot say posh reds, we have been reduced to drinking St Emilion and Morgon for weeks now. We could be down to Chateauneuf by Wednesday night!
Neither can I say strong Arabica coffee, our stock has held up - just.
But what is she looking forwards to?
What does she yearn and hanker after?
Breton Salt Butter, heart attack in a tablet, that's what.
On super fresh pain, still warm from the boulangerie.
A woman of simple tastes the management.....
Sunday, 20 July 2008
Bikes checked and overhauled.
Tent opened up dried out and repacked, stuff swallowed in the cavernous IVECO.
It was looking good with the tents, beds, sleeping bags and bikes all in the van.
Then I went in the shed.
There was the aquaglide and life jackets(oops forgot about them), what about the paddles?
There remains two canoes, ohh goodness the outboard is buried in there but goodness knows where!!
That will all have to go on the boat and trailer (where did the trailer spare wheel go?).
I need to find the anchor too.
All mixed in with pallets of green goddess spares.
Everything must be complete by this time Wednesday trouble is management is off on manouveres between now and then.
Ohhh boy, oh for a quiet life.
Saturday, 19 July 2008
Last Saturday of the afternoon I was acting as duty manager when I was approached by a group of young stewards. They were becoming bored with the verbal taunts and abuse emanating from a gentleman sat round the fire nearby.
Being abused is not part of any ones job spec so I decided it might be a good thing to be looking into.
On approaching the gentleman in question the first thing that struck me was the impressive pile of empty tins of special brew, a liquid responsible for too much mayhem in society. Secondly I concluded that whilst the lights might be one I was not sure anyone was actually at home.
A bit of a one sided conversation took place which made me actively consider sending for security to persuade the chap to leave the site, this however brought on mental images of burly security guards and children and families alarmed and put off.
So instead of getting mad I got even.
I retained my calm and reason. Spoke politely and did not respond to insults or abuse. I stayed until the point where his girlfriend was totally disgusted with him and walked off.
This was truly a dirty trick.
The poor unfortunate will have fallen asleep some time later and woken feeling perhaps not quite as fresh as a daisy.
With a team of navvies inside his head intent on escape and a digestive tract behaving like an errant chemistry set his ears will have noted a noise. This of course will have been his girlfriend helpfully (so she might think) recounting to him his recent history, misdemeanours real and imaginary will have been recounted in vast and painstaking detail with invitations to reflect on how his behaviour impacted on others.
This debriefing might take several hours and there might be other consequences on the domestic bliss front that might stretch on into a significant future. Just one telling of the tale might not be enough, it might need repeating a few times into the future weeks and months.
Of course, he will not connect any of this to me, which makes the experience the more fulfilling.
As they say:
Don't get mad get even.
Thursday, 17 July 2008
Following the fire engine debacle it was Xantia bound for Cambridge and Homerton University.
I was expected there by 11 am so leaving here at 5 am seemed wise. This saw me arrive marginally late, courtesy of the vagaries and limits on interchanges on our road system. I was faced with a tough dilemma either the keynote speaker or coffee. Tough call, took seconds.
Coffee wasn't too bad, conference was better. Very interesting, lots of little cliques. Everything hinged on how you introduced yourself in a session. So I started off as a service user, then thought I might be a foster carer, how about child care consultant (that one went down well) finally member of the degree Project management committee.
It became clear that "who" you were really affected how they dealt with you.
That aside, it was the most fantastic time and a real jolly.
Haute cuisine it wasn't but a forray into Cambridge was really something of an eye opener for a humble country bumpkin like me.
I can see how Oxbridge graduates view themselves as a cut above. Bet they don't eat in much though....
Anyway the con went on and I did enjoy myself a lot.
Even the trip back at licence losing speeds was little more than a distraction.
Then a gentle run out to Llandovery and the festival weekend.
It's a pleasure to watch children bloom and big D really did that. Taliesin had his own little work crew, they worked all day and partied all night.
Me I stuck with 18 hour days and that's enough for me.
Due to finish on Friday, an outbreak of pillock tied me up till midnight so I got to the real ale bar distressingly sober and just as it was closing.
Saturday, I had another busy day but the music was excellent unlike previous years I know this...
The day went really well, plenty of volunteer stewards, easy peasy.
I was site manager so I just had to breeze round and listen to the radio for problems.
Then came 6 pm and I was sector manager for the gate, that is: I had to be there and, all the promised stewards evaporated.
I don't know why they call me the manager. One man band more like.
This was serious everyone coming in over the fence territory but we rise to this kind of thing and eventually all was calm and sorted.
I even got to the bar by 11 pm so at least I had a pint of proper beer before bed.
Still the camping was fine, we really got our tent sorted and we spent the nights asleep and in comfort.
Monday came and we came home.
The van was quickly unloaded and dropped at the garage, oh yes did I mention next week and off to France and an MOT due..
Tuesday was a day of catch up admin. Well actually no, we should have been over in Melton Mowbray picking up the Transit minibus I had bid on in a tender sale that has so far not figured on here at all...
So yesterday bright and early and with child care sorted off we both went for a thrash up to Colsterworth.
Naturally it was a non consequence free day (yeah right) and we got home at a comendable 9 pm.
Today she went for a Tesc, armed with plastic I went to sort the finals of a contested MOT.
So anyway, I think a sort of calm has descended.
To regular readers, sorry if this is a bit dis jointed but the joints have been a bit dissed this last week.
Tuesday, 15 July 2008
Rebuilding a fire engine which dutifully broke down and fired oil everywhere.
Then getting a message that the festival which I had put everything into getting it ready to go to did not want it after all.
Just before I drove 300 miles to the JSWEC conference at Homerton Collage in Cambridge so I could spend a couple of days pretending to be clever.
Then a mad dash back a swiftly pinched night of sleep before a drive out again to Llandeilo and the Small Nations Festival where I could spend 3 days working 18 hours a day not getting paid and the festival might not quite have gone bust.
In reality I have had quite a nice time doing things that were very different to each other.
Tomorrow, for relaxation, I am off to Melton Mowbray to pick up a minibus with a bust exhaust.
I must come back to all this and fill in some detail.
The happy carefree life I lead aye.....
Tuesday, 8 July 2008
Sunday, 6 July 2008
Suffice it to say that my mate and I with no considerable help from Taliesin have changed the cylinder head on the fire engine.
This morning will see the test flight and I will be back later in elation or deep gloom.
Wednesday, 2 July 2008
So in the interests of domestic bliss I will offer no comments, just a simple factual narrative.
Late this afternoon I was amusing myself rebuilding a green goddess engine when my peaceful knuckle skinning round of profanity was disturbed by a screaming engine and a roar of tyre on gravel.
These were the usual alerts that management was arriving home. Unusually though there seemed to be thuds and crunches mixed in with the usual din. Turning I observed that she had decided to branch out from driving down the track, she was driving in the field as well. This, is must be said was doing the fence no good at all 3 posts broken and a few more uprooted.
I am sure this was one her new advanced driving tricks, something so clever I could not possibly understand. Being in the passenger seat could have been the trigger for sudden discovery of religion though....
And I must say that I am deeply grateful to god that I was not....
Tuesday, 1 July 2008
Buying a scythe, what a good idea.
Now, she has told me I bought an american profile scythe which is apprantly not as good as an Austrian one.
Apparently I can buy her one of theses here far superior Austrian scythes with a selection of blades, (can you use more that one at a time then??) a snaithe to suit her height (don't ask I don't know what it is either) and a peening anvil (not a clue) for 150 pounds.
Apparently I have decided to get her one for Xmas and armed with that we will be able to mow our own meadow (the dog in the song may or may not be obligatory).
Left to my own devices I should be able to get the job done in 6 days. Why I would want to do that remains shrouded in mystery.
Sometimes it's best not to ask.
Whose daft idea was it to buy a scythe.....