Today i finally got around to buying my bow it's a HUNGARIAN BOW OF THE MIDDLE AGES as used by the Magyar and also I've since realised used by Robin Hood in the BBC TV series. Damn that sounds too cliched now.
I bought it in this design, see pic below, although I'm considering putting a knotwork design on the limbs in the future. Z is currently creating one for me.
total length: 60 1/2"
length between siyahs: 53"
length strung: 55 5/8"
draw weight: 44# at 28'
max. draw length: 35"
brace height: 7"
Next up I need to get a Gorytos - a bow quiver.
Hoping the weather is clear enough to try her out tomorrow. I'm giving up smoking again at midnight but my cold is too bad to actually smoke anything tonight!
Guilfest line up is looking superb and Exeter Respect is on before that! Really enjoyed Glasto only 50 weeks to the next one.
This year's Glastonbury Festival has all the makings of becoming the stuff of legend. Sunday's line-up is topped by Stevie Wonder who draws what has to be the biggest crowd ever assembled in front of the Pyramid to see his singalong set of hits and feel good numbers to "celebrate" Glastonbury's 40th Anniversary.
Wonder had the masses in rapture when he brought event founder Michael Eavis on to the stage saying, "I want to thank this wonderful man who's had this for 40 years. Yes, 40 years. It's a celebration. Happy Birthday." A huge massed chorus of "Happy Birthday" followed with farmer Eavis joining in on vocals.
Elsewhere festival favourites Orbital drew a decent crowd and Empire Of The Sun provided a visual treat to conclude proceedings on The Park Stage. Rodrigo y Gabriela also gathered a decent following at West Holts. Meanwhile on the most incredible looking stage at the festival, Arcadia, David Rodigan provided a fortieth anniversary celebration of the formation of Bob Marley & The Wailers, with enough flames to Catch a Fire. I love the stage loads it's an awesome visual spectacle and the sound's good too.
A whole five days of sunshine with not a jot of rain is a rarity at Glastonbury, and the fields were dusty as fluttering flags and the occasional cloud provided shade during the morning. I was too tense about the football to consider not watching it, I wish now I had. We pack up the van awning and prepare the van ready for an exit very early tomorrow morning
The big clash of the day was the ill fated England match versus a rip roaring sing along to 'Sweet Child Of Mine', 'Paradise City' and more on the main stage with Slash, one of the most metal flavoured acts to ever grace the Pyramid Stage. #i made the wrong choise, the girls the right one.
We went to the bar to watch it on the tv screens, and our hearts sank as our defence just fell apart. For those footie fans who'd smashed up their vuvuzelas and were feeling the clouds of depression, there was Ray Davies filling the legend slot and he'd brought the Crouch End Festival Choir onstage with him to perform a string of Kinks hits including 'Sunny Afternoon', 'You Really Got Me', 'Lola', 'Waterloo Sunset', and 'All Day And All Of The Night'. It kind of helped the pain, some nice depressing 'slit your wrists' music would have helped more. Some of the shops had dropped their prices and started their sales, so we meandered around a few of them looking for shopping ideas.
I slowly made my way up to Park, drowning my sorrows by ticking off another four bars and pubs I'd not drunk in before along the way. Archie Bronson Unit provided the soundtrack as I considered making the climb up the ribbon tower. My vertigo and it visibly moving in the strong wind put the end to that idea.
We wandered slowly back catching a wonderful voiced performance from the special quest in the Bimble Inn - no one I aksed knew who she was however. We stopped off again at the Cornish Arms to drink under the winged surf boards, before finding a nice spot in the sun to view Faithless.
Faithless provided the last day's magical sunset slot entertainment and did not dissappoint, providing a wonderful worked soundtrack and a chance to take in our surroundings and take a chance to look around at the sights and sounds in this, the most iconic of arenas. Much like Maxi Jazz, I felt 'Become 1' was a moment never to be forgotten.
This year the festival had provided so much more Theatre, Circus, Poetry, Cabaret and alternative entertainment that the music almost took second place. Circolombia provided amazing acrobatics, and Ken Fox's incredible Wall of Death was an increddibly adrenaline fuelled experience. There were crowds in front of all the ground shows, and the new areas of The Common, Block9, and The Unfair Ground sat perfectly beside Shangri-La, and Climate Camp. This area really came into its own this year with mind bending site art, we spent ages trying to photograph the various Banksy artworks under low lighting and with camera shake, there were a host of random stages and bars, and a plethora of roving characters which made it an unforgettable experience. The Wheel Of Death was just amazing with the lady rider sitting no handed and side saddle whilst whizzing around the wall sideways - wow!
The Green Fields too provided a wealth of skills to learn, and had a wonderful relaxed feel about it, a true festival within a festival away from the crowds sweltering in front of the main stage. The new kids' galleon, and Earth Dome Stage in the Greenpeace area also provided a nice base for those with young families. I'm amazed that for the first time I never went into the Croissant Neuf tent, the nearest I came was sitting outside at the next door cafe listening on one of the earlier balmy nights.
Glastonbury offers a wealth of fun just for kids, with the huge Kidz' Field, and they turned up in their masses to enjoy the weekend. The mix of people attending the festival was as diverse as ever, with a nice global flavour and a diverse audience. It seemed to me, that all the toilet cleaners, and many of the staff doing catering appeared to come from other countries- and they were so amazed, there was nothing like this in their home countries they all told me.
It's also worth mentioning the huge range of food on offer, the Festival was a Gastronomic delight for many providing a wealth of choices from around the world to sample, alongside the more regular burger and chips, pizza, sandwiches and the like. My three favourite eateries were Tapas (in West Holts), Goan Fish Curry, and Harbour Seafoods. Tapas, the one with a large Spanish flamenco lady above it, proved so moorish and reasonable at £4.90 that I became a habitual purchaser, and got to know the staff. Walking back to the wife with two trays laiden with the spicy food last night, I overheard someone say I must have the mega-munchies.
Festival organiser Michael Eavis and family, who have seen the festival grow into the largest and most diverse festival in the world must be heartily congratulated for giving us such a wonderful experiance over the last 40 years. It's staggering to think of how much time and effort went into making the event so thrilling, and so diverse, and the people who have worked so hard to achieve such a bounty must be heartily congratulated for providing a Festival which incredibly managed to offer more possibilities to thrill, entertain, and get involved than ever before. Every year I say it can't be beaten, and am amused by Michael Evis', "It's the best ever!" statement, but damn it he's right! This year I was asked what my highlights were and realised it wasn't the music acts but elsewhere on site. The headliners definitely took second place for me.
The only downside, the Chinese lanterns whilst they look amazing in the sky, the amount of falling glowing embers (and wire - that's bad for the cows) in such a dry environment made me fearful there would be some calamity with tents catching fire. Three times I stamped out grey lanterns as they fell like jellyfish from the sky, and that was just where I was at the time, imagine how many must have rained down on the site. On the way home the roads and fields were littered with their husks which will cause a cleaning up headache for the Festival. Talking of cleaning up I have a pretty much clear conscience when it comes to litter this year. There's just one occasion where I was without my ashtray that I put a roached rollie but to the ground (and felt bad about it all weekend). clearly it's not just me, the site looked much tidier in the arenas this year, with much less litter covering the grass when looking ofr a space to sit. It could still improve but it seems the message is getting through. I hope the campsites see the same improvement as people leave today too. We will have to wait and see - fingers crossed.
With the wealth of entertainment on offer, it doesn't matter who the three headliners are that the dairy farmer says he has already booked for next year, the Festival will be the most extra-ordinary experience of the year, and we all have such amazing memories of a most treasured annivesary as we make our journeys home.
Here we are again. We arrived in the campervan fields yesterday. The journey in the campervan uneventful. We set up the awning, and settled back in the long grass and the sunshine. Z was excited as her school is out the way, it's the first year she is able to come before Friday. As the sun set we lit the BBQ, and suppered on burgers and haloumi. A few beers, and the obligatory look at the site at night all lit up and waiting for us it was off to bed. We were woken by voices, and the trudged of boots, the queues of people in wet weather gear, masses of em all the way up to e24, we wandered over to see the site in daylight, and got back to the van just as the heavens opened. Now we air and listen to the rain as the sodden arrivals trudged past with theory trolleys and barrows. Day one has begun...
Today followed last night's Gorillaz example with a host of special guests. Muse stole the show with an encore guest performance from U2's Edge, and before them Scisssor Sisters had an appearance from Kylie.
Biffy Clyro were special guests in a packed Park although we couldn't find anywhere near enough to see it, while Shakira and The Dead Weather played to those roasting in the sun at the main stage we chose to chill at the Bimble Inn and bumped into friends. George Clinton and Midlake headlined the West Holts Stage and Park respectively,we watched the former, Kaz wasn't impressed and wanted to watch Moos. Our daughter watched Kelis, Chipmunk, N-Dubz, and Jamie T. I went over to give her a memory stick for her camera and was amazed at the energy, Mistajam had the crowds jumping in the dance village. Leaving for Shangri La over in Avalon Lightning Seeds did a rousing acoustic version of 3 Lions just as we got there.
With the sun providing Glastonbury more fantastic weather, there was the opportunity to explore more of the shaded non-music parts of the site and with our walking pace slowed we didn't see many bands.
In Leftfield however after the forums we watched a showcase of Beans On Toast, Frank Turner, The Agitator, a girl called Grace and Billy Bragg.
The Green Crafts were busy with workshops, the multitude of small stages were well patroned, and the vibe throughout the site was terrific.
We wandered around Shangri La and had a great time, we sang in the Shrine of Bono, got teleported in Lost Luggage, won a free drink, looked in on Fish and Tits, and wanderered about looking at the crazy sights.
Glastonbury doesn't do normal weather it's is a festival of extreme weather and this year it's sun.
Today it's the football vs Slash, and seeking shade, it's the last night to sing at the U2 shrine, dance under the explosions of Arcadia, get teleported in Lost Luggage, dance (and sing) at the silent disco, rave it up in the dance village, and chill out in the stone circle.
It's a scorcher! The main stages sparked into life in the sunshine and Rolf Harris started the party.
Many of the campsites began to fill up and the day's entertainment was topped off with Gorillaz and a host of guests including Snoop Dogg, Bobby Womack, and Lou Reed amongst others. Unfortunately Mos Def had to cancel his appearance at West Holts and Femi Kuti was moved back to headline the flag filled stage.
Earlier Snoop Dogg had drawn the biggest crowd of the day, and The Stranglers played the Other Stage for the first time, and said they rather liked it. Frank Turner, Mumford & Sons, and Florence & The Machine also stool to various stages, with Thom Yorke revealed as the surprise guest in The Park (a well kept secret).
We had to. collect our daughter from the newly moved pedestrian gate A which was a hike missing Vampire Weekend and getting caught both in the crowd for Snoop Dog and them - the first time I've experienced crowds like that here for years. The tents camped by the walk way were covered in dust the first time since 2000 I can remember it being so.
Kuti was moved back to headline the flag filled stage. Whilst on the second stage Flaming Lips delivered a lively set and Sasha got the crowd's seems in the air in Glade. The late night music venues proved a popular choice with crowds wandering around agog. Shame the DJ's played such poor tunes, it was the Village Disco who provided the most audible soundtrack for those in the campervan fields.
However it was the other entertainment from a singing Bono puppet in an Irish bar, to blue mermaids, to Bez "DJing" and a wealth of other delights. Elsewhere the greenfields were a more chilled affair of soft glowing lights, more acoustic flavoured tunes, and chai. glowing lights, more acoustic flavoured tunes, and chai with the lovely tranquil pool.
The Common too had a nice feel with large white birds and old school whole log split standing fires. Having seen the lanes of Shangri La before I was able to make a good exploration before it started to get packed around 2am.
Favourite act today was Sasha, and both of Hobo Jones and the Junkyard Dogs appearances book ending performances in the Scaling Field.
Still not seen the Tor lit at night.
well, I'd forgotten all about this until Z printed off one of my blogs on here and handed it to me in the week. I think Facebook kind of took over for angst, but is actually less expressive so I thought I'd return. I'm not really doing much treading water as the arachnoid cyst and the brain connections continue to bug the hell out of my life with noisy tinnitus and balance issues - worsened by more recent labyrinthitis (probably from the neural feedback shorting out as it gets more blocked/damaged). Half the time I forget I've got anything wrong me - which leads to quizzically asking K why my archery (I've kept that up over the years along with going to festivals, and working at eFest Towers) has gone to pieces.
At the moment I have breathing issues too (pile it on fates why dontcha?) following a bad case of flu with effects the lymphatic system - K far worse than me this time around. I lost my tankard at a very muddy Glastonbury so can look forward to dropping a few pints at Beautiful Days (literally). Z is about to move out to her own place up the road, and so it'll just be me, IK and the cat rattling around here (again literally in my case).
I just noticed it's 10 years since my post on here where I was first diagnosed and given a decade so it's all good (keels over and dies)
Well quick update. It seems I'm showing signs of the disease that finished my old man and, I've recently found out my grandfather, it's a genetic illness and there's a good chance i have it. I have to see a neurologist. But it seems my fate could be cast. Least it means i can go back to smoking!
Seems my aching joints, shaking legs (Fasciculations - it's called for all those who constantly at me), regular cramp in my feet and lack of strength in my fingers occasionally could be down to MND - Motor Neurone Disease. So i've got a decade or so to pick a nice place to die, if i have it. And can look forward to becoming nice and thin in the future.
All i need to do now is build up the courage to see a neuro specialist to know one way or another. This is the thing at the moment I'm struggling with at the moment it's a possibility, if i do all the lovely checks it could be certainty - sometimes i think it's better not to know. Death comes to us all, but for me seems it won't be no surprise anymore.
Last week I went back to the doctors for more tests - now they've really narrowed it down, and provided a few answers.
Firstly my tinnitus is not caused by exposure to rock music at festivals, it seems there's something blocking the signal that runs through the bone in my ear to my brain. This block is microscopic, non malignant (by now it should have grown through the bone it is housed in if it was) and has been growing really slowly for decades, until it bumped against the nerve.
So my problem has been solved, but as it is so tiny it was missed on the first MRI, but it being in the ear it effects balance, co-ordination, and hearing, etc. Plus provided too much 'noise' for my brain to deal with leading to some effects on the cerebellum.
But not the loss of feeling in my hands/feet - that's been put down to 'wear and tear'.
The bad news is - its effects are 'enhanced' by alcohol or changes in chemistry in the brain - so now I have to sort out what I can eat, drink, etc without worsening it and what makes it loud.
As well as this, I have to see an audio specialist about having white noise filters fitted to me ears - to aid sleeping, and during tested some long wave frequency audio really knocked me out - so I also need to wear ear plugs.
The doctor said after the latest MRI last night which zoomed in on the bones effected in my ear they will decide how to progress with three options:
1. keep an eye on it and leave it.
2. cut a 'hatch' in the back of the skull, move the brain out the way and operate .
3. Use a gamma knife (a fine pin point of gamma radiation) to zap it, seems there's a bloke in Bristol who is one of the best in the world at this. Too many computer games as a kid I reckon.
Ah only 10 days until we set off on a bit of a trip of a lifetime! It's been 2 years in the planning.
We've got a fish/house sitter so no need to put our aquatic pets in a hotel anymore - and so we're ready for our big adventure.
We'd booked a hotel in Vila, which was the best we could afford until the other day I discovered the Australian equivalent of lastminute.com and we scored a luxury room in THE island resort - Irririki resort - on the island my sister was born on.
Check it out here -> http://www.iririki.com/
We never thought we'd be able to afford to stay there but it's actually £300 cheaper than the hotel we were going to stay on.
We're there for a week - i've contacted the old school my dad worked at, and got my plans of where I want to revisit that i remember from before we left there in 1978. So far we've got a schooner cruise to a turtle sanctuary, big barbecue, scuba dives, melanesian night, kava sessions, windsurfing, sailing, island tour, tribal dancing, cascades (waterfalls), and the visit to my old school, my old house, and my dad's work sorted. At the moment the weather has dropped to a cooler 34 degrees which is nice.
After a week there we fly to Auckland to pick up a motorhome and travel down north island to see the sights - rotarua, gloworm caves, mount doom, giant trees, new zealand rugby home, wellington, hobbiton etc. Then take the motorhome over on the ferry to south island for yule, and new year plus some hardcore sports including zoom jet boats, bungie, glaciers, and possibly a parachute drop.
Then back home in January - looking forward to it loads!
Right, I'm off to see Billy Bragg!
Today is Oak Apple Day,
used to be a a holiday celebrated in England on 29 May to commemorate the restoration of the monarchy in Britain and Ireland, in May 1660. Charles I was said to have hidden in an oak tree in 1651 in the Battle of Worcester and the oak apple became a symbol of his restoration to the monarchy. In 1660, Parliament declared 29th May a public holiday.
Though Oak Apple holiday was formally abolished in 1859, traditional celebrations continued involving the wearing of oak apples or sprigs of oak leaves. Despite it being Royalist (and I'm no Royalist, but it seems many of cornwall's traditions are based in royalty, it's not the Duchy of Cornwall for nothing I am coming to realise) it's been traditional for years. Seems, I've just discovered Pepy's described as "Forever kept as a day of thanksgiving for our redemption from tyranny and the King's return to his Government."
The 29th May was King Charles II's birthday. when you are meant to wear a sprig of oak. in the olden days if you didn't do this then young boys could pinch your bottom hence is was known as Pinch-Bum Day. The Chelsea pensioners celebrate the day by drinking beer and eating plum pudding. Charles II over ruled Cromwell's ban on merry-making and invented this day for people to party.
But the celebration appears, as is usually case to overlay an older Pagan festival. In 1603 the villagers Wishford, Wiltshire were granted the rights to collect wood from Grovely Forest for all time. They celebrate this by marching to the forest once a year. They return with large branches of oak, chanting "Grovely, Grovely and all Grovely" and carrying a banner bearing the words "Grovely, Grovely and all Grovely. Unity is Strength!”
In Cornwall and Wales, it's the time for special Oak clad Morris dancing as an ancient tradition first recorded in the reign of Elizabeth I, these ‘madde men’ with their ‘Devils dance’ were banned by the Puritans following the Civil War. Hmmm, banned and then replaced with basically the same ceremony.
In Devon and Cornwall many of the estates are open for half term activities many of which involve using oak leaves and apples.
The original ceremony is as far as I can determine the Celtic feast day of 'Buryan', also known as 'Bruniec', 'the Irish Lady', Irish princess, said to have accompanied St. Piran to Cornwall from Ireland. There is a village named in her honour near to Penzance, Cornwall, England.
Where traditionally miners would beg their bosses for food and beer. Which became seperated into the Celtic feast day of 'Collen', legend has it that Collen slew the evil giantess at Llangollen to save the lives of the people there, and as a sign of thanks he was made their Patron Saint.
Suggested that the giantess was a metaphor for the pagan practice and beliefs often associated with such events and the mother goddess or often replaced as the dragon. Usually usurped and overlaid with new traditions and religions - pretty much copying the older ones. A metaphor for re-labelling if you will.
Icidentally, Llangollen it is Believed to have travelled to Glastonbury. Also this is the period of celebration of fruit in the Jewish calendar too, as well as other old world religions.
Also, it's worth noting that the oak leaf is the symbol for Jack in the Green, although I'm unsure of his origins pre-the Roman invasion, he obviously has links to the Goddess Flora and her festival - with May Queens, Garlands and May poles. More common up country.
More on the month of May here:
Including historic accounts of May Poles which every village once had and the derivitive of festival the Celtic word feur. And of course Glastonbury's very own Dunstan who was an Anglo-Saxon saint; he was born a few miles from Glastonbury in Somerset, around 909AD. His father was a Wessex nobleman of royal blood.
Glastonbury was a place for Christian pilgrimage and a renowned centre of learning at that time. Dunstan was educated at the Abbey before joining his uncle Athelm, Archbishop of Canterbury, at the court of King Athelstan.
When Athelstan died his successor Edmund named Dunstan as Abbot of Glastonbury.
Dunstan acted as a royal advisor. In 955 however, Dunstan argued with the young King Eadwig, who confiscated Dunstan's property and exiled the monk.
Dunstan was called back to England by Edgar, king of Northumbria and Mercia. Under Edgar's influence Dunstan became Bishop of Worcester, and when Eadwig died in 960, Dunstan was named Archbishop of Canterbury. Dunstan arranged the details of Edgar's coronation as king, which remains the basis of royal coronations today.
When he died in 988 Dunstan became the most popular English saint of his day and his tomb became a place of pilgrimage.
Last weekend was Urban Lawns, Axminster - very wet and windy - the festival prevailed despite worsening conditions. A great weekend we'll be back as it was so inexpensive and would be grand in summer.
Thursday is P~agan Mayan ceremony at Stonehenge! Yay! and then Wychwood Festival on Friday! Feur season is here.
Ah so today is the first of Jan 08 - or 118 as has been rattling about my head all day. The end of December rushed up over me and gave me little time to post. We had our work's Xmas do at the races - where I won enough to get very drunk on alcohol, but not enough to show more than a tenner to K the next morning to justify my huge hangover. Work continued a pace and I completed half my workload for January to give the lads a chance to train someone new up.
Then suddenly it was panic pressie buying and more evenings at the pub and a trip to my sister's for my niece's birthday. Xmas day was nice, we had a delicious crown of lamb, a load of food and a chance to work it off on the new Wii games. Spiced Cider (which Z liked) and spiced wine and Bucks Fizz (another winner for Z) kept us in good cheer between our journeys around the South West visiting the relatives.
The spare room has been converted into an office for the new job, you all might have guessed what it is by now - if not, you've not been paying attention!
New Year's Eve Eve - my traditional party night - involved getting a little too merry and falling asleep outside on my sister's patio while i cooked a five star meal for her, family and friends in her lovely kitchen as they all watched and was resoundingly plaudited all night - guess i still have it as a chef. The night after involved some more nice food and feet up in front of the telly watching the huge fireworks from London. Typical we stop going to the London Eye for NYE and they put on a show like that!
A few days before we managed to get organised enough for us to travel to Exmouth for their fun Xmas shoot at archery - we all came away with golds! Me for Longbow, Z for Junior Girl and K for Ladies Recurve - what a glorious end to the year. See it's worth getting off your arse and doing stuff in your spare time as it pays dividends if you apply yourself!
Anyway new job tomorrow - slightly nervous!
HNY everyone or Honey as all you internet abusers will be aware is just hilarious!
Conditions were near perfect in front of the main Pyramid stage for the eFestivals World Cup football match which raised over £8000 for WaterAid. With the crowds entertained by Hobo Jones and the Junkyard Dogs and an Endorse It In Dorset supergroup before watching a closely fought game where England took the honours winning 6-4. The game was even watched by WaterAid presidentPrince Charles from the stage. Unfortunately post match entertainers Supernova had to cut their set short as the Festival chose that moment to test the speaker array with blast of Gorillaz. After letting one goal in between my legs and getting the wrong side of a poor refereeing decision, I subbed myself only for them to score again during the change over.
Following the match the warm evening and an invigorating performance by Scott Mckewan alongside L's improving ankle meant we were able to enjoy music in the small stages like Nik Turner, 3 Daft Monkeys and Kissmet, before returning to the Bourbon Stage for Ainsley Poster. With most people now on site the new late night areas look awesome, there's a monorail stuck in the side of a 5 or 6 story building and Arcadia has grown arms, we were tantalised with incredibly designed new areas still hastily being constructed. A sizeable crowd gathered in the sacred space to watch the sunrise under a full moon. The only depressing thing was the palls of acrid plastic smoke from large fires in West Holts the first time I've seen that amongst the fluttering flags.
Today sees Rolf Harris open the main stage in the sunshine, with Gorillaz closing the main stage with a host of special guests. Talking of which Worthy fm are hinting this morning that special guests playing sets on site are Lou Reed, and Biffy Clyro. Festival goers will have to wait and see if they're right.
Today also sees the arrival of our teenage daughter, as she finally gets a short break from her exams.
Well it's about this time of year that I start to look at a few gigs to review, and get into the swing of things before the summer season. Only, this year there's absolutely nothing around to review. Thankfully Vibraphonic, is on the horizon, hopefully that is:
K went to a councillors meeting the other day, where they suggested that in order to save some money after they lost it all gambling in banks around the world, they cut the festival budgets. firstly it was suggested they just stop funding Vibraphonic, and then they decided they'd reduce the amount they give to all festivals here in Exeter! She came home very disillusioned, now I don't know about councils elsewhere but the expression 'not knowing their arse from their elbow' sprung readily to mind I believe.
This is the same council that now no longer does anything by the book where it comes to employee rights, so god knows what they're getting up to in chambers!
We've bought a campervan too, but I now have reservations about vanning at festivals, I mean the fields are always up big hills and half the fun of going is to sit around chatting until silly o'clock. does this mean we'll now be going back to the van early?
Anyway back to the original point, where have all the acts gone? Are they just not bothering to come down here? seems strange as our student neighbours have felt no credit crunch and still spending their trust funds like Nick Leeson! Now this city has so many of these well heeled children of London's elite, I'm amazed bands aren't falling over themselves to appear down here to spread the wealth!
Well at least we have Rod Stewart in Argyle's footie stadium to look forward to. Not!
I've had a battery of tests today - I keep thinking this is like some Duracell test - where they will press my head and feet and a giant glowing indicator will light up my side to show how much charge i have left!
Well my appointment was for 10.45 at 11.45 the first doctor sees me - turns out the consultant isn't available (why not just cancel at this point? - I have work to do, and my spinal tap isn't until the afternoon) but he goes through the same proceedure as my own GP did - then I go to have the audio tests done - they can't do it today! - So I wait around a bit more. Then they can't book in a new appointment - although I'm stood with a nurse because the doctor needs to write a request. So the nurse says she'll get him to write one, and they'll put a letter in the post to let me know.
Next up get changed into a gown - very' 28 Days Later' and sit around in my pants in a crowded waiting room. Eventually i get a room, for no apparent reason - probably to build up my fear of hospitals - there's signs everywhere warning of vomiting and diarrhoea - nice! Then I'm led back out to another waiting room - why not just put me straight here?
Then I get sent in for the spinal tap - I'm trying to think of the band to take my mind off it - as I'm asked to put my head between my knees. The anaesthetist nurse - takes for ever to stab me with the local anaesthetic - repeatedly asking me, who hates needles, to relax. Then they wait around for a bit - I'm starting to feel like i have the vomit/diarrhoea bug when it's on to stage two - my head's still between my legs. They stab me with another bigger needle - this hurts even though it shouldn't I'm braced to stop the reflex movement - trying not to move as I feel this scraping in my spine. Then it's done - it's now about 2.15pm
so for nearly four hours I've had about half an hour of medical work - all billed back to my GP I presume. Nice! I'm supposed to be remaining flat - but it's too uncomfortable, So I'm sitting down.
No results, just a case of more waiting now.
So why a reflex recurve not the traditional English Longbow? Well mainly beacuse personally I believe the Cornish Celts used recurves not the traditional English Saxon longbow of the rest of conquered England. My reasoning for this? Comes from the origins of Britian and the Trojans arrival in Cornwall in around 1250BC with reflex bows.
Perhaps the most common cultural characteristic of the ancient Celts was the Celtic languages, a branch of the Indo-European family of languages. The earliest established origins of Celts dates from c.1000-800 BC in Eastern Europe, though research and excavations in very recent years indicate that cultures in Siberia and Northern Mongolia may well be directly linked to the Celts. Both of these cultures date back as far as the second millennium BC. The prowess of the Celts as master horsemen with the capabilities of travelling very long distances give these links further credibility.
These bows are mentioned in Book 21 of Homer's Odyssey. The contest with Odysseus' Bow: Described:
There is the a competition to string the bow, which proves impossible - however it's solved by stringing the bow while seated - which is the case for a Reflex recurve - thus this well sprung bow used by Trojans is the reflex.
But where the Cornish connection? Well:
Geoffrey of Monmouth in his Historia regum Britanniae (1135–39), says the founder of Kernow was a Trojan warrior who accompanied Brutus the Trojan, the legendary founder of Britain, to England. on the founding of Britain - The bit particularly about Cornwall. In which Corineus is mentioned as coming from the Trojans and thus reflex bows.
The statue of Corineus at London beidge erected in the 1500s showing him with a reflex Recurve and arrows upon his back.
There's also of course the other Celt and Pictish reces of Britain to consider the Irish were unfamiliar with Longbows and so too the Scottish. However the Welsh - were the origin of the longbow which pretty much overtook all other forms of bow in England in the 13th Century had not only longbows but recurved horsebows, I've yet to find much on them but the image of this American replica looks pretty similar:
During the Anglo-Norman invasions of Wales, Welsh bowmen took a heavy toll on the invaders. The English were quick to realise the impact that the longbow could produce on the battlefield. As soon as the Welsh campaign was successfully over, Welsh conscripts began to be incorporated into the English army. The lessons the English learned in Wales were later used with deadly effect by Welsh mercenaries on the battlefields of France and Scotland. Their skill was exercised under King Edward I of England (r. 1272–1307), who banned all sports but archery on Sundays, to make sure Englishmen practised with the longbow. As a result, the English during this period as a whole became very effective with the longbow.
But were these bows the traditional tool of the ancient archer? They are cruder and less technical to make than the ancient reflex and I feel it was this ease of construction which led to it being the weapon in the UK. But if we had Trojans in Cornwall then we'd have had their bow technology and perhaps the Cornish bow was once a recurve. Especially if we were a nation of mounted militia - celtic horse skills are well documented and a long bow would be irrelevent on horseback or celt chariot.
Infact the BBC gave Robin a reflex recurve in the last TV adaptation explainuing it by saying: The bow Robin carries is not a typical English bow (longbows did not arrive until just before the Hundred Years War); it is a recurved bow, supposedly adopted from the Saracens he fought on Crusade. In reality it is an Hungarian hunting bow - the glues used in Saracen bows would have meant it would quickly fall apart under European weather conditions.
Any archaelogists studying in Kernow may be able to she some light on if any recurve remnants have ever been found.
Getting the hang of the new job, I've got a rough idea of how it works. The hard bit is working out what I've done wrong when it doesn't! Now I've got to get up to pace as rapidly as possible. Archery was hard work Friday - straight off the train into archery, Sunday's frostbite was well attended but blustery and it's the longbow league shoot this friday. If I get a good score in that I'll be rewarding myself at the beer festival mmmm 60+ Winter-only brews & Festive Cyders, a Tombola and Products stand and a sing along with Stompin' Dave Allen although CAMRA membership hasn't shown up yet, so it'll be full price entry. Grrrr!
Grrr - as usual returning from Reading has led to slowly feeling more and more like crap every day until yesterday a stream of black gunk issues forth from my nose and i get the Reading flu.
Now, i feel awful, my deadline at work has slid, my reviews of Reading sunday night still haven't been written - thankfully i took a huge wedge of notes and I've been in work half an hour and feel a mess.
We've got Folkfest at the weekend - and metcgheck has it as one of their events - which i think is quite cool and we're all looking forward to seeing Dragonfly again. Our first free festival of the year and we're hoping it'll be at least as good as Strawberry Fayre.
I've also managed to sort out with Granty somewhere to stay for The Celtic Beer Festival in the vaults of St Austell Brewery!
Here's last year's info:
The vaults are huge and there's stages and bars all set up underground - old school cornish style like they would in the old Smuggler's caves. Live music, local food and great beer. Green light for 02 December 2006
It's £5 again this year!
A lot of these click are also there! Yummy!
More pics here!
Well there's a big change in my life on the horizon, and I can't say anymore than that but it can't come soon enough. Looking forward to heading to Spain in the beginning of December - the temperature in Murcia is over 20 degrees both day and night at the moment - lovely! Have to get in touch with Boris and Jo and firm up meeting them - not looking forward to getting the plane at 4am though! But really looking forward to the first break since festie season and getting a Wii too! Looks like Metroid, Zelda and Mario Galaxy will be purchased at the same time. I'm also doing well at Archery achieved my first D Class score on Sunday - just got to keep to that level of shooting! But I didn't think I'd be breaking the 400 barrier so soon! Z is clearly following in my footsteps and won the girls' cross country last week. Scary news is Holloway might be off from Argyle! Nooooooooooo!
Watched the F word two things:
1. Cooking garden snails is he mad? And feeding them to his kids! Reminded me of the minister and his burger!
2. He's a chef but he's never been to a slaughter house? How as part of my 706/2 i had to go to slaughter houses and reclaiming factories. How come he'd never been to one before is he not a real chef? -Surely everyone who eats meat should go to a slaughter house to see what happens? You can't think of meat dissaccoiated from animals surely? Had to laugh at how green Ramsey went!
Got kit all ready for Endorse-It - no idea how we're gonna fit it in the new car's tiny boot! Weather's looking okay for it - bit of rain early Sunday but we're off site early then anyway. Local weather forecast for Beaut Days looks okay to - bit of mizzle that's all.
Z's pre birthday excitement is reaching near explosive level!
OOOO ooooo and guess what? Dreadzone and Alabama 3 are playing Exeter in November at the Lemmy!!!! YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
been a while I think I'm number obsessed - had woman flu (it just goes on and on and on) since Guilfest, then WOMAD, and now Endorse It - weather's looking good for that - touch wood. Broken a long bow and bought a new since my last post - currently have one - Grand Master Bowman score - need three to get the classification - and going to enter the County Champs - if i do well then County Squad beckons!!! Not bad for someone doing it just over a year. Lookin' forward to Beautiful Days - Z is gonna be a teenager - so we're taking her to <s>hell on earth</s> Reading Festival as she's now a \m/ \m/ a rock chick!
right better go and pack for this weekend's festival frolics at Endorse It!
Ah happy Beltaine! Usually I'd spend it down the Double Locks in the sunshine, but instead it's going to be hectic! First up we have to prepare the field tonight for one of the highlights of the archery calendar our club hosts the prestigious Grand Day where we play host to archers from the south of the country and further afield. Hundreds of them, which means when I finish work here at eFest towers, I have to rush off and mark out the field as cricketers are using it tomorrow - they'll continue with it until they lose the light - i would be too but Z has a show on tonight a fund raiser for her performance troupe - songs from shows like Hairspray, Fame, We Will Rock You, etc - so I have to dash off to that.
With Saturday taken up trying to sort out 99 year old Gran's broken hearing aid, and then racing back to continue setting up target lines etc, I'll get no chance to try out my new hunter Elite arrows before the competition, can I get in the medals on Sunday? It lasts all day and I'll shoot over 12 dozen arrows - hard work on the back with a 50lb bow.
Monday I'm celebrating my birthday, and Tuesday is a surprise - K is arranging something and we also have to go to Torquay to get the van's roof conversion sorted and a leisure battery, ready for the summer.
Then next week it's getting used to life as a 40 year old. Bizarre if we had 12 fingers would being 48 be a big milestone instead?
Enjoy Beltaine, may light defeat darkness for a summer in the sunshine!
It's the happiest time of year again and no I'm not Jewish, but it's Rosh Hashanah for them too. I'm feeling very perky although a little peeky. Had a pleasent night out in hurricane George last night enjoying the warm strong gales and a pint or three. Then tried to stay up all night but failed but awoke before dawn. Heard the dawn chorus, saw the sun rise and felt the vibrancy of the morning, no sign of the darkness that's to come yet. Considered wearing green but had nothing clean - but will be carrying the green flag all winter long in the words of Jethro tull.
We've got mead and a bonfire ready for tonight. Although with my herbal cigarettes many think I've been burning bonfies for weeks. Hoping the weather stays nice we've got dough ready to make some bread things - although we're not decided what as I'd like to make apple bread and K wants cheese bread.
Jethro Tull's - Jack-In-The-Green
From one of the best pagan albums with a song for every solstices and Equinox:
Click - which is a great reference for the album and related imagery.
Anyway here's a little on Mabon for those who are interested:
Now the God is preparing to leave His body. He knows He is dying and it is all right because soon enough He will be reunited with His bride once again. The Goddess prepares to grow weak as the Earth will freeze over when Winter arrives. This is the Harvest Thanksgiving.
The harvest is completed by Mabon. This is a time for reflection over the past year and giving thanks for what has come of it. All year long, literal and figurative plantings have been going on and have finally been harvested; there is a lot of thought about how it went. This holiday is for the preparation of the "season of sleep," and for introspection, and understanding our dark and wise side. We think of sacrifices others have made for us and what we can sacrifice for others. Mysteries and unknowns are pondered.
As Mabon is the time of the harvest and a time for meditation and thankfulness, it is a good time to make wine or mead - yummy. Lots of people like making wine for Mabon because it uses harvested foods and is symbolic of the fruits of the year. But I prefer mead as it's champagne and hunny - very summery. Plus a lot of it is probably going to be packed away and fermented, much like we are packing ourselves away and thinking over what has happened. Some like to call the spirits of their totem animals for help in inner searching. Meditation rituals are very common for Mabon. Some people use this time to visit their friends' and relatives' graves and give them flowers. I also like to have and give a massage in oil and no doubt Sifi would approve though i tend not to use olive oil.
The Mabon season:
Mabon Herbs--Apple, balm of Gilead, calendula, corn acorn, cypress cone, hazel, milk thistle, mugwort, myrrh, oak, orris root, passion flower, pine cone, rose, sage
Mabon Incense--Myrrh, sage, pine, frankincense, jasmine, cinnamon
Mabon Colors--Orange, dark red, yellow, brown, violet, deep gold
Mabon Decorations--Acorns, pomegranates, pine cones, baskets of fallen leaves, cornucopias
Mabon Foods--Breads, corn, cornbread, squash, apples, roots (carrots, potatoes, onions), cider, beans, nuts
Mabon Sacred Gemstones--carnelian, lapis lazuli, sapphire, yellow agate
Spellwork appropriate for Mabon--spells for protection, wealth and prosperity, security, feeling of self-confidence, and balancing magick.
Mead, a liqueur produced from fermented honey-water, is one of the oldest alcoholic drinks. It was once the favourite beverage in regions of Northern Europe where the climate was not suited to maintaining vineyards. Mead had ritual and spiritual significance for the Celts of the British Isles, the Anglo-Saxons, and the Vikings. Many ancient legends recall the pleasures of mead: early Irish literature speaks of the ever-full mead cauldrons to be found within faery mounds; the Norse Eddas tell how the god Oðin seduced a giantess to gain the mead of poetry; and the joys of the meadhall are a common motif in Anglo-Saxon verse. Popular folk-belief traces the origin of the word honeymoon back to the medieval custom of newlywed couples drinking mead for the first month (moon) of married life to ensure their fertility and to increase the chances that their first child would be a son.
Maponos alias Mabon
Celtic God of Youth
The name Maponos or Mabon means 'Divine Son'. He was the son of Modron, the 'Divine Mother,' but a father is never mentioned. He was stolen from his mother at the age of only three days and imprisoned in Caer-Gloiu (Gloucester), until eventually rescued by King Arthur. Perhaps the city was sacred to Maponos. For he was not a mortal, but the Celtic God of the Young & Youthful Pursuits, particularly hunting. He appears in the tale of Culhwch & Olwen, helping the former fulfil his quest by slaying the great magical boar, Twrch Trwyth.
Maponos may be identified with the Welsh mythical character, Pryderi, who was similarly kidnapped in his youth; or, possibly, he is the Irish God of Love, Oenghus, known as 'Mac Oc' meaning the 'Young Son'. He certainly had a popular following in Northern Britain as still to be noted by Lochmaben, west of Lockerbie in Scotland. This may be the Locus Maponi mentioned in the Roman Ravenna Cosmography. A silver plaque from the Roman fort at Vindolanda (Chesterholm) has been discovered inscribed "Deo Mapono". At Ribchester, Maponos shares a stone with a hunter-goddess - perhaps Apollo's sister, Diana - bloody thievin' Romans . At Hexham, however, his musical and poetic attributes are emphasised more. His worship was widespread throughout the Celtic World though and his name has been found in several places on the Continent.
Mabon - Kernow:
mab [maab] masculine noun
PLURAL meibion [meib -yon] - men
The son of man - This sense survives in the word baban (= baby), originally maban (mab + diminutive suffix -an)
côr meibion - male-voice choir (choir of men) - Welsh and Cornish
A descendant as in mab Adam - a son of Adam, a descendant of Adam, a human being
Mab Duw (the Son of God),
... Mab Dyn (the Son of Man)
Mebyon Kernow (the sons of Cornwall) - The Cornish political party is called Mebyon Kernow - The Party for Cornwall's greater independence.
Listed as Mabon in 12th Century records, Mabyn was said to have come from a large family, with 23 brothers and sisters. A depiction of Mabyn exists in the wives’ window in St Neot Church. She is wearing robes, a crown, and is carrying a palm branch. A well in the parish is also thought to represent her. She is thought to be the symbol to the preceeding Celts who the church embraced.
St.Mabyn is a village situated between Wadebridge and Bodmin Moor in North Cornwall. The village is centred on the grade 1 listed 15th century Church of St.Mabena.
Cae Mabon (the storyteller's roundhouse) in Penzance
Mabon is referred to as the “Great Son of the Great Mother” in the Mabinogion. The name is also a form of “Maponus” who some say was the Solar Deity to whom Stonehenge was dedicated. So “Cae Mabon” could mean the “Home of the Divine Youth” or the “Lair of the Ancient British Sun God”! Grandiose pretensions indeed! On a more earthly plane, for ten years storytelling has homed in on the Cae Mabon Roundhouse. Many of Britain’s storytelling “greats” have performed there, telling their funny, epic, surreal, moving, poetic and extraordinary tales.
Well i think that's everything - so raise your glass tonight to the Jack-in-The-Green and think of harvest time. I'm always fearful I'll die before Mabon but once again I've made it. Blessed be!