Thoughts: That Time When You Accidentally Join A Pagan Celebration

Today was decidedly odd.

The morning schedule was a meeting with the Solicitor to get Mums affairs in order and progress correctly. To make sure they had all my details sorted. From there to the Memorial company to order a new Headstone for the plot.

Side note: We learned that if we wanted raised lead lettering on the stone it would cost 8 quid per letter…

We opted against raised lead lettering.

As we were close to Glastonbury we decided to head in for lunch. Completely forgetting that it was 1st May – May Day. Beltane. Glastonbury was at a complete standstill.

(Glastonbury is known for its Tor and has a history rooted in mythology and legends including Joseph of Arimathea and King Arthur. More here. The Glastonbury Festival takes its name from the town but is held a few miles away in Pilton).

The whole town gets involved in this celebration. There was the Town Hall address. The Town Crier welcoming Summer. The menfolk bearing the Maypole.

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I loved the folk dressing up as Goddesses and Green Men. Some better than others to be fair. The guy in the ghillie suit for example, didn’t quite get it. Or the guy who was green all over and wearing his favourite green shirt (it was a Green Lantern shirt so bonus points for that).

Flower crowns/garlands were on heads everywhere.

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We walked in a procession behind the Maypole for the best part of a mile. Destination: a field near the base of Glastonbury Tor. We paused by the Red Spring and the White Spring – a place of significance and meditation – for the Maypole to be blessed by intermingled waters from both. (ask me about the guy bathing naked in public sometime).

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The procession continued uphill and as we entered the field we were welcomed and blessed. The church of Beltane was truly in session. Chanting. Entering the ring through the garland portals.

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There were Gaelic blessings, invocations and chants. There were Druidic blessings, invocations and chants. People were drawn in to a state of worship. Singing. Drumming. Cannabis…

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The May Queen and May King were joined. The Maypole was planted. The couples were paired. The merriment began. Summer has been welcomed. Fertility has been encouraged.

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It was quite an experience. Not something this lad from Palmerston North has experienced anyway.

(Local coverage can be found here).

I do like days where the unexpected happens simply because you follow your curiosity and say Yes to new experiences.

But what is my take-away from all of this? It’s not just something that a tourist can observe and say “That was good wasn’t it”?. I think there’s more to it.

Beltane is about new life. It’s about conception. So, for me, I will conceive that new project, grasp that fleeting idea and get on with it.

Life is not about stagnation.

Not. One. Bit.

 

^sd

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Thoughts: I need to get my words back

It’s occurred to me that I haven’t written anything for some months.

A lot has happened. Christmas, for example.

Many ideas of posts of extraordinary value to my readers are swirling in the void. They get close. Really close. And then just get taken out of my reach when I become aware of them.

I suspect that so much has been going on in my life that I’ve been reeling from one thing to the next without being able to put focus on a thought properly and with consideration. Simply having to deal with life has been enough.

I’m going to change things up. Watch this space.

^SD

 

Diary of a Shore Thing #7

And it’s happened again.

The people who own our home have decided to return to Auckland from overseas. Clearly our country is doing ok.

So, once more we search and plan for a move. For me it’s the third in three years. For KT it’ll be the 12th in 13 years. It’s tough being a renter, in what I consider to be an adolescent rental market.

I actually don’t mind renting. However the time when renting in New Zealand is more European can’t come quick enough. Long term (generations rather than years), and the ability to decorate to your taste and treat the house as yours.

But that time isn’t here yet. And so we move.

Again.

Thoughts: NZ Governance

With all the Jacinda conversation in the last 24hrs, I got to thinking. I have no idea how New Zealand’s governance succession works.

Let’s say a sitting Prime Minister got hit by a Wellington bus whilst crossing the street. (One of the security detail didn’t make it, sadly). The injured Prime Minister is then unable to work. The Deputy Prime Minister steps in, and is sworn in, to the top role, and the governing Party selects a new Deputy, yes?

Is there provision in New Zealand law (constitutionally) for the former Prime Minister to return straight back in to their formerly-held PM role, replacing the successor? Or do they simply get to return to Parliament and have to be chosen as Leader by their Party again?

In the case of maternity leave, does the above apply? Or is it covered by Employment Law that the Prime Ministerial role needs to be kept open for the return of the new mother?

Does anyone know?

^SD

 

Diary of a Shore Thing #6

It’s been a wee while since I last wrote about my existence on the North Shore of Auckland.

I have found myself in somewhat of a routine now. Things aren’t as strange as they once were and I’m starting to relax a bit more.

Working in Whangaparaoa these last few months has certainly given me more perspective of this part of the city and it sees me less and less on the South side of the bridge (not ideal but it is what it is).

I’m still not sure I’m destined to embrace this place. My roots in Palmerston North mean that my exposure to the beach and sun and surf was not a part of my youth. Of course I’d probably feel right at home in Glenfield. But it’s GLENFIELD!!!

I haven’t yet found a ‘local’ where everyone knows my name. This is problematic for me given the lasting acquaintances made during my time in Kingsland/Grey Lynn. I miss that sense of belonging, and quite frankly The Patriot, Tiny Triumphs or The Esplanade in Devonport really aren’t my kinds of places populated by my kind of people.

I do enjoy catching the Ferry across to the CBD to explore and catch up with people. This has become an important part of my week.

Takapuna also is a good destination for me – but just not within walking distance. (Well, it is if you’re not overweight and somewhat unfit).

And Lake Road still sucks! Seriously. It’s just awful.

^sd

Thoughts: The Bachelor NZ

And every other permutation of Bachelor, Bachelorette, MAFS etc etc.

Just … No.

I can’t see how these shows are healthy. I can’t see how teaching our teenage girls that it’s ok to compete for the affections of a guy. In a fake, contrived bubble to make it worse.

Nope. Can’t watch it. Can’t support it. 

Judge me.