Thought for the day: "I changed my iPod's name to Titanic. It's syncing now."
It was on the 24th July 2014 that I first posted the shocking news that while I was posting galleries of poor and inconsiderate parking, I had fallen foul of a resident, or residents, in my neighbouring Derwent Street who had taken objection to my parking in their street... Blog - 24th July 2014 - Pontificating on Parking...
Imagine my surprise to see on Facebook today an article from the local paper - the Llanelli Star - regarding another victim of the residential vigilante.... Only this time it seems that the matter escalated from the "polite" yet anonimous laminate on the windscreen, to the placing of dog faeces on the handles of his vehicle... How they knew it was Dog faeces is of course another matter of conjecture... Does it mean that the vigilante owns a dog? or did they find some other method of transferring the faecal matter to the handle. Either way it is a little off-putting and it is only the fact that I am not driving my mother's car at the moment that stops me parking in that street... but I am tempted..
Story here ...
DOG mess was smeared over the handles and window of a car after a parking row escalated to "disgusting" levels.
Pete Harris, who moved into New Street several months ago, says the nearest parking he could find was on Derwent Street.
However his parking choice clearly angered someone as over the period of two months, a number of anonymous laminated notes appeared on his car.
One read: "As a non-resident please find somewhere else to park. Be considerate to the people who do live here. Thank you."
But because there were no restrictions and no one confronted him in person, Mr Harris says he continued to park there.
"As a tax payer and someone who pays their road tax it's my right," said Pete, who works in Nationwide.
"I heard nothing from them for a few weeks and then walked to my car to drive to work one morning to find dog poo smeared on both car door handles preventing me from entering.
"Obviously this made me feel disgusted and horrified that anyone could do such an un-dignified act.
"I regularly take my young niece and nephew in the car which makes the situation worse."
Mr Harris washed the excrement off and contacted the police, but the following week he returned to his car to find more had been wedged under the handles and had dried in.
"It cost me £5 to wash it off and I felt very embarrassed having to turn up to a car wash with it on my car," he said.
"I reported this to the police again and this time have not heard from then since.
"I no longer park in the street."
Elli ward councillor Pam Edmunds said it was "despicable".
"There's not much parking on New Road so it could be difficult for him," she said. "It's despicable that someone could do something like that and I'm glad he reported it to the police.
"People should be able to park wherever is convenient if there are no restrictions."
Anyone who witnesses any anti-social behaviour is advised to contact police on 101.
I naturally contacted the reporter (James Nicholas) to inform him that this was not an isolated case of residential road rage- but he has not had the decency to answer so far... I will be away for a few days so do not know whether he will bother, or whether he has completed his story to his satisfaction..
I noted that the police had been notified twice but apparently had done nothing about it... I of course immediately called 101 to let them know that it was something that had happened to others, and that there was a pattern here - not necessarily the dog poo but the placing of laminated notes as part of the escalation... Having taken the details, and informing me that the local neighbourhood policing team would get in touch with me - sadly - not a thing heard .. Maybe they are too busy for a community issue like putting dog mess onto people's cars...
I know there are a number of important policing issues to be dealt with and this is not necessarily a priority - but then, I only called so it could be recorded - the call centre advised me that I would receive a call - and that sets an expectation - one which sadly is once again being disappointed..
My experiences of local policing since I stopped being a police officer have sadly left me disappointed on every occasion ...
I recall when staying with my daughter many years ago, down in a village called Wick near Bristol, she lived near the top of a hill with a parking space, lay-bye opposite. Sadly, this lay-bye was also near the entrance of a private house and though lay-byes and parking seem natural pairs, it obviously displeased the residents. In retrospect I can understand that parking a car outside might restrict their view of on-coming traffic, but it was a lay-bye and parking space and opposite my daughter's house.
After staying overnight - I got to the car and found one of the tyres flat. A closer examination found that the dust cap had been removed and a sharp thorn from a bush (there was one exactly the same in the front garden of the house) had been forced into the valve - letting the air out.... I was mildly annoyed!!!
Being a serving policeman at the time, I called at the house to "enquire" if they had seen anyone tampering with the vehicle (an offence RTA 1988 s25 it is an offence if, while a motor vehicle is on a road or on a parking
place provided by a local authority, a person otherwise than with lawful
authority or reasonable cause gets on to the vehicle or tampers with
the brake or other part of its mechanism (s.25). Deflating a tyre was "other mechanism" in my book !) I also outlined the possible dangers of such Criminal Damage, including the possibility of injury and serious damage had the deflated tyre not been noticed - the tyres cost over £100 each as I recall.
It only gave me a an element of personal satisfaction as I questioned them - particularly the teenage son who looked very shifty, in my best Policeman voice, while explaining that I was off duty at the time...
It gave me equal satisfaction as I quickly refilled the tyre from a pump fixed to the cigarette lighter showing that it had not really caused me much inconvenience after all... It did not happen again when I parked there ...
So, it seems that people get as touchy about people parking outside their houses, even legally, and correctly as I do about people parking in disabled bays and taking up more than one parking bay.... But I do not resort to Dog Mess!!!
I wonder if it was Mr Angry from before?? Sounds his sort of plan... But I think he lives up the other end of the street.. But they say you should not mess on your own doorstep.... I shall Survive - Despite Mr Angry
Well - after all that - I shall get ready for A Medieval Weekend - they did not worry about parking in those day I think - unless you left your cart outside the tavern and then you may find it filled with Horse Muck..
Thought for the day: "This girl said she recognized me from the vegetarian club, but I'd never met herbivore."
Last couple of photographs after the weekend. Time to reflect and also time to get Bertha the Tent repaired - not the canvass - the metal framework. Only one piece of damage - but enough to affect the structure.
Putting the tent up is long and arduous, but simple in terms of method. One piece at a time. However, on take down it is possible to release a section and side at a time, and drop as a section. Only in this case one of the long pieces - the ten feet poles - was holding up the whole structure, and snapped at the edge. Luckily, a friend at the Burry Port Forge fixed it today with a bit of welding...
Also managed to get another piece of sheet metal, a thin section, to add the new van signs. Probably will need to have them front and back and hang them onto a stand of some form ...
I note some old friends will be there as well as re-enactors that I know. Devilstick Peat, and Portcullis Minstrels, and Destrier the Jousting Team. Hope they are ready for a random Viking Bard wandering around...
Still, in reviewing last weekend I find that one picture stands out in my mind.... I love the image that sums up the weekend, and that is here ...
And so, tomorrow it is time to fix the Voll's Wagen and get everything ready for the weekend ....
In the meantime - a glass of '41
Thought for the day : "I tried to catch some fog, but I mist."
A day spent working on photographs from the weekend. A great celebration of hand-fasting and marriage for a lovely couple. Sadly - I do not know any of them to be on Facebook - so the galleries posted late today are probably lost on all of them - but I have posted anyway... The Flickr versions will appear as well and they can access those in due course..
But in the meantime a selection of images from the weekend will suffice... A lovely day for all who were there I think .. Certainly I enjoyed
A high point was when Tony and Sheila from Raptorcare managed to train a bird ( I hesitate to say a Falcon as I really do not know the species) Flew their bird down to the couple with a small pouch of herbs and flowers, with special meaning written on a small framed picture they presented ...
Meanwhile, my mothers trusty broom form the balcony, wrapped an beflowered so elegantly my Susie was the key part of the broom jumping ceremony ...
It was lovely to see Hayley with her two daughters as Bridemaids ( yes I got their names wrong !! It was that sort of day !!)
And of course Hayley looked stunning as the bride ....
During the hand-fasting the wrapping of ribbons as part of the vows and expressions of love and devotion..
And of course the high point - the jumping the broom ... It seems that when I mentioned that in olden days, the one who jumped higher would rule the roost in the home - was taken to extreme by the groom - good for him I say !!
And so - friends form the re-enactment world were there to present a guard of honour for their egress....
And of course - the cutting of the cake....
Feeling good about the whole weekend
I think I will try a glass of Chateau 41 ( red) and maybe a glass of scotch to finalise the day..
Thought for the day: "Haunted French pancakes give me the crepes."
Well, back from Almondsbury after a rather frenetic weekend. Arrived in good time and managed to get Bertha the tent up without too much trouble. Forecast was for a bit of rain - but the weather stayed fine and I was able to get everything prepared for the wedding ceremony and for an evening playing in the Crimson Moon.
Seemed a little strange to see the old tavern there in all its glory. All set up without any effort and waiting to open for the guests. Of course, when I gave up the tavern I said that I would also give up the hard work of setting up large tents.. Seems that the wish was greater than the actuality - as Bertha takes a lot of effort and about 4 hours to get fit for purpose... But happy with the result....
In this case, all set up for the food and to receive the guests allowing the Moon to be used for drinking and singing in the evening.... Tables all laid out for the food... Sadly, a lot of effort went into getting the lighting all set up so that it would act as uplighter without glare.... and getting the power sockets ready for the food heaters.. Of course - all that effort would have been better if anyone could work out how to start the generator behind the tent - I certainly couldn't !!! And we managed without power at all on this side of the site..
So, only a quick review at the moment... Getting up this morning we were of the opinion that the rain was coming in and it was a scrabble to get the tents down in time.. Almost made it ! The top got a little damp - but will be out again on Thursday or Friday for Herstmonceaux Castle... May decide on Thursday so that it stays in the wrap for a shorter period of time... Longer time to set up as well - found it a little hard to set up and then play straight away..
And so, one picture of the happy couple and the hand-fasting.. And sorry to the bridesmaids.. I checked twice, to make sure that I had their names right !! Zoe and Clara !!! Spoiled it all by calling Chloe forward - that sounded about right - but left me with no name for the second - thought afterwards - I could have called her Zara and doubled the problem...
Enough for one night
Glass of Chateau 41 - White - to welcome me home...
Thought for the day : "Is it my imagination, or do buffalo wings taste like chicken?"
Today is a day for a wedding for two good friends.
I shall be acting as celebrant for the wedding and thought I would list it here for the record....
Hayley and Simon- Celebration of Marriage
The guests, friends and family are invite to gather into a large circle, minimally drawn out upon the ground or if available at the site by some form of foliage/ greenery …
The guests are mainly in a horseshoe with the Celebrant (me) at the end with a small table suitable covered with a colour scheme of the wedding.
Friends and family of Hayley and Simon. On behalf of the Bride and Groom I welcome you to this circle and would ask that you ensure that your phones are off – or at least on vibrate or similar, as the ceremony that now follows is as important, and solemn as any other, and should not be spoiled in any way….
Some wedding ceremonies are based upon religion, some on spiritual belief, some on tradition… Today, Hayley and Simon have chosen to demonstrate their love and commitment – each to the other – in front of family and friends, of those they love and who love them.
My name is Iain .. My other names are unnecessary as today I act only as Celebrant – I shall conduct and assist in the celebration that is the Hand-Fasting of Simon and Hayley..
As this may be the first time that some of you are attending a hand-fasting you might be interested in the symbolism of what you will see today. Much of which are familiar in all but their context
The circle in which you all stand is symbolic of the cycles of life. A circle has no beginning and no end, and therefore is in itself a symbol of eternity. It symbolizes the rings exchanged in marriage. The circle itself is an infinite thing. It is magical and never-ending, never changing and yet always adaptable, a ring with no beginning and no conclusion.
Like the circle, true love itself is infinite. It goes on, knowing no boundaries or restrictions.
I now invite the Hayley and Simon to enter this circle and join with us for their hand-fasting..
Some will recognize the symbolic binding of the hands at the end of the service that inspired the terms “Bonds of Holy Matrimony” and to “Tie the knot” This custom has also been known the world over, through many different periods in history.
During the Middle Ages to be seen in public holding hands was a sign that a couple were exclusive to one another. And while rings were for the very rich, love knows no bounds and a simple cord would do just fine.
Those of you who are fans of the Renaissance period will be happy to see the jumping of broom at the closing of the ceremony which symbolically sweeps clean the past reminding our Bride and Groom that the power to create the future ahead and the quality of life that they both so richly deserve is their own.
[hands broom to the bridesmaid who will take charge of it for the ceremony]
Jumping the broom is a symbol of change and renewal
It is a symbol of sweeping away the old and welcoming the new
A symbol of new beginnings..
The straw end represents the brushing away of all their old cares and worries.
The strong wooden handle represents the strength of your commitment to each other, and the straight, unconditionally-committed path you will follow together in marriage.
The leap that the couple takes over the broom is also symbolic. Starting a new life with another person does require a "leap of faith". But by taking the leap, the individuals make a gesture of dedication to working together through the tough times ahead and the willingness to care for and defend one another.
Some say that whoever jumps the highest will be the boss of the house! THE CEREMONY
Hayley and Simon - I now ask that you stand here in front of your family and friends so that they may witness your commitment to one and other.
Please face each other and look into each other’s eyes… for the eyes are the mirror to the soul and reveal all to each other…
I call on Friends who are witnesses in the East.. for the East represents new beginnings that come each day with the rising sun, communication of the heart, mind, body and soul.
I call on Friends who are witnesses in the South -- for the South represents the light of the heart, the heat of passion, and the warmth of a loving home.
I call on Friends who are witnesses in the West -- for the West represents the rushing excitement of a raging river, the soft and pure cleansing of a rainstorm, and a commitment as deep as the ocean itself.
I call on Friends who are witnesses in the North -- for the North represents a solid foundation on which to build your lives, abundance and growth of your home, and the stability to be found by holding one another at the end of the day
And I call upon you both to make your commitment each to the other..
Do you, Simon,promise to show Hayleyyour honor
and fidelity, to share her laughter and joy, to support and stand by her in
times of difficulty, to dream and hope together with her, and to spend each day
loving her more than the day before? Answers??
Do you, Hayley, promise to show Simon your honor and
fidelity, to share his hopes and dreams, to laugh with him and share endless
days of joy, to stand side by side with him in times of trouble, and to spend
each day loving him more than the day before? Answers??
The vows of love have been spoken.
With open hearts you are
declaring your intentions here today with your family and friends as witnesses
and symbolizing your commitment to each other and these ideals by this ritual
These ribbons, each has two ends
but remains a single ribbon and symbolizes two in one…
Do you freely and intentionally
enter this ceremony with love in your heart ??
Both answer “I Do”
Please hold hands together...
Simon – do you pledge your love to Hayley – to nurture her and support her as far as you are able? [I do]
Hayley – do you pledge your love to Simon – to nurture him and support him as far as you are able? [I do]
Simon and Hayley, will you make your love your first priority and, at those times when you are weary and under pressure look each to the other. (both) Yes.
And so the binding is made.(The first cord is placed over the couple’s joined hands). Simon, will you bring suffering into the relationship? I may.
Is that your intent? No.
Hayley, will you bring suffering into the relationship? I may.
Is that your intent? No.
Simon and Hayley, will you make peace your first priority and, at those times when you forget, be brave and take the first step forward to healing? Yes.
And so the second binding is made. (The 2nd cord is placed over the couple’s joined hands).
Simon, will you share Haley’s laughter and joy? Yes. Hayley, will you share Simon’s laughter and joy? Yes. Simon and Hayley, will you look for the brightness and joy in life and the positive in each other? Yes.
And so the third binding is made. (The 3rd cord is looped over the couple’s hands).
Simon, will you trouble Hayley? I may.
Is that your intent? No. Hayley, will you trouble Simon? I may.
Is that your intent? No.
Simon and Hayley, in all times of trouble will you stand one by the other, against all who stand against you, united in your love for one and other and sure in your bonds to each other? Yes. And so the fourth binding is made. (The 4th cord is looped over the couple’s hands).
Simon , Hayley, these cord ribbons symbolize so much. It is your life, your love, and the eternal connection that the two of you have found with one another. The ties of this hand-fasting are not formed by these ribbons, or even by the knots connecting them. They are formed instead by your vows, by your pledge, your souls, and your two hearts, now bound together as one.
As one last bond, Simon, will you please kiss Hayley
And so the last binding is made…..
Please face your friends and family … and raise your hands aloft
Remember then as your hands are fasted – these are not the ties that bind..
they are but a symbol of your love”
Broom Jumping I now ask that all the guest form a passage leading from here for the happy couple to walk through…
Two lines of guests so they can all see the last part of the ceremony with Falconer at the other end of the line..
Broom is presented by Bridesmaid
The final part of the ceremony relates to a tradition as old as the land itself ..
Please place the broom on the floor
Now Hayley and Simon As a final symbol of your celebration of marriage – I call on you to jump over the broom and ask all the guests here to count down from 5
5 4 3 2 1 – Jump….
As Celebrant, I now declare you bound by your own vows and the symbols that you have undertaken here today before your friend and family ….as Husband and Wife.
In Celtic tradition these cords were sometimes kept in place on the couples hands for several days after the ceremony. You can imagine the challenge this presented the couple - literally tied to one another 24/7! Today, Simon and Hayley will be spared this part of the tradition (the ribbons are lifted off gently) while honouring the intention – that they will continue to work together as a team and uphold one another through all that life brings them.
These ribbons will be placed in a special box with the knot in place as a delightful reminder of the vows they have made.
However, So that their love may have wings and fly to the heavens, that they may have dreams and songs to sing… I call upon one last symbol of how their love may rise above the world and soar through the heavens
The Bird of Prey flies down the line of people carrying a small bouquet of herbs and flowers
These can be explained by the Falconer....
The couple then walk through the line of guests together...
End of Ceremony...
And so I hope it is as successful...
Maybe a glass of Chateau 41 to celebrate...
Thought for the day: "Breaking news! A cartoonist was found dead in his home. Details are sketchy."
Strange how you can spend your days... After traveling to Germany and recovering from the trip, and sorting out some photographs, and updating Facebook to make room for a new group of links, with the bards and the players, sorting a few bills and accounts, I spent yesterday writing a wedding ceremony for friends.
When I say wedding ceremony. I mean a hand-fasting. In this case, friends wanted to get married in the Registry office with only the Best Man, Bridesmaid and Witness, and then celebrate the main part of the ceremony with their friends and family, perhaps 100 - 120, in a field. They did not want religion, Wicca, or spiritualism involved, but after talking with them as Celebrant, they felt that traditions and symbolism would be a good idea....
The choice therefore became clear to me, to have a five-fold binding, four coloured ribbons and a kiss.
And of course a "Jump the Broom" at the end - to symbolise the sweeping away of the past and a "jump" into the future...
In this case, there is also another advantage, in that another good friend looks after Birds of Prey. Tony and Sheila run Raptorcare and do demonstrations regularly with their birds and so the final part of the ceremony is to include the guests lining up to form a passage for the Bride and Groom to recess, and for Tony to fly the Bird to them as a last gesture of "Love being on the wings - With Dreams and Songs to sing..."
And so, with a little research on other ceremonials, I found myself considering how to put together a meaningful ceremony that would not bore the guests, would mean something to the Bridal Couple.
I think I succeeded, and am now only waiting to hear from the couple of any amendments that may be needed. Otherwise I must get the Bothy ready as Bertha is involved as well as the Crimson Moon and I will have to get an area set up for tomorrow afternoon.
If all goes well I shall blog the final version on Monday after the weekend - hopefully with some photographs..
Meanwhile in other news, I noted a lovely comment made upon the Bards Guild Notice Board on Facebook. A mention from one of the other Bards, who goes under the unlikely name of Seamus Mac Elroy.
Now, I did not know that a Macelroy was !!
The urban dictionary tells me :
" noun. a person who resembles and acts like a socially retarded dancing sprite.
verb. being suddenly forced to bare unwilling witness to
unacceptable interpretive dance in a household space or in ones personal
noun: As Dirk came out of his room, he was bewildered by a Macelroy performing the splits between two walls.
verb: While enjoying the comfort of home in the company of friends,
Jarek Manquggo and Umgay Lipo were unabashedly Macelroy'd by means of a
spinning pirouette by THE Macelroy."
So my unlikely German friend had a greater knowledge of the English myth and culture than I did !!
Dressed in this (one of my photos from the event ) he is distinct as a Scottish, Irish song singing, tartan clad (though not in his great kilt at this time) Elf!! (Yes he has pointy ears!) together with the beautiful Steffi, he was one of the great characters of the event. A great voice, good guitar and pleasant company with, luckily for me, a good knowledge of the English Language.
So it was a pleasure for me to read an unsolicited statement on the boards, not directed at me but giving me a mention. I copy it in German with a Google translation which may not be totally accurate - but captures the spirit..
"Ich wollte noch einmal erwähnen, das es mir ein außerordentliches Vergnügen wahr, mit euch allen diese Woche voller Genuss, Musik, Party und guten Gesprächen zu verbringen. Vielen Dank noch mal an Mi und Sarah für die richtigen Worte zum rechten Zeitpunkt und immer einem offenen Ohr für einen Chaoten wie mich. Auch vielen Dank an Vollsanger für nie endende gut Laune die er ausstrahlt. Vollsanger: "you are every time 100% Right !" An alle Barden, Bardinnen, Feuerkünstler, Tänzerinnen, Händler und welche ich noch vergessen hab, "es wahr mir eine Ehre !" Nun wünsche ich euch viel Spaß zu Hause mit eureen Liebsten und ein ruhiges und entspanntes Wochenende.
I wanted to mention again that it me extraordinary pleasure is true to spend music, party and good conversations this week full of enjoyment, with all of you. Thanks again to MI and Sarah for the right words at the right time and always have an open ear for a chaotic like me. Also thanks to Vollsanger for never-ending good mood that he radiates. Vollsanger: "you are every time 100% right!" All bards, Bardinnen, fire performers, dancers, traders, and which I still forgot "it true me an honor!" Now, I wish you much fun at home with your loved ones and a quiet and relaxed weekend. Seamus
Makes the day seem better all the time - Thanks Seamus for those words ...
And so it is time to review some of the Taverns at which I was playing....
The Heilige Krabbe
Yup - this translates as the Holy Crab - or to use the vernacular - Holy Crap!!! Run by Patsy and always a great welcome - though after midnight it was very noisy and they preferred drummers and fire dancing ! Yes Fire dancing in a wooden building...
Patsy... Mein Host
The whole structure was very impressive for a building that only stands for a week ..
I did toy with the idea of building one of these in the farm when we get it - He is willing to come over and construct it if I get the wood... tempting - but maybe not water proof enough for the UK..
Then there was the Klaubatterman - or the Hobgoblin and Mein Host Reinard
And as important of course - the beautiful Pixie ...
Then there was the Scorpions Inn - always a good welcome ...
And the Jolly Rouge - of the song..
And of course the Black Pearl...
And the lovely Tanya - which I seem to have failed to keep in touch with ... Vollsanger seems always destined to lose in love....
Oh well - so many memories... Soon be next year !!!!