Cries of Persons Close to One

May 1, 2017

Diary 30th April / 1st May

The feast of Beltane, symbolizing winter’s death and summer’s rebirth.

Watching the dawn slowly break, outside, on the wild moor. Used to the vagaries of our weather, we had constructed make-shift covers and tents. At Beltane, the ordinary laws of morality are suspended. It is a time for sexual license. A child conceived at Beltane is sacred, set apart, an off-spring of the Gods and Goddesses of fertility.

Copulating in the morning dew and the fine falling rain. Naked. Remembering the rituals from the preceding night. Healing and blessing. Smoke drifting from the main bonfire. The sweet scent of burning apple wood. Now, we are existing outside of time and space. Yet connected to the Universe and feeling strangely energetic, too. Charged –

Through the night we drank hot chocolate laced with brandy from thermos flasks. Viagra was taken. Muira Puama, too. We ate a midnight feast of fruit and tongkat ali extract, which increases testosterone levels and ejaculatory power in men. I had a rock hard, super stiff erection which was much used –

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All is peace, silence and solitude. The rugged moor, the sky, sun and wind all speak in the same language now.

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The river Fowey network has a good stock of Otters. Back in the 1960s the UK’s Otter population was decimated by the widespread and indiscriminate use of pesticides: the poison, of course, leached into the rivers and waterways, poisoning the Otters and much else beside.

Cornwall on the other hand, due to the preponderance of dairy farming, became an Otter stronghold. Often you may catch glimpses of them here in the wood beside the fast rushing river above the falls. This is ancient woodland, much of it oak, and recorded in the Doomsday Book (1086).

We know secret places high in the wood, carpeted in bluebells just now. A good place to picnic or make love or meditate on life, the Universe and everything – and if you search carefully in the right light with the moon full, you may just catch a glimpse of the mysterious Old Man of the Woods…Or so they say.

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The past lays all around us in careless spills. A carved stone to memorialise Donyarth ( Doniert in Latin) or Dungarth, last recorded king of Cornwall. According to the ‘Annales Cambriae’ he drowned in 875. An accidental death, probably, but in Ireland a certain monk chronicler claimed his death was a punishment from God, due to his collaboration with Viking raiders.

One can never escape these Danes. Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury, certainly couldn’t. In 1012 Sweyn Forkbeard’s men murdered him by pelting him with beef bones – this the grand finale of a drunken feast near Greenwich. These Vikings were voracious meat-eaters, ignorant of the dangers of high-cholesterol, of course, but they certainly knew how to have a good time…

And for poor martyred Alphege, Canterbury’s first martyr, who had always embraced celibacy and poverty, Sainthood awaited. Some small consolation, to be sure, for his bizarre end.

But then there came a time when those Vikings came to rule the half of England that made up the Danelaw – for just under a century to AD 954. DNA surveys of England suggest the most common descent is not from Anglo-Saxons or Norman French, but from Celtic Romano-Britons who, traditionally, had been assumed wiped out or banished to Wales, Cornwall and Brittany. The second largest ingredient in the modern English people is Scandinavian.

As I said earlier, you can’t escape those rampaging Danes; nor their massive genetic legacy, not just in England, but in Scotland, too!

Ah, see, we’re all brothers and sisters under the skin.

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