Coast of Sea at Night - Ivan Aivazovsky

Diary 24th June

So, referendum result? Goodbye to Europe…Little England with its narrow, little mind has won. The divorce is going to be long and very messy.

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I failed to mention the solstice and Stonehenge the other day. Shows how busy I’ve been, boys and girls. Around 12,000 people attended – less than the twenty thousand anticipated. Perhaps because of the alcohol ban, but more likely because of the cost of car parking.

Strawberry moon lit up the solstice sky for the first time in forty-nine years. And then the most incredible sunrise above the heel stone…

And when the horn blasts sounded out across the crowd, we all drank brandy from silver flasks. Lots of it. A wonderful experience. Thanks in particular to Aibhlinn and her beautiful partner whose hospitality and knowledge of things esoteric seemed limitless.

May peace accompany you wherever you go.

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Can I mention here the death ship?

Well, yes, of course I can. It’s my Blog, isn’t it? I can mention what I please.

So, the Death ship and its appearance off St Just – a village in the far west reaches of Cornwall, where currently reside many witches, various practitioners of sexual magic, the odd Satanist or two, and a very large community of ‘swingers’. It is a village where, two hundred years ago, a dark stranger with cold grey eyes arrived with his sea chest. He took up residence in a cottage on the coast nearby. The villagers then, a pious band of church-goers, knew not from whence he’d come – but the suggestion was made that the stranger was in fact a pirate, who’d been marooned by his sea-robbing comrades for being too rough!

His arrival coincided with a number of ship wrecks off that stretch of coast. According to William Bottrell (Traditions and Hearthside Stories of West Cornwall, Vol. 2):

“At length it was discovered that, on dark winter nights—when honest folks were a-bed—he made it his practice to fasten a lantern to the neck of a horse, which he had hobbled, by tying down its head to a fore-leg; then he drove the horse along near the cliff, and the lantern, from its motion, would be taken for a vessel’s stern-light.

“Consequently those on board ships sailing by, expecting to find plenty of sea room, would come right in and be wrecked on the rocks. Any of their crews that escaped a watery grave the wretch would knock on the head with his axe, or cut off their hand when they tried to grasp the rocks.”

And so the stranger became richer and lived the life of an aristocrat, lording it over all until he fell ill. Then it was the devil collected his due –

“When he was dying his awful shrieks were heard far away, as he cried, “Do save me from the devil, and the sailors, there, looking to tear me to pieces.” Several parsons and other pious folks were sent for.”

“Though it was in harvest time and high day, the old wrecker’s chamber became, at times, as dark as night. The parsons saw the devil in the room, when others could not; by their reading they drove him to take many shapes, but for all that he would not be put out; at last, when he took the form of a fly, and buzzed about the dying wretch, they saw it was in vain for them to try any longer.

“During the time the exorcists were engaged, the chamber seemed – by the sound – to be filled with the sea splashing around the bed; waves were heard as if surging and breaking against the house, though it was a good bit inland.”

Two farm hands out on the cliffs “beheld a black, heavy, square-rigged ship, with all sail set, coming fast in, against wind and tide, and not a hand to be seen aboard her.

“She came so close under cliff that only her topmast could be seen; when black clouds – that seemed to rise out of the deep – gathered around her and extended thence straight to the dying man’s dwelling.”

The farm hands, “terrified at the sight of this ship-of-doom so near them, ran up to the town-place, just as the old sinner died, when his dwelling shook as if about to fall. Everybody, in great fright, rushed out and saw the black clouds roll off towards the death-ship, which, at once, sailed away amidst a blaze of lightning – far over sea, and disappeared.”

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So now I’m off on my hols. Do take care boys and girls.