Saturday, 31 October 2009

This is how we are British

Everything is happy down at the Celtic Harmony Camp today.

There is wand making, magic stone wishing, and broomstick making.

There's also storytelling, follow the riddles and take the trail to the druid.

OK, the druid was a little disappointing.

There was a sign through the trees reading 'druid' and our little party followed that. I was sort of quietly hoping there would be a proper druid in there, one that explorers maybe found in the middle of a forest. Someone who didn't know the Romans had arrived or never even heard about the Normans, he was just doing his druidy thing, like growing his long trailing beard, sipping from the elder bush of wisdom, rejuvenating himself with elixirs, and incanting over willow twigs.

But no, he was just a cut-out bit of wood with a label 'druid'.

I should have photographed that. Possibly due to being so completely underwhelmed, my eyeballs just stared blankly. Even so, we were all in agreement about that disappointing moment; no-one burst into angry tears, or became engaged in heated discussion about what a let down a cardboard druid was; no-one got all huffypuffy about Celtic celebrations being tools of the devil or found anything controversial at all. No. We all just stared, and walked back along the trail, and then we clustered around the fly agaric, going ooh! and I photographed that instead.

So you can see our little party was mostly happy and gentle and entering into the spirit of the thing called harmony.

But then we got to the Celtic cafe.

There was not harmony in the Celtic cafe. Not at all. Fifteen minutes more and there could have been blood.

There were four people serving, or maybe more, because it was hard to tell, what with Celts wandering in and out, arranging paper cups and scratching their midriffs.

From the four who were serving, it was the job of one to shout at all the others with a face that did not attempt to disguise intense irritation mixed with loathing.

From the customers who had not given in, died, or crawled away in despair with soup when they asked for coffee, there was one man who started off the twenty minute procedure to extract tea looking like the mild mannered man you might expect to give up his seat to an elderly lady on the bus home. By the end of twenty minutes he had shaved his head, tattooed his face with the word HATE and maybe would have torn down the counter with his bare knuckle hands if someone did not give him the fuckingcupofteaandrightNOW.

And then there was the little crumblepie cutie kid who stood in the queue next to a man who was a dead ringer for a six foot bullfrog, and the woman who was serving kept mixing them up. How can you do that unless you are blind?

So Grit's request for a biscuit shaped like a bat pales into insignificance. The serving lady dutifully wrote down biscuit bat on a piece of paper, despite standing next to the biscuit bats, then put the piece of paper to one side where no one paid any attention to the biscuit bat request until Grit was pulling at her own face in despair and making strangled cries of pain.

And the lesson I can learn from this moment is that the Celts were probably just like us.

They were probably very harmonious and polite and quite agreeable. Not at all warlike, and very tolerant, and possibly good at queuing.

They just became a snarling naked tribe of seething rebellion and anger and ripyourheadoff blood curdling redseeing mob painting themselves blue fuelled by fury and rage when they were separated from the thing they most desired and WANTEDINALLTHEWORLD and that was



Pig in the Kitchen said...

Hmmm, an interesting experience all round. A cardboard druid, do you think that was to make it biodegradable??

Just saw your mention in the S.Times, woohoo! indescribable Grit! ;-)

Grit said...

hi Pig! i should've photographed the druid. i regret it. and indescribable. isn't that great? like something so horrible you can't take your eyes off it, even though you know it isn't doing your soul any good at all.

sharon said...

Perhaps the serving damsel had been at some other mushrooms so wasn't on the same planet as her customers?

Theresa said...

Sounds like a very interesting day. Did you ever get the bat biscuit?

Rebel Mother said...

Sounds like a very harmonious group of jollies!

Sometimes all you want a cup of tea and you may as well be trying to get blood out of a stone!

Love the toadstool though. Havent seen one that colour in years.


Maire said...

We met a real druid at the top of a windy hill sometime last year, very interesting but no long beard or robes sadly.

Sympathies re cups of tea and bat buscuits.

kellyi said...

Next year go to Avebury. There are more Druids than you could poke a stick at and they have beards, robes and even staffs.

They do some strange ceremony which is hard to understand but entertaining nonetheless!

Grit said...

hi folks! thank you for your comments. i did get the bat biscuit in the end and without threatening the police, so I suppose it was a good deal. I must hunt down some of these druids. they sound wonderful. we met a witch recently, but she is getting on a bit and i daren't ask her to take us on a field trip in case the effort is beyond her. that won't look good in the daily mail, will it? 'home educated triplet girl gang linked to suspicious death of witch in field'.