Sunday, January 01, 2006

happy new year

We had a great party last night, complete with first-footing. Had interesting chats with everyone, including an analysis of the nature of revolutions, and a comparison of Wicca and Feri traditions. We all went outside at midnight and there were loads of fireworks. The really surreal thing was that there was an air-raid siren going off - a very eerie sound. Then our first-footer, the lovely Balador, bearing coal, money, bread and holly, stepped into the house. The coal is to bring warmth throughout the year, the bread to ensure that the household will not go hungry, the holly for luck, and the money to make sure we are never completely skint. (We keep them in a box near the front door.) After a while the air-raid siren changed to the all-clear. Someone around here has a bit of a warped sense of humour.

Woke up with a bit of a hangover, but not too bad. Robert and Sarah stayed over. Scrambled eggs for breakfast, then off to the site of the temple of Apollo Cunomaglos at Nettleton Scrub, then walked to Lugbury burial mound, which was lovely. Then went into Castle Combe (archetypal Cotswold village) which was heaving. By this time we were all starving, so we went to the Salutation Inn just up the road (on the Fosse Way) and had a really good lunch of ham and eggs and sautéed potatoes - highly recommended. Then Robert and Sarah headed back to Wales and we headed home. We saw a barn-owl at dusk, cruising low over the fields - beautiful. The sunset was spectacular too - a long golden streak over the Welsh hills in the distance, and the clouds all flushed with pink.

Here's the poem I wrote about Lugbury when we got back.

And here's a picture of an altar to Apollo Cunomaglos discovered at Nettleton Scrub.


The Cubicle Reverend said...

What is first footing?

Yvonne said...

First-footing is where the first person to enter the house on the New Year is a dark man bearing coal, money, bread and holly. It was widespread all over over Britain, but especially in Scotland.