When we got back to Glastonbury on the Friday night we had the job of putting the banner up. Having magically managed to transport an eight foot pole down in the boot of a sports car, we took all the bits over to the Town Hall and assembled them. Daniel had the unenviable job of climbing the ladder to hang the banner once again, rather him than me! I am sorry to report that as usual, I had to spend the weekend explaining that no, they are not red squirrels, but not so many times as in the past, so perhaps the fame of the Stoat is spreading!
Afterwards we repaired to Knight’s, where Mr Stoatie upheld the Grove tradition and grappled with The Haddock (‘it was this big’) Following this, it was a quick half at the George and Pilgrim’s where, I am disappointed to report, Druids were rather thin on the ground.
The next day it was time for the Assembly proper. The usual half an hour altogether in the main hall, followed by the individual Grade Groves. I’m not sure how the others got on, but the Druids certainly had a very productive and enjoyable time.
You usually have a bit of free time in the afternoon, but those who had a role in the Ceremony had a sort of rehearsal/run through. I was asked to be Druid of the West, which is thankfully quite a short part, so I actually managed to learn my lines! All members of ‘the cast’ were given a booklet with the script …
The climb up the Tor seemed worse than ever this year … I swear it seems to get higher and steeper every time. It was not too blowy at the top, and the slight drop in the number of people attending meant that the circle was not too huge. There was an official camera man there – a friend of the Chosen Chief – who was filming during the weekend for a short ‘introduction to OBOD’ type of video. I think it is only going to be a ten minute film.
There were the usual members of the public at the top including a family whose children (aged about 3 -5) ran around screaming during the rite. There were murmurs of ‘get your children under control’ from someone in the circle behind me. It didn’t seem to work, infact at one point the little boy ran up behind the Ovate of the West, who was stood beside me, and smacked him hard on the bum. I had to bite my lip to stop myself from laughing. There was also a greyhound which wandered in and out of the circle very calmly from time to time.
Afterwards Mr Stoatie and I spent some time trying to see Burrow Mump. It was amazing that although we could see the Tor from there very easily; it was impossible to pick out the Mump from the Tor. Maybe the difference in height had something to do with it.