Hopi Springs Eternal

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 16 August 2020

We have a drawer full of candles. Our next door neighbour does car boot sales and house clearances so he gives us boxes of old, waxy, white candles, dirty, drippy Christmas candles and if we're lucky boxes of old dining room tapers that melt into ghostly fingers down the side of our candlesticks.

We've always burnt candles at every meal, when somebody dies, is born, or when somebody has a birthday. All manner of ridiculous celebrations are honoured by stubby, elegant or even skinny Rosh Hashanah candles that fit into my Californian Menorah which I bought just outside Hollywood not realising it was the costume jewellery version of a real one. Our old cottage has in the past resembled a South Dakotan Pow-wow, the pergolas assembled in the garden like wig-wams in case it rains. We've even been known to dance to the sound of 'honour beats' a specific drumming pattern for a specific outcome, on an upright drum I brought home one drunken Christmas. I struggled with it on the train, hid it in the boot of my car then, in the dead of night, buried it in my cupboard betwixt knickers and socks, which is where they stayed until Christmas Eve. I then confessed to the old git that I had spent more money on the Djembe drum than I had on food. He jumped up gave me a rousing paradiddle then settled down again to watch 'It's a Wonderful Life.'

Oh Joy! This afternoon the 'oosbind cleaned the ancient candelabra in celebration that his earlier rain dance worked and the garden is now more Sussex than Serengeti, although spits and spots of rain are a fraction of what we need. I have to be honest none of the peas, beans, leeks, kale, courgettes, lettuces or spinach have bothered to poke through the earth this year. Okay, so my watering habits have been less than satisfactory, and the soil does need bags of Nigel's manure, which we can have whenever we want, on account of the old git being one of Nigel's favourite riding pupils. But the lack of horse shit has resulted in only three pounds of potatoes and three little tomatoes; I am more than ashamed of my harvest.

I tell you this because the native Americans have got it taped with their festivals, harvest or otherwise; every right of passage is honoured with mountains of food and a meeting open to everyone. Yes, I know gatherings are a bit iffy at the moment but aren't we all craving a bit of a rave. I know that initiating young braves by spiking their nipples or burying them up to their necks in sand in the scorching sun is a million miles away from a band of Morris Men shaking their leg bells outside the local pub in a howling gale whilst waving white handkerchiefs, but a celebration is a celebration and in these times of incoherence we need to look forward to a partaay, after all it's part of everyone's culture innit?

So how are we going to organise our get-togethers? What will become of our bonfires and jamborees? How do we free ourselves so that we don't all become agoraphobic or selfishly impetuous. I do understand that young folk need to let off steam, and I do realise that a change is as good as a rest, but what is the safest way to go? Where is the safest place to meet? Guidelines - schmidelines, if we mask up and distance ourselves will that do the trick?

I've got as much idea as you have but I'm telling you one thing, I've put the candelabra away, kicked the old git out into the garden to get dancing again because, guess what, the fucking sun's out again.

Jeni Barnett tells of her scrumptious time at Good Food Live in her first audiobook! Download NOW from iTunes

Comments

1. At August 16, 2020 8:04 PM June wrote:

You do make me laugh Jeni x

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