Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Midsummer Magic

It's been a wonderful day :-))

Today we set about celebrating the dual occasion of the summer solstice and Grandad's 77th birthday.

I had intended to get up, and get Emily up, in time to see the sunrise, but since I didn't go to bed until 1-ish, that was a no-no, lol. Not to worry - when we did get up Emily set about wrapping up presents before we settled down for a look on the internet and in our Circle Round book about the lore of Midsummer and the technical explanation for what is actually happening at the summer solstice.

After spending a while discussing it and reading about Midsummer traditions around the world, and pagan Litha traditions in particular, we headed out into the garden to make a fairy den for the fairies to hold their wild party in tonight ;-) Emily absolutely adored doing that. Here she is patching together the leaves for the roof.
By the time she'd finished the den had a leaf-woven roof, twig walls, a sparkly bark path, a gate of sparkling lolly sticks strung with bells, a front door bell (a foxglove bell hanging on a pipe cleaner, lol) and a sign saying "32 Daisy Street"....oooh and I'm sure lots else besides. It looked fantastic. My pictures don't show it up all that well, but I'm sure the fairies will be thrilled.

It wasn't very midsummer weather, mind you. The sun was lovely and warm when it popped out, but mostly it was very overcast and **very, very windy** - it was quite a feat to get the fairy den roof not to blow off, so I think that counts as design and tecnology for the day!

After that we came back indoors to make a sunshine fruit flan with yellow and orange fruits - bananas, star fruits, nectarines and satsumas in our case. This doubled as both a sun-honouring cake and Grandad's birthday cake. Mind you, the sunshine effect was somewhat diminished because the only glaze we had was red coloured so it wasn't exactly yellow by the time we'd finished. Not to worry, it was the idea that counted!

This afternoon we braved the wind again to get back out in the garden and Emily and I spent a couple of hours making sun emblems from clay.

We charged them in the midsummer sunlight and when they're dry we'll paint them and hang them from our big red tree to remind us of the blessings of midsummer. As well as making a few myself, I also read to Emily from A Midsummer Night's Dream while she got on with hers, and we discussed the magical lore behind the day.

At tea time, we had a fab birthday tea with Grandad, who loved his presents, flan and cards.

All in all, it was a lovely day. Emily's very keen to hear about other pagan traditions, so I think I'll be digging out my wheel of the year stuff to show her shortly. She's with Jon now reading Warriors: The New Prophecy - Midnight - yep, they finally finished the original Warriors series the other day, and a right old tear jerker that was too. I've sneakily read the first few chapters of Midnight and I have to say I was disappointed. I adored the first series of six books, cannot praise it highly enough (as regular readers may have noticed, lol) but this first book in the new series just doesn't grab me. I think it's to do with the change of viewpoint. The first series was told from the point of view of one particular cat who began as Rusty the Kittypet, joined the clan and became Firepaw the Apprentice, then Fireheart the Warrior and finally Firestar, clan leader. The new series is told by the next generation of younger kits and suddenly Firestar and the others we've grown to love so much are just background characters. It seems wrong to have worked so hard - and so effectively - to get your reader absolutely bound up with the fate of a couple of cats in particular to then just abandon them and turn them into not even secondary characters but mere afterthoughts. You just find yourself constantly thinking "but what would Firestar think/do/say about this?" Dunno, it jars. It may get better. I hope so.


IndigoShirl said...

What a lovely blog.... :~)

Your family really are very creative, I love what you did for the solstice.

Best Wishes

A home edding family based in Essex.

Nikki said...

Thank you! :-)