Midsummer Night's Dreaming....

Last night was Midsummer night. I made myself a promise that this year I would mark it with a big fire and a late night spent outside until the sun went to sleep. It was 11pm by the time Eldest Son and I came back in. Just in time for another game of football!

 Midsummer used to be a big event in England, with fires and fortune telling, but the Reformation and Industrial Revolution put paid to them in the end. It seems a shame to me that as a nation we seem happy to lose our traditions; old songs, old dances, whatever passes for 'national costume' in England, we let them go so easily in the name of progress. I'm not sure we replaced it with stuff that was better; we just replaced it with stuff.
Our Church is running a course on hospitality, on opening our doors and lives to strangers, on sharing a cuppa or a sarnie with someone and getting to know people where they are. It's good; it questions the closed boxes we live in and makes us focus on making the world a better place. A place where we share things, a place where we can ask for help or give a neighbour a hand for no other reason than the joy of serving others. Used properly, hospitality must make life better as long as it is freely given and freely received.


  1. I agree Angel Jem, I really don't buy into the version of multi-culturalism which homogenises everyone or fawns over one culture over another as it demeans all cultural identity. Hospitality is recognising that everyone is an individual, respecting them for who they are and sharing and celebrating our differences in a positive way. I love the whole random acts of kindness philosophy - not big, not grand and not for personal glory just doing something nice for others.

    1. A cup of tea given and received with an open heart is better than a Nigella Tiramisu given with a grudging spirit. Small things are the building blocks to great deeds.

  2. It's a real shame that we've lost so many old traditions. I like the idea of celebrating the solstice outdoors with a fire, we certainly had the weather for it too.

    1. By 11pm we had a smokey smell all over our clothes and red eyes from the soot. It was really good, and another very good excuse to spend time with my son!


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