We nipped out for a pre-Solstice drink with friends last night, and saw the Albion Band (well I thought that was what we were going to see). It turned out to be the Albion Christmas Band which was slightly different. Unfortunately, even taking into account my own reservations when it comes to singing Christian Carols, the performance seemed flat. There was little variation from the traditional melodies, which made it feel somewhat like a school concert, and the instrumentation was competent rather than inspiring. Hey ho, not all reviews can be good, eh?
Perhaps it’s just my ‘bah, Humbug’, slightly S.A.D. dark days blues kicking in. I was discussing this with some folk recently, and may have come up with why I’ve felt like hibernating these last few winters. In 2001, we moved out of Bristol, replete with street lighting right outside our home, masses of car headlights streaming past, bright orange skies reflecting the light pollution of the city on the smog pollution hanging low overhead… True darkess seldom surrounded me. We now have few streetlights, fewer near us and none in our lane. We have reasonably dark (still not black and star-laden, but dark) night skies, and crisp clean air. I think the lack of urban amounts of artificial light allows back the ancient natural drive to retreat from the cold of winter, huddle in animal skins deep within the caves, and sleep the wintertime away. Sounds very attractive.
But for now we are required to remain active, so let me wish you the finest for Yule, and for the Winter Solstice, as we enter the time of the longest night. And feel great! The Sun is re-born and the Holly King’s reign is doomed in the return of Oak.