Thursday, 6 January 2011

Twelfth Night...

I’d almost forgotten that it was Twelfth Night, what with one thing and another.

And then, walking back from Sainsbury’s at lunchtime I was almost bowled over by twelve drummers drumming their way down our street followed by a cacophony of squawking birds; swans, geese, hens, doves, two brace of colly (and for those of you that don’t know they are no more nor less than common or garden blackbirds), and a partridge.

To make matters even worse the street was choc-a-bloc with lords leaping about all over the place and some rather attractive ladies in low cut dresses dancing rather suggestively all around them. I was just about to ask a rather sensuous brunette to join me in a quick gavotte when I was almost trampled to death by a stampede of cows being chased by at least eight milkmaids who where slopping milk all over the place. I was quite drenched by the time that they’d passed and my opportunity to dance a round or two with the chestnut haired beauty had passed.

‘Odd’. I thought, and then I remembered that today is Twelfth Night.

Time to take the decorations down because, as we all know, leaving the decorations up will cause a disaster (or in my case yet another disaster).

It’s the tree-spirits you see, the ones that live in the greenery; the ones that live in the holy, ivy, Christmas trees, and other yuletide foliage that we decorate our houses with at this time of year. Now, I’m not sure if it applies to poinsettias or those ‘artificial’ garlands that most people seem to stick up these days, but the real stuff is full of those mischievous spirit mites.

You’d think they’d be better mannered given that we only brought the greenery into the house to provide a safe haven for them during the harsh midwinter days. Demanding that we return that greenery back outside to release them back into the countryside on the dot of Twelfth Night seems very ungrateful. After all it’s been scientifically proven that failure to do this does not mean that vegetation will not be able to start growing again, and spring (despite the various rumours to the contrary) will eventually return once more.

Mind you, they can be nasty little buggers. Mere superstition or not, if you leave the greenery in the house the tree-spirits will cause mischief around the place until they’re released. So I’ve taken down the holly wreath from the door and chucked it in the neighbour’s garden – well, you can never be too careful and I don’t want any more bad luck my side of the hedge.

We’ve baked a Twelfth Night cake for later, a rich, dense fruitcake with a bean hidden inside it. Traditionally it’s a runner bean but we could only find a borlotti, which might be traditional in Italy, so I hope that’ll do. If I get the bean then I’ll be King of the Bean and everyone will have to do what you I tell them. Fat chance of that happening but at least I’ll get to wear the paper crown and jump around a bit. I’m interested to see who’ll get the other ‘favoires’ in the cake - the clove and get to act the villain, or the twig and become a fool, or the rag and flounce as a tarty girl. Well at least that last one rules me out (I think).

Yes, tonight is the last chance to Wassail, so I’ll be going out and toasting the apple tree. The Yule log is almost burnt down to ashes now and if it isn’t gone by midnight then I’ll chuck a bucket of water over it. Christmas is well and truly over for another turn.

By the way those rumours of there being five gold rings lost somewhere on the street seem to be erroneous. I took out my metal detector and searched for over an hour to no avail. I did however strike brown gold when I tripped over a carelessly discarded pear tree and fell face down in the road… SPLAT!

Damn those cows.


  1. Sorry.. you were misinformed.
    Twelfth Night was yesterday the 5th...
    Still I feel you've been dealt your share of bad luck
    and maybe those evil little sprites will pass you by.

  2. Whoops! Ah well, sod 'em.

  3. There is quite a debate as to whether Twelfth night is on 5th or 6th depending on when you start counting but 6th is the Epiphany when the 3 Wise Men arrived at the stable so I'm inclined to agree with you AKH and so our decorations came down today and our Christmas candle has been extinguished . How did you manage to not mention the Three Wise Men?