Monday, 26 July 2010

the green man (1)

It's great to be on a slightly extended holiday.  I'm not crowing or trying to annoy anyone, but it means I can relax a little and take stock.  In fact, I can write and play (guitar) and just generally feel human again.  As I write, Rory Gallagher has just turned up on the iPod - "Daughter of the Everglades" a few hours after reading that a statue of RG by David Annand has been unveiled in Ballyshannon, birthplace of the man himself. I was in Cork a few years ago and there's one there, too.

A daughter of the Everglades must owe something to the wild woods of years ago.  The Green Man seems to continue to re-establish hinself in our collective psyches - a sort of nostalgic memory of paganism. This particularly fine example of old Jack in the Green comes from Yorkshire.  If you cast your minds back to the closing down of most of rural England due to a foot'n'mouth outbreak some dozen or so years back, you'll be able to place yourself where I'm thinking about.  We went off to Yorkshire - Mrs Dave driving as I was suffering from Labyrinthitus at the time (a sort of sea-sickness/wobbliness).  I'd never had an illness like it, one that doctors couldn't cope with and people would tell you of how their sister had suffered with it for five years.  I wasn't impressed so I went to see a homeopath and they cured me of it in a few days.  It's true, take it or leave it.  Anyhow, we found this rather lovely pottery Green Man and it has resided in our garden ever since.

Usually at this time of year we have loads of reasonable vegetables and herbs - currently our tomatoes are okay and the herbs are too.  But the potatoes we tried to grow were a very poor harvest and as for the broad beans, well . . . funny black stuff all over it.  So, not too impressive at the moment.  If we don't get better crops soon then we'll have to sacrifice someone . . . oh no, I'm back in Wicker Man country, aren't I?

Well, more about GM foods tomorrow.


Mike C. said...

From where I'm sitting, your green man has a distinct family resemblance to the Microsoft Word "paperclip" man... Sinister.

Green men do turn up in the oddest places -- I spotted one carved in the lintel of a late 1800s house on a main road in Southampton, one half of which had been plastered over by the next door neighbour.

Do you know about the "three hares", a similar pagan / decorative motif found in churches? There's a site here:


Dave Leeke said...

Thanks, I'll check out the hares stuff. However, I'm not sure that there is anything remotely pagan about Microsoft, though!