As the Prof has rescheduled the Summer Solstice till this Sunday (a Druid of his calibre can do that sort of thing you know), I’ve basically had a week of Solstice starting with midsummer Highland Games and Ceilidh in the hills above Loch Ness, putting the final touches to the sculpture of Flora, and preparing to hail the new official midsummer formally in a certain private circle of standing stones.
My part in the highland games came down to participation in three demented events that probably originated from military activities designed to break up medieval infantry formations, shot, hammer, and caber. The shot consisted of a stone larger than my head, the hammer of an eight inch iron ball on a hawser. I think that on one of my throws I managed not to come last despite throwing myself twice to the ground as well during the attempts. I had taken the liberty of a trying a couple of practise tosses with a couple of the cabers on the rack, and it seemed do-able. However when we got to the event the MC swept the cabers off the rack, ‘just the ladies ones and the practise ones’ he said, and it turned out that the real deal consisted of the rack itself, an intimidating twelve foot long, hundred pound plus spar. Nobody actually managed to toss it right over and nobody died. ‘The caber wins again’ pronounced the MC. Legend has it that someone in the village once accomplished it. They breed ‘em madly tough in the highlands, competition standard caber apparently involves 19 foot 175 pound cabers and men the size of bears.
As well as the delights of a family reunion I also enjoyed the sight of a rare Pine Marten foraging just outside the window of the croft, and the museum of Pictish art, weird stuff carved on stone that we still cannot decipher as their hieroglyphics or heraldry or religion.
Then back to my garage to complete Cloris-Flora the Greek-Roman Goddess of Gardens. In the absence of a block of white marble and the time and skill to work it, I started with a shop mannequin, concreted her onto a slab of bathstone, and then built up her headdress and accessories and surface detail with Jemsonite, a weatherproof sort of plaster like material, and then finished her with white masonry paint.
Meanwhile on Arcanorium College efforts to penetrate the Neconomicon Mythos of the Elder Gods by a team of intrepid psychonauts proceeds apace, we seem to have revitalised the old magical arte of Ars Notoria in this quest.