Later activities today contrasted strongly with the druid weekend. The first was seasonal mistletoe harvesting from an apple tree in my mother’s garden at Painswick. We decided to prune quite a lot off, as this tree is becoming overgrown with mistletoe, and needs some respite. So a lot of gifts for the neighbours. And all of this was just cut with secateurs and allowed to fall on the ground. After yesterday’s activity this almost seemed criminal.
And then off to Painswick Church for the Carol Service – a traditional service of lessons and carols. Which, whilst a contrast to the druid ceremonies, was also very eerily similar in many respects; including the prayers and ritual repetition but also the informal procession from the carpark by night to the church, and the formal procession of the choir down the aisle, in pairs and headed by a banner/staff. All very mysterious… and a bit unsettling. No mistletoe of course – the Church of England bans it (apart from at York Minster, but that’s another story…).