It’s a striking thought that civilisation evolved here on Earth only 7,000 years ago. Since then, humans have achieved many really incredible things. But even in terms of our own—mostly unwritten—history, 7,000 years is almost insignificant; it’s less than 4 % of the time Homo sapiens, the storytelling ape, has existed.
Well, it’s the Fifth of November; Samhain (that’s pronounced sow-en) is very much upon us and winter, that bane of my life, is on the way. I’m already lighting the stove in the evening now, and of course fire is important in these Celtic lands. It’s the season of the Fire Festival, that ancient Pagan ritual. (Cheerfully adopted by the Christians, of course.)
Samhain was the Celtic version; it has equivalents all over the world. The Celtic year was divided in two ways, one solar and the other lunar. The Celts weren’t daft (well, not as daft as some I can think of) and they knew damn fine that lunar calendars are not consistent; a twelve-month lunar year and the solar one are different in length, since a lunar month is 29.5 days. This adds up to only 354 days in a 12-month year, which means that relying on it is hopeless as far as the seasons are concerned. And for an agrarian people like the Celts, the seasons were really important.
Wow, Silas Farsight is NOW AVAILABLE through Amazon as a print book. Grab the chance while you can! All orders are fulfilled through Amazon, so I can’t sign them, but if you contact me through the comments box with your address I will send you a sheet with my signature and any dedication you would like for FREE. You can then paste that into your copy. Can’t say fairer than that!
Ebook editions will be available through the Kindle bookstore and elsewhere soon!
Check the Amazon links below or search your local Amazon store.
My first book for children and young people, Silas Farsight, will be published next week through CreateSpace as a print book and also as an e-book. It will be available through Amazon in both formats and as a downloadable e-book here and on my other sites.
Silas Farsight tells the story of a young river-otter, whose life is mapped out as a lawyer in a sleepy village in the Forest. But all that changes when a gang of six-toed Ship’s Cats kidnap his childhood friend, the Lady Magda, and escape with her.
Silas enlists the help of the enigmatic badgers who live deep in the Forest and soon discovers things about himself that he had never imagined possible. Leading a small party including Big Hamish the Badger and Silas’ own indentured clerk, Stoatwise Cuttleworth, he sets off in pursuit of the cats and the road to peril. Continue reading Silas Farsight
Nope, it’s not about legions of ladyboys moving home to Europe (I wish.)
As planned, MacShreach is moving to a hosted platform in the near future. The new address will be macs-world.com
I’ve heard good and bad about the WordPress forwarding system, so for the next few weeks I’ll be double-posting both here and there, and then I will put the redirect into operation. There will be more features and a wider range of material on the hosted platform.
Meantime this is just for fun. Who doesn’t love some hot ladyboys?
Well, summer did finally arrive here in P’tit Moulin and the warm balmy days are back. I must say they are very welcome, and could have been here sooner. The girls are all out in their skimpiest dresses, to show off their golden-tanned skin and the boys…well, who cares about the boys anyway?
Of course, here in central France the climate is interesting, to say the least. Continue reading Summer at Last
This Bastille Day was celebrated with the usual style in our village. I have photographs of this going back twenty years now, and it’s amazing to see how people have aged. Children who used to run around the square or sit on the banc outside our house have children of their own now. It’s always the same band, who come from the next town. And it’s always the same tunes… Continue reading Bastille Day!
Les Flics: just as you can’t write about life in France without discussing wine, you can’t write about it without discussing that greatest of scourges, the bugbear and bane of everyone’s lives and a daily topic of conversation all over France, third only to the weather and politics. And what are les flics? The cops, of course.
Mostly, when the French talk about les flics, they are talking specifically about traffic cops, who are universally regarded with almost unlimited contempt and no respect at all. However, when the occasion merits, they expand the concept to include any other kind of cop who’s been getting in the way of the French being French. Continue reading Flics: Traffic cops in France
Pork. It’s such a mainstay of French cuisine, that it’s frankly impossible to conceive of French food culture without it. Every thing from saucisson to saucisses, fried, grilled, cured, dried, you name it, the French have a way of eating pork like that.
It goes back to the time of the Gauls, you know, Asterix and his lads, roasting wild boar on spits. Continue reading Pork, Secularism, and Anarchy