Monthly Archives: September 2013

Nice day for a white wedding

Fourteen years ago today, I got married in possibly the most traditional style I can think of. White dress, chauffer-driven car, suits, full Catholic mass, taking my husband’s name, big flowers, buffet in a sports hall, you name it. The groom even had a hangover from his previous night’s stag do, that’s how traditional we were. The only thing that was slightly non-mainstream was the team of belled and ribboned morris dancers who gave us a guard of honour as we left the church. I didn’t have the first idea about organising a wedding, so fell back on what little I knew about “how you ought to do it”.  I didn’t want to rock any boats.  Ah well.

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Fourteen years ago I was a very different person to the one I am today. Today’s me would probably get married in the woods, or on the moors, with no car, no suits, no formality, probably no shoes, and definitely no church. My partner and I have already changed our surnames back to my maiden name, so any funny looks or mutterings about ‘weird hippies’ would pass us by. We would be surrounded by friends and family who actually know us (as opposed to ‘so-and-so’s great aunt’s sister would be *really* upset if she wasn’t invited’), and love us for who we are. Most of whom (this still knocks me back a bit) we didn’t even know fourteen years ago. We’d keep the morris dancers though, and probably add some rapper dancers too (mind you, a rapper guard of honour would be a very squished affair).

But anyway, today marks fourteen years of being “properly” married to my best friend. If we’ve changed in those years, we’ve changed together. And I hope we continue to do so.

[Maya Angelou]

[Maya Angelou]

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How very uncivilised

Uncivilisation. A weekend of exploring “cultural engagement which is rooted in place, time and nature”. A weekend of people, music, story, song, fire and playfulness. A weekend where I learned so damn much about the world around me, and about myself. And apart from the bit about “I can’t use Google-maps on my phone to navigate my way out of a paper bag” (sorry Jon – it was an adventure!), I liked what I learned!

I was there primarily to share my experiences of The Telling, and encourage others to make a new home for Uncivilisation in the places and communities where they are. And also to build a tree for a midnight Dark Mountain ritual – where a woven willow tree, decorated with dreams and thoughts from whoever wanted to contribute, would be ceremonially burned, to symbolise, I dunno… something. Something unsettling (would you set fire to a tree?), to shake people from their comfort, and release the wild, and the dreams.

[Photo: Bridget McKenzie]

[Photo: Bridget McKenzie]

In honesty though, I can’t really tell you much about what Uncivilisation 2013 was like, because I missed most of it, but I can tell you that “missing most of it” didn’t really matter. Continue reading