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Winter Solstice - be still.

And relax ......

On this the longest night we light fires, candles and switch on the fairy- lights as we remind the sun to return once more as we truly enter the season of winter.

We have to wait a further three days before the sun begins to make progress and we gain an extra minute of sunlight day by day until it reaches it's zenith at summer solstice. But for now we are in the dark days of winter and long nights and so perhaps its time to reflect, snuggle up and keep a slower pace - if only over the yuletide holiday.

tis yuletide

Time stands still this blessed season

Fires are lit reminding sun

Don’t forget us but remember

Solstice time’s a chilly one.

Holly, ivy and mistletoe garlands

Bedeck the space that we hold dear

Friends have gathered, in full chorus,

Ringing out yuletide’s cheer.

Food and drink upon our table

Glasses toasting heaven bound.

Stories, rhymes and olden fable

Call on ancestors to join our round.

The oak relinquishes to the holly

Jack’s icy grip holds us tight

But our sincere and joyful chorus

Banishes dark and brings us light.

Here in Shropshire tonight is the time when all the ghosts, witches, ghouls and all supernatural beings gather atop the Stiperstones at midnight to discuss their foul deeds for the coming year in the presence of 'Himself' who sits on his rocky chair surveying all.

We of course being foolhardy will once more make an attempt to see them as they hold their AGM and perhaps party after. Failing that we will risk seeing the hurtling horse drawn hearse travelling from Rattlinghope to toast the season and your

good-selves with a pint of 'Old Scrooge' at our local. 'Waes-hael' -'be well' and replying 'Drinc-hael' - drink & be healthy'

And so as we start out on our journey on this dark rainy night, with the moon popping in and out all that remains to be said is Thank You to those of you who follow and support our endeavours in keeping the old ways alive and celebrating the year and here's hoping a large elf-like being lands his reindeer over your abode and sends presents a plenty. Don't forget to welcome him by saying 'greetings Old Father Christmas'. We are now going to take our own advice and 'be still', just like our sun. for a few days.

And may love and light fill your yuletide celebrations and throughout the coming year. x

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