21/06/2015: Summer Solstice in Landskeria

Roses wound the arch that separates West Landskeria from East Landskeria.

Roses round the arch that separates West Landskeria from East Landskeria.

We don’t as yet have an official list of observed holidays in Landskeria, and when we do I shouldn’t think Father’s Day will be on it. We’ll probably just celebrate International Men’s Day instead. Or International Why Isn’t There An International Men’s Day?, previously known as International Women’s Day.

But the inhabitants of our pioneering society grew up in the UK, and as such carry our Old Ways with us into this brave new frontier land.

So I have been celebrating with a trip to the beach and by mowing all three of our lawns.

Temporary happiness is a mown lawn.

Temporary happiness is a mown lawn.

Later on I will probably celebrate further by opening and pouring – and probably then drinking – a fashionable craft beer. Maybe I’ll even have a glass of Cono Sur Pinot Noir before during or after said fashionable craft beer.

Nobody yet knows. As I say, this is a young country, so we don’t have much in the way of established ceremony yet.

The flowers round pond #2 continue to be bushy and colourful and spirit-buoying. Alas, the torch lilies (which you might know as red-hot pokers) are on their way out. And so are the white things which might be lilies or orchids or goodness-knows-what.

Pond #2 complete with torch lilies and white things.

Pond #2 complete with torch lilies and white things.

There are numerous smaller flowers that come out where and when they want. Nobody knows what most of them are. Maybe they are poisonous. Maybe they are edible. Again: nobody knows. So much lost knowledge, or just general ignorance, it saddens me.

The compost heap is struggling to cope with the amount of grass we’re cutting. But you can’t just let it grow. I tried that once and V got annoyed. And then it was all the more difficult to cut when I finally got around to it. We have a saying here in Landskeria: the longer you leave something, the longer it gets. This saying is applicable to all sorts of physical and non-physical concepts. Anything that extends in such a way as could be measured using the notion of length, really.



I was hot during mowing the lawn today and felt sick, so I went inside to drink a swift pint of milk and returned to pond #2 to burp, whereupon a decent-sized frog emerged from the pond as if at my command. Naturally I was delighted.

Our hedges are getting pretty bushy, and further up the road toward Woodstock Cross there’s an enormous tree limb hanging by shards of tree flesh right above the road. It looks like it could fall and instantly kill whosoever might be passing below. But it’s outside of Landskerian jurisdiction, alas. So it’s the responsibility of David Cameron, or Carwyn Jones, or Stephen Crabb or one of those folks. Probably the Queen, ultimately, as she owns most of the land in the world outside Landskeria.

The first of many hydrangeas.

The first of many hydrangeas.

Inside the walls of our traditional Landskerian farmhouse-conversion we’ve been bumbling along trying and failing to house-train a papillon and watching season three of US prison drama Orange is the New Black. We produce our own culture here in Landskeria of course, but resources do not as yet stretch to lengthy television series so we make do with foreign imports for the time being. There’s no shame in that, we reason: it’s good to be open to learning about other people’s cultures.

Preparations are being made for the eldest Landskerian child’s kindergarten summer fair. So far we’ve put a box, some years ago having being reverted to its two-dimensional “plan” form, in the conservatory. Some time by the end of the day one of the adults will have to wrap some paper round it so it can serve as a functional yet attractive three-dimensional or “box-shaped” box into which lucky-dip prizes can be donated in anticipation of it being an actual lucky-dip box for the aforementioned fair. We are confident that between us we can totally action this, with minimal hiccuping.

I am keenly aware that I have set fire to nothing at all today. Not even bread, much less an animal sacrifice. And alas there is no prehistoric henge or stone circle upon our land. I would put one in, but I am too weak to move satisfactorily large stones of my own accord, and am unsure how the other residents would react to such a bold statement.

Sun, by Richard Austin.

Sun, by Richard Austin.

It is, nevertheless, the longest day of the year in Landskeria today (as it may well be in wherever you are from) and so far all I have to show by way of honouring the great ball of fire that sustains us all in the face of our frequent attempts to bring about the accelerated destruction of all that is joyous and within our reach is the lovely carved panel hanging on the wall near our primary checkpoint with the UK; AKA the road.

This was donated to Landskeria by Hampshire-based artist Richard Austin earlier this year and is our first (but hopefully not our last) piece of public art here in the Landskerian capital, which is known, for the reason that it takes up the entirety of the land within our borders, simply as “Landskeria”.

IMG_5963Yesterday a great tit flew right into our kitchen picture window and did itself some damage. My first reaction had been to laugh, because I’m a mean bastard. But when it turned out it was actually hurt (they usually just bounce off) I felt a bit guilty, and used the healing powers of my hands to nurse it back to health. It took a good ten minutes of my time, which would cost about £6-£7 if I was doing copywriting for it. Healing would probably cost more; I don’t know, I’m yet to professionalise the service. If this was the bronze age I could probably have dined out on that anecdote for a good 800 years, if not blagged full-on messiah status in some religion or other. As this is the age of godlessness and egotistical hedonism here in the Western Bubble I will be lucky to get a couple of likes on Facebook for saving the life of this living thing.

Yellow flowers that aren't daffodils or buttercups. The ones in the foreground are likely to be lilies.

Yellow flowers that aren’t daffodils or buttercups. The ones in the foreground are likely to be lilies.

But then again, it would probably have got back on its feet a bit quicker if I hadn’t picked it up and patronisingly stroked its head. If anything, judging by how many times it crapped on my hand (the exact number numbering three), I probably scared it a bit and delayed its recovery by about five minutes. So, probably not a messiah. Probably.

Next week is my birthday, so I will probably celebrate that evening with a fashionable craft beer or a glass of Cono Sur Pinot Noir. Maybe I’ll combine the two into a cocktail.

On the day itself I will celebrate by watching my eldest child jump over some fire by way of observing the festival of midsummer in the neighbouring territory of Wales. And by going to the dentist, whom I loathe.

View from the Eastern border with Wales.

View from the Eastern border with Wales.

Matters of state progress at the rate of a forced march of a battalion of lame hedgehogs to Moscow. In winter. By rough terrain.

But that’s administration for you.

At least I saw a raven by the pond today, which is a good bird and/or omen.

The weather is muggy. The environment is stable. The economy is good.


RIP Christopher Lee, an inspirational dude to the end.

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