Cornwall - Kernow = land of the strange = English beware I should say !
I have just returned from a holiday in that most ancient of lands, Kernow or Cornwall. Yes it has changed but scratch away the surface and it remains a very strange place. Rebellious in the extreme and certainly as hateful towards the English as parts of Eire. Now I've saved this little yarn until my return. My host one night asked me if I should like to witness something a little bit different and I don't suppose he would have asked if he had known me to be narrow minded. We were down in the far west of Kernow near a place called Saint Just which is surrounded by high moors and the sea.
Well, the story commences at about 1am in the morning when I pulled on my duffle coat. No camera I was told so I left it on my dressing table. It was a dark night but I knew well enough where we were heading - to one of those ancient standing stones -an ancient menhir site - a menhir literally being a standing stone. There were about 50 people there. Into my pocket I had smuggled a dictaphone (small tape recorder) The items next to a massive bonfire were a St George's Flag and a doll wrapped in the Union Flag - the hatred there could almost be tasted in the air and surprised even me. There was a low buzz but not much chatter as such. Such as there was was in Cornish not English and so it would be difficuly for outsiders like me to understand much. Some of the crowd wore various cornish kilts, some jeans and combat jackets carrying the black flag with the white Cornish cross of Saint Piran, there was even an Irish tricolour, and the main man so to speak wore a long white robe - not blue like the Bards and claimed he was a Druid much older than the Bards. The words I recorded were these (excuse spellings, dictaphones don't do that for you and the flames crackled loudly as the palletwood burned !):
<<Through the year’s circle of Samonios, Dumannios, Riuros, Anagantios, Ogronios, Cutios, Giamonios,
Simivisonios, Equos, Elembiuos, Edrinios and Cantlos, our Feasts of Yule, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane,
Litha, Lamma, Maban and Samhain,
Celtic Archangel and Lord Protector Saint Michael look down upon us and our countries of Alba
and Saint Andrew, Mannin and Saint Maughold, Cymru and Saint David, Eire and Saint Patrick,
Kernow and Saint Piran and Breizh and Santez Anna
Send the King of birds amongst us, the Chough which carries the spirit of the kings and in particular
Your High King, Arthur, to be returned as promised together with his knights, advised by the everlasting
Druids and descendants immortal of Merlin and in whose complete memory today we make this
Burnt sacrifice>> - the Druid then placed St George’s flag and doll wrapped in Union Flag describing it as a
Wiccan English image upon fire <<-as an offering calling upon you to bring death and destruction upon the
English and their children and their children’s children who are visited upon our islands like a
scummy plague. May they burn like these offerings.>>
All those present then cheered and a container of honeyed wine called mead was passed around. I was scared but impressed ! I must say I did recognise vaguely some of those present and was very very surprised to see who they were - police, teacher, local authority men - but such is my friendship with my host I could never let on more than I say here. One of the strangest things ever to happen in my life.