No, I'm not ashamed to admit it - here I am, a Hastings resident, and I didn't go to the Jack in the Green festival.
Don't get me wrong, if required I can haul myself into a corset and wench about with the best of them - I have a drawer full of the things. But it is no use, Morris dancing and all that goes with it is just not for me. All those beards and beer bellies... no, no, noo. Yes, I know they have women's troupes, or 'sides' as we are supposed to call them, but women seem to be a bit of a late add-on. I once worked with a woman whose husband was a leading light in the Morris movement, and as a woman, she wasn't even allowed to dance, or belong to his gang.
I am prepared to acknowledge that Jack in the Green is a revival of an authentic ancient pagan ritual, but it has all the feel of Victorian recreated 'Merrie England' for me.
Anyway, I musn't be churlish, because I know it is a huge thing for Hastings, draws lots of people into town etc. It seems a little strange that it coincides with the big bikers' day - as far as I can see Mayday Monday is a complete bummer for getting about, and as for parking outside your house, forget it. Anyway, here's a picture, so non-Hastings folk can see what I missed. Thanks to Hastings On-line Times for this.
As it was the first rain-free morning for days - there were even a few rays of sun, the Philosopher and I went to tackle the garden at our new house. My goodness, Hastings has some spectacular clay - I am surprised there is not a pot making industry here. Having said that, I have read there was a brick-making works just by what is now Saxon Road.
Anyway, digging at the clay wore me out but doesn't seem to deter the badgers, who have been having a fine time excavating holes in the lawn.