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The Prospect Of Its Cognated Gin Around Christmas Secured

Being predominantly Dutch, I could very well fake to have been unaware of any possible darker sides to our Blackthorn or Sloe bushes, purposely left on the verge of Les Pierres when we opened up the smashing view to at least marginally confront the inevitable November storms, because there’s no ancient folklore connected to this viciously thorned shrub to mull over, other than the Celtic tree lore of Ireland, where it is thought to represent the origin of the word ‘strife’, actually quite appropriate for last night’s violent winds.

However, advocating earlier for my forced but cherished trust in the existence of magical creatures would immediately blow the whistle on such histrionics, so I better own up and admit it was me who picked its berries yesterday, probably setting all this in motion by provoking the Lunantisidhe, literally translated moon fairy, not very friendly towards humans on the best of days but try and touch their sacred Blackthorn and they will surely come for you.

Thin and wizened in appearance, they look like small bald old men, yet another pressing reason for me to avoid them like the plague, given my distinctly unpleasant previous experiences with bald men, not naming names, but in my defense, I expected a full moon coming up, a traditional sign for Lunantisidhe to leave their shelter and pay homage to the moon goddess, so I assumed it would be safe to pick sloes.

This morning, assessing the potential damage done by the fairies’ fury, wildly howling around the house all night and still not quite settled, I realized I must have been inaccurate one day, sparking this confrontation. Another simplification of ancient wisdom that puts my actions in a less self-centered universe, is the Celtic association of Blackthorn with Cailleach, the goddess and ruler of winter, emerging to take over the year from the summer goddess Brighid by bringing about rough weather. This is supposed to happen around the end of October, but global warming might have f’ed up that calendar too.

With the sloes safely in our freezer to mimic a first frost, making them much sweeter, the prospect of its cognated gin around Christmas secured, I should stop this sulking.

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