Wednesday, 9 May 2012


My family and I went to the Jack-in-the-Green festival in Hastings this weekend. A lively, colourful May Day celebration that takes place over the whole of the bank holiday weekend, to welcome the start of summer. It doesn't feel very summery here at the moment but the sun came out at least!

May 1st has long been an important part of the annual Calendar. It is the start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere and as such has always been a day for celebration: the Celts celebrated May Day as Beltane; The Romans dedicated the day to the Goddess Flora and would go to the woods to cut a tree and decorate it with ribbons and flowers. This is the origin of the May Pole. The Victorians replaced the Lord and Lady of the May with the May Pole, to create something prettier and less bawdy.

In the 16th and 17th centuries people would celebrate by making garlands of flowers to celebrate May Day, which became more and more elaborate. In the late 18th century it became a competition between Works Guilds, and the garlands soon became so big they covered a man from head to foot. These became known as "Jack in the Green". Here, Jack is paraded through the streets of Hastings, accompanied by attendants, here known as Bogies, who are completely disguised in green rags, vegetation, and face paint. The attendants play music, dance and sing as they guide Jack through the streets. Then after each Morris Troupe has danced, he is "slane" atop the hill in the ruins of Hastings castle to welcome the spirit of summer.

This particular parade has been taking place in Hastings since 1983, revived by Mad Jacks Morris Dancers. There are many other festivals around England that also celebrate this tradition; Whitsable, Rochester and Ilfracombe in Devon to name a few and "Jack" also features in the Pagan Pride festival in London at the end of May.

Lots of dancing, drumming and beer! What better way is there to celebrate?


Tuesday, 1 May 2012


Happy May Day! I love this time of year! I find the run up to Beltane and the summer solstice a really inspiring time. It seems to be the time I get the most done. It was this time last year I felt inspired to start my jewellery business and Etsy shop and I am delighted to say it has been going from strength to strength ever since. The influence of Pan at this time even inspired my choice of company name!

It feels as though life really has gained momentum over the last year, albeit slowly. As my daughter gets older and my health and fitness return, I'm finding things are getting easier. I can't believe she is 2 next week! Winter was hard this year, I felt like I was wading through treacle for most of it. Everything was an effort. But now the days are longer, the nights are lighter and the sun is shining. Well sometimes at least...

The summer promises to be full of new ventures, both work and home and I can't wait to get stuck in. I have 2 shops that will soon be stocking my jewellery which I'm thrilled about. Lots to look forward to!

Here's to the Bel fires burning bright,
here's to the Horned God in all his might;
here's to creative and inspiring ideas,
here's to chasing away winter fears.