Showing posts from May, 2014

To have or to be

The English language has many curiosities, which sometimes interact with psychological theory. How we describe our own or define other people's identities is one of those areas.
English does not tend to distinguish between enduring and transient states when it comes to matters of identity. I am ginger. I have always been ginger and, whilst it's possible I might one day be grey-haired or bald, the rest of my body will be decidedly ginger. Given the attitudes of wider society to us red-heads, my hair colour has become very much part of my sense of self. It's more than a mere hue, defines me far more than does my eye colour.
I am middle-aged. My sense of age is, sadly, also a part of my identity. I wish it wasn't, but that's a separate issue. Despite what some people might tell you, I wasn't always middle-aged. Once upon a time I was young! If I keep on drawing breath one day I will be old, maybe even ancient. To define someone by their age using the same language…

Local tales

The Ipswich Pagan Council is holding its annual ritual to honour the Lar Praestite (Guardian Spirit) of the town on May 25th, the anniversary of the signing of the Royal Charter in the year 1200. This year we will be starting with a procession (well, genteel amble) along the river from the docks and finishing at Yarmouth Road before adjourning to a hall for a ritual and meal.
The meal, to which people are encouraged to contribute local produce, will be accompanied by various members reciting poetry and telling stories inspired by Ipswich and its legends. I shall probably include a story of one of my favourite and reputedly real local characters, Old Winter the Cunning Man (who features in a story in A Dangerous Place). Between now and the 25th I shall also be researching other snippets of local folklore to include. Suggestions of Ipswich lore from readers are welcome!