Nobody who has suggested that the British are a phlegmatic, rational, buttoned up and repressed sort of people can have possibly ever been to any of the folk events that go on around the country on various obscure saints days and festivals.
I’ve just come home and thawed out from attending the Whittlesey Straw Bear festival, which was, I have to say, absolutely fabulous in a ‘this makes no sense but go with it anyway’ style.
It was bitterly cold. So cold that in T-shirt, woolly jumper, fleece and calf long fake-fur coat, *with* the hood up over my knitted hat, looking a bit like a straw bear myself, I was still chilled to the bone. However, it was the weekend before Plough Monday – the day when the ploughs are blessed and work begins on the fields in preparation for planting the corn. The little town of Whittlesey had held a straw bear festival from time immemorial to mark the day.