The Masqued Ball
‘He is a Moss-gatherer, and I am a stone doomed to rolling…’ Gandalf
Nowerdays, a lot of folk are staring to ask questions. That is good to hear, as you should always question everything, but the truth is that there are no definite answers, only differing opinions and ungrounded rumours. My cunning plan is to give the common people of the world something new to gossip about over a pint down at the local pub…when they re-open again… some fine day when all this is over. But that day won’t be happening anytime this year without a little nudge from YOU!
In every corner of England the local Pub of a community has always been the local Hub of the community.These local hubs were the first place to close under the new coronalaws and as time rolls on everything has become more and more restricted. It won’t last for ever, but there won’t be any social gatherings or festivals happening anytime soon and you know it.
Until the day they begin to return, WE can at least use our time Wisely and in doing so, help nudge forward the future by demonstrating our understanding of social distancing and so prove how correct and orderly we can behave if we have to and so this is how we are all going to start planning for the future at a grass roots level …and that’s much more my cup of tea.
However, every plan requires a strategy and just like Kozfest, my plan is built on two stages.
StOne Circles and crOp Circles.
ChOOse One… Or the Other…or even bOth, if you feel up to it. Stage One will require hard standing whilst Stage Two will look to the green earth, and so you will all need to start thinking about your circles location. This will be either a nice area of locally important but currently under-used grassland (like the local park) or an area of locally important but currently under-used tarmac, (like your local pub carpark.)
All the Pubs are currently shut and their car-parks stand empty for want of any pub goers, as do their empty gardens along with all their (already socially distanced) empty benches, pubs are ideal venues to work with, trust me on this, though of course many other venues are just as available, a nice quiet Cul-de-Sac is equally excellent if that is where you happen to live, or maybe the community area out front of a tower block. A pedestrian precinct or a parade of local shops is another thought or a quiet side road might do, the choice is yours, but busy roads should be avoided for obvious reasons. It’s not a good idea to go and dance on the bypass. Your mother should have warned you about that when you were small, and small is good.
In order to prepare properly you will need to scavenge the following. One stick of wood and One stick of chalk, One ball of string and One ball of chalk. You will also need a tape measure. You should also enlist a trusted accomplice to aid and abet with since dances work better with a partner.
The Letter of The Law
Government Guidelines dictate that Correct social distancing measurements are there for everyone to stay at least Two Metres apart at all times. This is what we are being advised to do and, since we are all very law abiding citizens, (just awkward hippy ones who are simply exploiting the loopholes) then this is the number we must abide by. No More, No Less. Two Metres Exactly.
It is a good number, in theory, and with long term planning, a tape measure and a roll of gaffa tape, all the supermarkets in England are now constantly reminding us of exactly how far this is and so the simple act of going shopping has taken on a whole new dimension. Each customer should in practice, stand behind a line on the floor. But That dance is a Square dance and we are not squares. Square is the answer reached by thinking in straight lines, but mathematically speaking, the greatest known shape of perfect isolation is actually a circle, or rather a Ball, and so all of our Ball will be built ‘in the round.’
So, this is where we begin to cut a few corners off the square whilst all the while staying absolutely within the Letter of the Law, and the shape of our particular letter is ‘O’
To avoid any rough guessing we all need to know exactly how far two metres actually is and so this will be our circles radius. Here is a beginners guide to building instructions for both phases.
Option One ~ The Stick
Stage One: Begin at home by measuring out 2m of string and make a loop in one end.
Stage two: Thread the string through the hole and tighten it around one end of your stick.
Stage Three: Check your measurements once more then fasten the other end of the string to your stick of chalk. If you keep both the string tight and the stick steady then you can easily draw your perfect circle in a matter of moments.
Stage 3.141592654 : the small print : For the very Best results, you should all work out individually tailored cunning plans of your own to create as goodly a selection of strange and mysterious local phenomenom as possible, this will prolly involve you both donning your masques, dressing up in dark clothes and creeping about a carpark at silly ‘o’ clock in the morning, just like an Urban Guerilla. A simple scarf around the face will suffice as a mask although as you should remember that all of what occurs these days just might be being recorded on CCTV surveillance somewhere. Keep It Simple & Keep it Safe. XxX
Your accomplice should take up the first position by standing at the epicentre of your chosen stage area where they should hold the stick firmly downwards to maintain contact with the ground at all times. You can then approach and take up the stick of chalk, pull the attatched string nice and tight, and then begin to carefully draw a thin pilot circle on the ground. Take it steady and keep the tension going as you slowly circle around, either clockwise or widdershins, (Grimward or Grinning ;0)) until you arrive back at your original starting point. Because you are part of a team you should now swap places and they should then circle their way carefully back around in the other direction filling in any gaps and thickening out your pilot line outwards with the more chunky Ball of chalk whilst you keep a l00k 0ut for any Narks as you finish your work and your twice finished circle is perfectly clear and unbroken.
You can, if you wish, stop a while longer and work on the chalkline somemore so that it will last longer if the April showers ever arrive and this will make the whole thing much more vivid if they don’t. Then take a photo of your handiwork for group sharing purposes only, (no showing off your own handiwork elsewhere on Narkbook! This is an undercover operation!) , then you can go back to your home and have a well deserved celebratory glass of something then treat yourself to a long lazy Lie-in and leave your strange stone circle for the local muggles to stumble upon in the morning…. and That’s the rumours will really start rolling.
Option TwO ~ The CarrOt
Of course, we’re not all cut out to be Activists, many of us are more like Artivists… or even Arthritivists. Less Urban Gorilla’s and more Garden Gorillas. You might prefer the simple things in life these days, little things that make us all happy… sunshine and rain, friends, and framily. ‘our sort of people’ are usually a bit more ‘weird and witchy’ around the edges because we know a thing or two that the younger ones don’t quite get yet. We are Wise Old Women and Beardy Old Goats. We all loved being part of the Community Hub and Kozfest was our Community Hub. And for every Gig we are going to need a Garden, and these Garden circles are going to be much more OrGanic.
If this sounds like you, then you should work in public in broad daylight, although the process is the same as above in essence. Your location might be a favourite corner of the local park, or the village green if you have one, somewhere where people used to go to a lot to relax. Firstly, you and your partner should find a nice kettle each …or a watering can, or a magic lamp… whatever works best for you! The plan is to fill them up your kettle with your own corona crop circle mix ( actually this is mainly just mixed bird seeds… ask Sn@il for further advice) And then, following a similar path as the chalk circle instructions from earlier, use the string to dictate the correct sized outline as you sow your own Crop Circle in broad daylight. Your partner should then water it and tamp it down a bit, too. Dibbing might also be necessary,ask the sn@il. Once the seed is on the ground you are done and can relax. You might want to then put on a choon or two and take your daily exercise with a special victory dance, or maybe just pull out your camping stools and sit down together to admire your handiwork in the comfort of your own isolation circle and have a proper laugh at the world outside without having done anything against the rules whatsoever.
If anyone comes over and gives you any grief or asks you what your doing, then deal with these narks as best you can in your own preferred manner from the safety-zone of your new isolation ring. (which the social distancing charter dictates that no Nark should cross) Deal with them however and whichever way you see fit… I prefer witty banter and laughter to arguing, so keep it friendly and you can always just get up and walk away. Done properly, no jury in the land could find fault with you planting a few seeds, you are just feeding the birds after all.You haven’t broken any rules and whatever crop you sowed is for the NARKS to worry about, It’s actually none of their business and at the end of the day their objections are now too late to matter. The seed is in the ground and there ain’t a damn thing that anyone can do about it.
You may need to return again the next day (when you are allowed back out for another hour) to water the seeds again, and maybe a few new definitions to your handiwork. Perhaps you could make a small stone circle, or maybe plant some flowers…or even carrots!
These first stages should now start cropping up all over the country and the first wave can be drawn anytime you feel up to the task… but I want all of the original Balls in place before the First Day of May… MayDay.
Once the circle is complete, you will now know a Safe Space where you can go and sit safely in the sunshine if you ever need to feel safeR when the real world all starts to get a bit scary.
These guidelines and instructions are absolutely essential to make my plan work although if you don’t feel happy with any part of it, then you can of course say “you’re off your rocker!” or “no thank you” and leave the group…or you could just wait a while until you see the others results. But if just One of you does this then I will consider this a victory. Furthermore, If this all goes to plan, then you few first few free folk can all say after it goes viral, that ‘it was us hippies wot started it!’… and the hippies were right!
ThanQ for reading, and Stay SafeR…the stOrm is here nOw. Trust me on this … I knOw shit! TT xXx