Sunday, 8 October 2017

News Update - October 2017

Ancestral Folk-Moot - Saturday November 11th 2017; details have been sent out to Wodenic Activists. This is an important Folk-Moot so please make the effort to turn up.

Hearth of Heruli Activity - South Saxon Mark - 

When some members moved away from the area the Hearth of Heruli switched to a Family Hearth with my own family working through it. Now that my children have grown up they have other commitments such as their own family, work, etc. and we became somewhat inactive for a time. We travelled to Retford for the annual Folk-Moot but this was a one-off activity, so I decided to try to revive our activities on a local level, even if only to lead the way for others to see that our activity is most important, and especially local work.

Carl and I went over to West Sussex to hold a wild-camp in a piece of woodland in an area on the South Downs. The idea was to build our own tarp-shelter for the night, cook and have a drink of mead around a fire in the evening. The Saturday morning was wet in our area of East Sussex which did not seem a good start but would not put us off from the project because we need to train ourselves in all kinds of weather. 

We travelled over to do some work on the site and set up the camp for the night; the area had to be cleared so that we could build a shelter from three small tarps with two reflective tarps for the ground-cover. Then we set about making a log seat that we could sit on during the evening, which was not hard to do with suitable wood laying around. The weather was better in West Sussex and we had no rain. 

At around 5.00pm Carl started to cook the dinner - steak, baked potatoes and beans - whilst I finished some work on the site and collected some Sweet Chestnuts to roast on the fire later. We had dinner and a cup of coffee and then finished the work that was needed for the day to settle down for the evening. We had Sam (my dog) with us and took him for a walk around the woodlands. 

The fire was made up of birch and chestnut and burnt well during the evening, and we roasted the chestnuts around 10.30 and ate these with a sip of mead. We did some drumming and chanting by the fire which as always was uplifting and helped to raise the spirits. 

We turned in around 12.30 and the sky was clear with bright moonlight, a sign that the night would get colder. It was quite cold early in the morning and the fire lasted only about 3 hours after we turned in, although we could see no reason why this happened because the larger logs were not fully burnt through. However, it was not cold enough to bother about, but food for thought for the future winter-camps to come when it gets much colder. We pondered on the idea of a fire-reflector too, which would mean moving the camp around a bit, but no doubt worthwhile in the winter months. 

In the morning we packed our stuff away and cleared the site carefully; then we collected some more Sweet Chestnuts around the site, took Sam for a walk, and then made our way back home. This is the start of a series of wild-camps and activities in this area throughout the winter months to come. Our aim is to urge other Wodenic Hearths to get out and active in such a way, and to train and educate ourselves into being able to withstand adverse conditions and survive whatever comes about in the future.