Saturday, 5 January 2008

FreeZ in the Hood

Me and Dee make our inaugural trip to the Isle of Axholme, so called because it is cut off by narrow streams and was trying to sound a bit exotic and islandtastic, for the 14th century-initiated Haxey Hood. We expected Wicker Man, with its promises of hood-tossing, fool-bating and Lord-rucking, but it seemed to be more wai-ay man, more WKD and white lightning than pagan and frightening. It was also exceptionally cold, as we hopped from foot to foot by a Mowbray Stone, waiting for a fool looking like a cut-price Funkadelic to proclaim his worth to the village while standing above some burning straw. Back in the 1920s, the fool was actually suspended above a roaring fire outside the church and left to swing above the smoking straw, until, almost suffocated, he was cut free and chased by dogs and locals. This 21st century recreation, watched by hoodies and beer-swilling yardies, was a much-tamer affair, but a quaint bit of Englishness none-the-less. Beats Saturday at B and Q.

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