Christmas Eve, 2016. 2016! Damn. That sounds like a futuristic space year. How did it get to be 2016? The years run away like wild horses over the hills. I love Christmas though. I always get really sentimental and remember how magical it used to be when I was a kid. I had the perfect childhood.
But the tinge of melancholy becomes stronger every year. You remember people who aren't around anymore. You wish you could see them one more time to tell them how much you love them and how much you miss them. You try to hold on to what always made this time so special for you in more innocent days. Chasing ghosts.
I ended up sitting in Cottingham graveyard at midnight. The choir sang all the old classic hymns and I remembered most of them from my school days. I suppose they don't sing Christian hymns in assembly anymore? We used to say the Lord's Prayer and everything. That shit was hammered into me daily. I don't mind it too much though. It has moments of beauty and truth and even elements of stoic philosophy. I sometimes whisper the prayer before I go to sleep. It's become a kind of mantra when I can't sleep--the words are almost irrelevant.
It felt nice to be back there tonight and I took some pics with my phone. I used to visit this graveyard all the time. I used to fanatically take pictures there after I'd done my shopping in Cottingham. Sometimes I'd just sit and think.
It's an ancient and powerful place, the kind of place where sitting and thinking can be just as productive as running around snapping. The medieval church, the big old trees, the ancient gravestones cracked by crawling vines and time. Will the modern secular temples to materialism have as much power in a few hundred years?
Many people believe Cottingham takes its name from a Dark Ages Saxon chieftan named Cotta but the village actually takes her name from Kett, a powerful local Celtic goddess of the woods whose name comes from the Celtic word for wood, coed. The area was once heavily wooded and remained that way into relatively recent times.
In Saxon Kett became Cott, with the "ing" meaning meadow and the "ham" meaning settlement: Kett's settlement in the meadow. Names can be important. They sometimes preserve fragments of stories through hundreds or even thousands of years of invasions, migrations and calamity. I sometimes cry myself to sleep over the thought that we'll never know Stonehenge's original name. Actually, that's not true. I'm getting carried away here, man. It does piss me off a bit though.
St Mary's Church was built on a shrine dedicated to the Saxon shaman god Woden and before that the site was occupied by a druidic temple.
Many high status Celtic finds have been found in the area, including gold bracelets, gold staters of the Corieltauvi and a chariot fitting, which was found just on the outskirts of the Bricknell estate where I live. I often wonder about that.
Anyway, that's enough bollocks for now. I'd better get some sleep. Looking forward to tomorrow. Merry Christmas, everyone. Hope you have a great day.