Thoughts on St George’s Day 2020

st georges day

st georges daySt George’s Day is a day I like to celebrate. To me, enjoying it, making it a party at which everyone is welcome, takes it away from deluded flag-shagging wingnuts (not least because the historical figure most likely to have been the ‘real’ George was a Turkish soldier).

April 23rd is also allegedly Shakespeare’s birthday and, for me, at least for the best part of 20 years, it’s been the start of dancing season. Yup, in case you missed it, I am a Morris dancer. So, yeah, this is the oddest St George’s Day I’ve had, and Mayday and Beltane Monday and all the summer festival days are also going to be odd, and sad. Rain or shine, sleet or snow, I’ve danced at the start of summer.

I wrote a hot romance about Morris dancers, and produced an anthology of st georges dayerotica inspired by folk songs, in previous years. (If you think the folk world is sexless, respectable, non-inclusive or rightwing then think again. Folk music has always had its transgressive elements and always will. And the folk scene rose up in utter fury ten years ago when Ghastly Griffin and his mob attempted to co-opt it.)

As with other groups and communities I’m involved in, my Morris team is finding ways for us to keep in touch and mark our own traditions as and when we can. Some of us will dance on our doorsteps tonight and more will dance in their gardens or kitchens or even in the park, if a sufficiently empty one is available. There are virtual events popping up, if you want to keep an eye out for them. And later on tonight I will raise a pint of English ale (from lovely local brewery who do home delivery) and dance to better days ahead.

 

Don’t forget to check out what’s in the bookshop before you go…

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