my dislike for xmas and all things related is well documented, but for those of you that dont know me well, i have a somewhat deserved reputation as the grinch, of bah humbug fame from the dr seuss’ book.
my workaround for this time of year, to avoid spoiling the whole time for myself and others, is to celebrate the festival of saturnalia – the original holiday celebrations of the ancient romans that was later ‘appropriated’ by the christians when they invented their fairy tales.
saturnalia lasted for up to 2 weeks from mid december thru to the 24th, it was a topsy-turvy holiday of feasting, drinking, singing in the street naked, clapping hands, gambling in public and making noise.
A character in Macrobius’s Saturnalia (an encyclopedic celebration of Roman culture written in the early fifth century) quotes from an unnamed priest of the god Saturn that, according to the god himself, during the Saturnalia “all things that are serious are barred”.
so happy saturnalia to all of you, may you enjoy a fun and frivilous festive season to end 2016!
my saturnalia to date has been consistent with “all things that are serious are barred”, i finished up work just before the start of the festival and have spent most of that time fishing and camping. the fishing has been tough, but here are a few photos from the last couple of weeks adventures
dave, kai and i spent a few days camped at bawaka, the plan had been to go down in dave’s boat and explore the surrounding coast & islands, but cyclone yvette created enough weather over here to convince us it was a better idea just to drive out and leave the boat at home.
we have now entered the feasting phase of the festival and the eve of the 23rd was a feast for our friend, dave, who has to work on the 25th, we were joined by sarah and a brief appearance by jeremy & leesi.the feast was based around the pork shoulder & chook I spent all day smoking slowly, accompanied by a yummy roast pumpkin salad sarah prepared, and was finished off with sal’s magnificent blueberry trifle.
the 24th was a day of recovery and then the culmination of our saturnalia was on the 25th, starting with the pagan gift giving ceremony. its actually a very interesting ceremony, the christians surplanted the key character with a bishop (later saint nicholas) when they appropriated it. originally the ceremony had quite a sinister side to it that was lost over time.
kai’s main present was the flash, pro-trick scooter in the opening image, hopefully he will get a lot of pleasure from it at the skate park. Sal scored a nice new rod & reel combo, hopefully it will add to the catch tally next time we are out fishing! I scored a nice traditional carbon steel asian style cleaver for the kitchen.
sunday afternoon jeremy and leesi arrived for our next bout of gluttony and excess! they had cooked a couple of chooks with a yummy non-bread stuffing, as well as bringing vegies and salad, we added large tiger prawns i had marinated in chilli, lime, mint and ginger, ham and leftovers from the friday feast.
after a long lunch we moved inside and watched the best, worst movie ever – the man from hong kong, an absolute classic aussie movie from 1975. we then had a crack at stuffing ourselves some more with cheeses, salamis and pickles laced with beer & wine before i insisted we all head down to the beach for a walk to get an appetite for dinner and stretch our legs a bit!
it proved to be a masterstroke and we were in fine fettle for a round or two of mojitos, a dinner of extensive leftovers, and the company of the kennedy family who joined us after john finished work. tommo brought along 2 magnificent desserts to add to the table and finish off the festivities on a sweet note.
thankfully its 12 months until we have to do this all again!