Archive for May, 2012



May 30, 2012

I was thinking a lot yesterday about Alan Garner’s book Strandloper, thinking of the resonance it may have for a friend in Australia.  I say may because although I’ve had the book for over twenty years I’ve never actually read it and haven’t picked it up for almost as long!  I had a quick look at the blurb on the inside cover this morning:

Based on the true story of William Buckley, a bricklayer, the novel begins in the rural Cheshire of the 1790s as William and Het are making ready for the annual festival known as Shick-Shack DayWilliam has been chosen as the village’s Shick-Shack – an ancient fertility figure, face blackened with charcoal and bedecked with boughs of oak – and Het is to be his Teaser.  But when the local landowner discovers the celebration in the church, William is arrested and sentenced to transportation to New Holland.  As he is taken from the church, he vows to Het that he will return.

Now, I had good reasons for thinking this book might be of interest, related to a number of specific issues which have arisen in the last few days, but I was struck by the coincidence of thinking of this book on May 29th, known as Oak Apple Day and Shick-Shack Day