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Celebrating the Winter Solstice

December 21, 2010
Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice

As a child I was always fascinated by things a bit mystical. I loved stories rooted in Greek Mythology – in fact, a trip not so long ago to the Palace of Knossos on Crete was hugely disappointing because the Minotaur was nowhere to be seen. Perhaps he’d hopped off for his hols, but I was disappointed he wasn’t at home. I love things like shooting stars and eclipses – another amazing Greek trip involved a deserted beach on Lesvos, five friends and a total eclipse in the afternoon. Magical.

Then, our lovely friend UrbanDeva, released her book, “Running Into Myself“, a tale of self discovery interwoven with mythology. Devoured in a day.

So, when Peter at The Horse & Jockey let it be known he was putting on a Winter Solstice event at The Horse & Jockey on Chorlton Green, early Tuesday evening was sown up. I’d had an  early start. I was determined to see the first total lunar eclipse in three years and the first to fall on the Winter Solstice – the shortest day of the year – in nearly 400 years. West Didsbury has its massive advantages, but being being able to see an uninterrupted view of a lunar ain’t one of them – so I was thwarted. However, I did see this beautiful image which was posted on Twitter this morning – thanks to Tim Difford & *hope* you don’t mind me reproducing your image –

Eclipse - Tim Difford

Eclipse - Tim Difford

So, no lunar eclipse, but a promised Winter Solstice Celebration. Only the stress of Christmas shopping stood between me and a mulled wine. But even that was OK and soon we were huddled in the gorgeously refurbished Horse & Jockey, being fortified by mulled wine. Seriously, it couldn’t have been more festive. A proper old fashioned style brass band. A hog roast. A Christmas tree with snow laden branches. Father Christmas giving out presents to excited children pulling sledges. There was even a dog with a coat and twinkling Christmas lights – look, if you don’t believe me…

Christmas Pooch

Christmas Pooch

This really was a beautiful community event. OK, The Horse & Jockey has an amazing location, having the green right outside its doors, and whilst location, location, location is obviously very important, perhaps more important is people who have a vision and a passion and a sense of community cohesion. That’s what Peter Dalton & his team at The Horse and Jockey have in buckets. Again, if you don’t believe me, just look at what they created tonight (and then maybe look at what they’ve created over the last three Thursdays with their festive market)…

Winter Solstice at The Horse & Jockey, Chorlton

Winter Solstice at The Horse & Jockey, Chorlton

Winter Solstice at The Horse & Jockey, Chorlton

Winter Solstice at The Horse & Jockey, Chorlton

Winter Solstice at The Horse & Jockey, Chorlton

Winter Solstice at The Horse & Jockey, Chorlton

Winter Solstice at The Horse & Jockey, Chorlton

Winter Solstice at The Horse & Jockey, Chorlton

Winter Solstice at The Horse & Jockey, Chorlton

Winter Solstice at The Horse & Jockey, Chorlton

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