Revels and wrens

And so to Ludlow Castle to play bagpipes at its Medieval Christmas Fayre.

Photo by Joolz Webb

I was invited once again by Paul Saunders to join Revellion, a kind of medieval costume band supergroup. It's a fantastic chance to dress up, play raucous tunes and make bad puns with old friends.

There's always lots to look at…

…but I was especially delighted to get another chance to see Alan Kirkpatrick's No Strings Puppet Theatre again, after a gap of a good many years.

Delivered with Goonish energy and a characteristic dry wit, his portative hand-puppet version of 'Robin Hood and the Monk' wouldn't be out of place in a Terry Gilliam movie.

But my meeting of the weekend was with a man who said he could call wrens to his hand. "How do you do that?" I asked. "Oh", he said, "I speak wren" and with that he started to whistle. It wasn't the moment to whip out my phone and record him so you'll just have to take my word for it that his rendition was perfect. I was dumbfounded.

The conversation moved onto robins. "Nah, I can't speak robin. Aggressive little buggers."


  1. There's been a Wren outside my window all day today, pottering about and being that strange balance between elegant and pixieish that they are. So beautiful .



Featured post

Shroom: ten years on

I find it hard to believe but it's exactly ten years since my book Shroom: A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom was published. Thou...

Popular Posts

Twitter Updates