Monday, 1 December 2014


This year was my third Hogswatch, and my second as the hostess of the Pink Pussycat Cabaret Club. 

If none of that means anything to you, be a love and pop over to Google for an explanation, because once again it's after midnight and I should be in bed. 

The bit that Google may not make immediately clear is the abundance is warmth and love that, each year, wraps itself round the small town in Somerset where Ankh-Morpork has found its twin.
I drove there on Saturday morning through blazing sunshine, drinking in gold all the way, thinking to myself, I'm going home. I'm going to my Family. That's how we all feel. Enjoy the few pictures I've scattered though here; they barely touch the surface though, really.
I tried to get a few Hogswatch selfies, which was fun, and there were lots of new faces too - 'Hogswatch Virgins'. Well: Virgins no more - or, as dear Douglas Adams would have had it, maybe rather flushed and sticky Virgins.
As you know from a previous blog, I made a couple of donations to the annual auction in aid of RICE (Research Institute for Care for the Elderly). 
These were a necklace I assembled myself from a mysterious marble found in my bed; and the beautiful artwork print of my f**k-off fantastic tattoo.
In addition, I donated an envelope of fifteen or so Haiku that I had written for the occasion.
Here's the bit that floored me. The Haiku? A handful of moderately pornographic verses, and a dozen or so tributes to our DW friends? Sold for £55.
The necklace? Which, actually, was rather lovely? Sold for £55. Maybe if I'd mentioned that I had slept in it, it might have fetched more...
And the print? One of only three, and the only one available to buy? Sold for £160.

I am humbled.
Where else to take you? How can I, in a few words and pictures, do justice to the Hogswatch Talent Show; the visit from the Hogfather; the fabulous cake competition; the games, lectures and quizzes; the aerial hooping display; the Magnificent Makers' Market; the Sausage Supper or, indeed, The Cabaret show itself?

Of course, I can't. Not really. You had to be there. You really do have to be there. It's like nothing else, and I love it. 
One other thing: Davina challenged me in the afternoon to write a poem based on things shouted out by the audience on the Saturday afternoon.
Things that sprang to mind when they thought of Hogswatch. Sausage! they shouted. Corsets! said someone. Drink! said pretty much everybody. Off you go, Mu. 
I had about an hour, by the time I'd got back to the hotel and changed my costume ready for the evening. This is it, as promised. I don't know if it has a title yet; I'm still waiting for it to tell me. But it's a cautionary tale, of a sort, such as befits the season. Sort of.

This is the tale of Felicity Vaine
Whose tastes for the high life were such
That she only drank of the finest Champagne
And dined upon truffles – so much

That her father despaired of her, so he said “Flair,
Your habits are costly and fine
Your disdain for the ordinary makes me despair!
In fact, I’ve decided it’s time

That you learnt a new lesson in life! Yes, indeed!
Simple pleasures, you know. Now I’ve talked
To your Mother about it, and she is agreed
We’re sending you to Ankh-Morpork!”

“But Daddy!” sobbed Flick, “But it’s Hogswatch, you Fiend!
And I’ve heard the place smells like a drain!”
“That’s as may be, young lady, but you’re not the Queen
And you’re drinking me dry of Champagne  –

So don’t argue, your bags are all packed, off you go
The train’s got a good head of steam
And when you come back, let’s hope that you know
Life is not just a big bowl of cream!”

Poor Fliss – she wasn’t cut out for that life
Though she wasn’t without common sense;
She bought a corset and a long silver knife
And she took up a new residence

At a boarding house owned by one Madam Palm
(Whose daughters were residents, too)
Felicity reasoned with no hint of alarm,
“I’m a well classy bird through and through

I could toil at housemaiding, earning my bread
On my knees, until they are sore;
But the manner to which im accustomed,” she said,
“I need money – so I’ll be a Whore!”

She made a glittering start, being young, fresh and pert
(Though glitter’s a rookie mistake
She soon learnt not to sprinkle it under her skirts
Because after a while, it chafes)

Her clients were noble and wealthy young men
Fliss Vaine was the toast of all Ankh
Oh yes, the toffs wanted a piece of her then
They all love an upper-class yank

But life has a why of handing out fates
And Felicity Vaine’s heart was won
By an unlikely squire who held out a plate:
“How about this – inna bun?”

Well – she looked, and she looked, and her violet eyes
Took him in from his boots to his smock;
And her breath came in fast and her eyes opened wide
As she noticed the size of his – sausage

So Felicity lost most of her dainty ways
And fell from her pedestal high
She couldn’t resist Dibbler’s sausage, no, nay,
Nor his rock-solid thighs. – I mean pies.
© Muriel Lavender
Hogswatch 2014

Well - they asked for it.

So... Thanks to Bernard, Reb, Ian, Boggis and all the organising crew who make it happen. 
Thanks to Davina, Alison, Mari, my DW Mummy Ulisa, Pat Harkin, The Bear Inn, everyone who looks after me like the over-fluffed Diva I am.

Thanks to Kev, George, Pam, Rob, Nige, Jan, Vicky, Steve, Robin, Phil, Cohen, Matthew, Alex, Renta, Ana, AJ, Haddock, Harry, Darren, Carrot, David, Stew, Pixie, Ellie, Erik, Renta, Eli, Jacob, Aine,
Angelina, Adele, Ras, Krystel, Adora (much missed), Dibbler (remembered in rhyme), Igorina, Kirstine, Vanessa, Ian, Pam, Dr Hix, Grundy, Amy, Richard, Nina, Chris, Mandy,
Granny W, and all the endless people I can't name because it's now half past midnight and I still have laundry to deal with. But I love you. All of you. 

Thank you, Hat. Thank you, Terry. For everything.

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