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Giles Wood admires his new view of Peter Mandelson’s bathroom

Regulars | By Giles Wood | July 2017

Country Mouse

The correct reaction to spring, and the approach of summer, is to indulge in the sort of bacchanalia of pagan fertility rites of Scandinavian legend.  Even today, in Finland, as the snow melts and the country approaches the 24-hour daylight of high summer, youths and maidens, maddened by the wicked and musky aroma of hawthorn blossom, are heading for the forests, bearing aquavit, to make love and celebrate new life. Not for nothing are the Finns the most fertile race in Europe. To be fair, though, these modern fertility rites are referred to as ‘raves’. Here, in my own Anglo-Saxon village, this year’s unusually dry spring has been celebrated by no such paganism in the bluebell wood at the top of the downs. Neither, down here in the village, have we seen any of the traditional English rituals of the maypole – where phallic symbols were danced around for centuries...

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