Every year in the small town/large village [delete as appropriate] where I live there's an event called Gala Week. Seven days of celebrations, communities activities and suchlike - riding out on horses, plastic duck races in the burn, things like that. These are stage managed by a group called the Cornets who remain something of a mystery to me. But the week's highlight is the crowning of this year's Fleming Queen and her courtiers.
This is a decades-long ritual [maybe longer for all I know], involving local children, the Cornets, a coronation, circumstance and pomp. But there's always a nagging feeling at the back of my mind. It's a recollection of a scene from John Christopher's science fiction novel The White Mountains, where a similar rite of passage culminates in local children having mind-controlling metal devices fitted to their skulls - a process called 'Capping'.
Obviously, this isn't the case where I live. There are no alien overlords coming to weld mind control devices to local children. But every year when gala week rolls round, I can't help but to keep checking the skyline, waiting for the Tripods to appear. No sign of them this summer. Guess we're safe for another twelve months. I'll report back next June whether our alien overlords have arrived yet. In the meantime, happy gala week!