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Black Deer steers family towards Country

13 Jul

Ignoring worries of line dancing and Dolly Parton on repeat, I left the cosy confines of my home with an open mind and an unnecessary amount of camping kit to attend the first Black Deer Festival.

The festival was held in the picturesque setting of Eridge Park, reputed as the oldest enclosed deer park in England. After voicing my concerns about stags massacring the tents, I was reassured that they had been moved for the weekend and were not, as I feared, being prepared for a live fire stage cooking demonstration.

Quicker and cheaper than a flight to Dallas – albeit a long walk from the car park – we were swiftly transported to a new world. The world of Americana and Country. Continue reading

C is for chocolate – day four of the Poetry Swindon Festival

5 Oct

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Day four of Poetry Swindon Festival
Events take place at Lower Shaw Farm

10:45. Arrival. Hellos, how are yous, coffee, rush (late) to poetry mosaic workshop with Lynette Thomas of Artkore. Manage to cobble together something that started out as ‘life is fun’ and ended up some dark comment about fashion models. Chronicler Pete later says it looks like a bunch of random words and magazine pictures. Other (more enlightened people) say ‘oo I like that one’. Admittedly their favourite thing might be a bunch of random words and magazine pictures.

The sun is shining, gracing us with its warm presence, autumn is only a state of mind. Behind us is the old cow shed converted to event room, and accommodation rooms. In front of us is the covered play area with mattresses and hammocks. All around are flowers, somewhere to sit and chat; ducks and chickens peck round. A fox gives them the willies. Continue reading

Dribble or drabble? Flashing at Poetry Swindon Festival

2 Oct

Dribbles and drabbles, flash*. Spot the difference between concise prose and sticking ‘poem’ on the end.

Yesterday (Thursday), Poetry Swindon Festival’s potentially hot debate – is prose poetry a thing? – was apparently thwarted by a squishy warm sofa with Jo ‘no’ Bell dividing and ruling, sat between Tania ‘yes’ Hershman and Luke ‘for sure’ Kennard. Next time: hard chairs. Continue reading

Larmer Tree Festival next week

7 Jul
The carnival procession at Larmer Tree Festival near Salisbury

The 2012 carnival procession at Larmer Tree Festival near Salisbury

Next week is the big family party known as Larmer Tree Festival, down, down at the bottom of Wiltshire barely squeaking into the county. We’ll be there for the whole thing (slipped disc permitting) hoping, for its quarter century birthday, that it will be more like a garden of pleasure and less like a mud pool. Anyways, here’s our highlights from 2012:

  • the garden’s peacocks – they like an audience more than comedians
  • parading to the sun – who eventually got his hat on – with a colourful sculpture made at an art drop-in session
  • Paloma Faith
  • pockets of poetry
  • local beer
  • shaking a tail feather in a tent full of people to Shake a Tail Feather.
  • blearily enjoying The Artist at Mark Kermode’s Film Club
  • the home-made pizza tent

Alongside highlights Tom Jones, Bill Bailey, Jimmy Cliff, Femi Kuti, The Magic Numbers, Ed Byrne (etc), is Nudybronque who are awesome and partly made by the son of chronicler Hilda.

See what we made of 2012.

larmertreefestival.co.uk

Glastonbury Festival in 100 bin bags Day 5

30 Jun

2013-06-28 09.44.35 2013-06-30 17.56.36

1970’s labour relations came to Glastonbury at the end of my final shift. After 24 hours of straining the discarded delights of drunken revelers and with a jacket potato cooling in a tent ten minutes walk away our supervisor decided it was time for a full on capitalist crackdown. Continue reading

Glastonbury Festival in 100 bin bags Day 4

29 Jun

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4. White bags

As anyone who has ever tried to slip a paper plate into a cheap condom will tell you, ‘it’s a thankless task’. The white biodegradable bags we have are similarly exempt from gracias. A mere look the wrong way and the bags slash open to spew soggy chips and mushy peas over a hardworking bin man’s wellies. Continue reading

Glastonbury Festival in 100 bin bags on Day 3

28 Jun

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3. Michael Eavis’ bin

Two brilliant things happened in the last five minutes of my shift today. Firstly we got chatting to a security guard and he let us take a sneaky cut through Worthy Farm itself, so I got a wonky photo of Michael Eavis’ bin which probably had a bin bag in it so it counts. Continue reading