Storm Evert and Covid are shaping this festival. Safety checks following the battering of overnight winds and the continuing winds determine when and if certain things can go ahead
The failure of lateral flow tests and family members with covid affect which bands and entertainers are able to put in an actual performance.
Festivals are not just about the planned events they are also about creating a fertile and fecund space for serendipity to capture the imagination. The next two pictures occured at a Bowie DJ set. The first is a piece of transient floor art. Twinkle from someones festival outfit landed on the floor near a crushed beer can. Momentarily looking like an embelished spume of excressence. Only to be kicked apart moments later.
The second is a moment of musical joy when a bloke on a windbag sofa lost himself in a moment of Bowie nostalgia.
A day of seeing and appreciating the unexpected because Covid still disrupts our lives and expectations.
I’m not entirely sure how this Lion is looking this morning. Overnight both him and us have been blown on by Storm Evert. Gusting winds of up to 68 miles an hour. The canvas roof of our pop top flexing and groaning all night.
The carosel creatures will have fared much better with their painted quiffs and cockscombs.
In contrast to the storm our arrival here was positively pastoral.
Queueing in gently wooded areas with stern road signs.
There was no sudden gunfire which is reassuring for the journey home. So far there have been no musical revelations. Just literary ones, a drag queen reading a bed time story utterly upstaged by a twerking 4 year old boy who artfully pulled on his shorts to enhance the appearance of his tiny buttocks. This being quite a middle class sort of festival I’m fairly certain we witnessed the efficacy of the Montessori Twerking Course, involving him in daily activities to promote and encourage his development.
“Play is the twerk of the child’ Maria Montessori.
Sitting in the front row also gave us eye watering detail of the ‘ packing’ required when a big chap in a short skirt performs in drag. A lot of Spandex.
None of this quite what we anticipated in the literary tent. Something, however, to spice up the next Book Club gathering. Here we are being literary. Still no sign of the pink cardigan!
On the road. Having tried out our dancing legs at a wedding last week we are off to a festival.
Not quite there but close enough, Dorset artisinal coffee and baked goods on board we are off to search for an old pink cardigan.
This exact pink cardigan, knitted for my summer holiday many moons ago. Here it is being modelled on the beach at Frinton-on-Sea, Essex. One week later we were at the top of Lulworth Castle, in Dorset, when I slipped it off to skip about a bit. We were many miles away by the time I realised I hadn’t ever picked it up. Admitting this to my parents was not my most popular moment. Fifty years or so later I’m heading back to collect it. I’m hopeful that my parents will do any ashy, dust to dust, other realm jig when they realise my half a century too-late diligence.
It will be time to put the flags out when we are reunited.
Spot the strutting seagull in one of these images.
In the night garden. Late yesterday evening was our first foray into a secret garden close to the new house. The weather was unsure of the exact plan and the evening light was strange. Familiar plants took on slightly surreal shapes as we walked around an unfamiliar place.
I’m unsure how regular our visits will be to this new destination. Sometimes the purpose of a place is not immediately obvious and takes time to reveal itself.
I slightly suspect it will become a place to quietly enjoy plants and books .
But a first visit in a dimpsy, twilight was a good introduction to the future possibilities.
What lies beneath? From personal experience all sorts of bobbing paraphernalia that we somehow manage to lose during a dip. Even if a bobber notices immediately we never seem to be able to recover the missing item. We joke that there is a cave where the seal keeps all the human trinkets that he finds in the sea that is either lost or caught in the rising tide. Yesterday something caught the eye of a bobber in about 80 cms of water. Someones precious Apple Watch. No one else on the beach and no clue to the owner. We took it home and placed a message on a local lost and found site and a swimmers page.
Nothing happened all day but in the evening a man knocked on our door. He had been tracking his watch and had tried many houses before he got to us. Watch and man were reunited, seemingly very happily.
Yesterday we were on fire and finished building the flatpack furniture. Not something we would normally do on a hot summers day, but essential to the last of the unpacking and sorting out of the recent house move. Fortunately for this blog the energy and enthusiasm for this task was fueled by a great night out at the evening reception of our friends wedding; which is a far more enjoyable thing to write about than the making of two identical chests of drawers.
A day that started with the wedding of Tess and Adrian.
Finished in the walled garden of Uphill Farm with dancing, pizza, cake and wonderful company.
And finished off with nattering around a firepit.
More photos of the wedding can be found on Instagram #tessasmiles. I’ve just got one more to share which sums up my particular interest at weddings. I adore what I think of as wedding litter. The beautiful small details that are always a significant part of the planning, coupled with the detritus of the day. This picture sums things up and not being in focus is a clear sign that a good time was had.
Pictures of the gorgeous venue can be found on Instagram @uphill_farm or on their website.
A series of firsts yesterday. A wedding! Beautiful weather despite warnings of a storm as we gathered in St Eustachius Church, Tavistock, for the wedding of a friend. A large number of family and friends , cleverly seated and spaced by a beautiful team of ‘ Best People’* witnessed not only a wedding but the first singing in that particular church for over 17 months. People have worshiped on that site since 1193 and in the current church since the 15th Century. I doubt if there has been such a long silence in that place of worship ever before.
I wonder if St Eustachius was as thrilled to finally give his Eustachian Tubes a good blow out as we were.
Goodness this was a well planned Wedding Service, the music and readings celebrating, most importantly a marriage but also shining a light on our human need to begin to mark the gradual return to a more normal life. Sacred spaces of all faiths carry some magic left by centuries of worshipping. It felt lovely to tap into some of that yesterday.
The first hymn to the tune of Morning Has Broken had us feeling a little tearful. Thankfully the serious business of the actual Marriage Service gave us something to focus on before hitting us with a hymn sung to the tune of ‘Thaxted’ by Gustav Holst. You can take a woman out of Essex but you cannot take Essex out of a woman. Particularly this one who has a fair bit of her gene pool resting in the graveyard of Thaxted Church!
The penultimate treat for our happy ears was the Widor Toccata. There is nothing better than an organist who can get his fingers competently around Widors Toccata. St Eustachius organist did exactly that, beautifully. Wedding service done we hopped off for a cheeky iced coffee.
And then returned to the churchyard for the glory that is Bell ringing. Something I can share with you with the link below.
As soon as pictures of people who were part of this wedding appear on Social Media I will include them in a blog but for now I just want this blog to reflect the flavour and sense of loveliness of just being able to be part of something like this once again.
Here is one of the readings, which was deliciously appropriate.
Thoroughly uplifted we travelled home.
* Best People. The bridegroom did not have a Best Man but a delightful team of Best People. Surely the way forward. Have a fabulous Sunday.
Yesterday was on the cusp, caught somewhere between a summer heatwave and the inevitable summer storm. In some ways a perfect day for capturing bright colours that are bleached out by harsh sunlight and that struggle to shine in a storm. These ice-cream coloured houses are on the way to our regular swimming bay. They exactly match a chrysanthemum that is currently living in our kitchen.
I want to become Lilliputian in size and stretch out in the centre of this gorgeous flower and then take a dip in this tiny emerald rockpool that also twinkled in the softer sun of yesterday.
In reality, of course I am far from Lilliputian. The chrysanthemum may well contain an earwig who would gobble me up for a snack if I were so small.
Yesterdays changeling weather also brought new swimming companions to the bay. Not the sort that make us gasp with excitement, more a tingle of anticipation, and certainly not something Lilliputian me would like to meet in a rockpool.
The Compass Jellyfish was basking in the shallows yesterday. The stinging nettles of the sea. Our photograph was rather drear but this lovely green one from a local Wild Swimming site captures yesterdays colours perfectly. Have a lovely Saturday.
Friday follows Thursday. In Pandemic terms yesterday was my first working day at The Box ( Plymouths Museum, gallery and general cultural space) since the government announced Freedom Day when all legal restrictions were lifted on the English public and organisations and individuals are free to decide the level of restriction they wish to self impose.
Suddenly a huddle of strangers is considered to be a safe option. The Box as an organisation decided not to go into full on super spreader event and restrictions remained much as they have been for many months, so the only obvious crowd were these Mayflower passengers. The museum visitors were still booked in and limited in numbers but they were, I felt more willing to engage and interact with the gallery guides and yesterday felt like the museum had a much more normal buzz about it. It helps, of course that the museum has wonderful air conditioning and we are in the midst of a heatwave.
Heatwaves are a summer thing and this morning a heatwave picture popped up on my Facebook Memories page. I wish I had remembered this image earlier in the pandemic because it is a pretty good image to demonstrate looking after yourself in a pandemic.
A classic ponder involving two subjects that are largely unrelated.
This morning I am wearing a playsuit. Really a preposterously named garment for anyone over 10. This one is left over from my brief days as a hands-on grandparent. Obviously when fulfilling the role of grandparent I felt the need to dress like a tropical forest. This may be the exact reason her parents decided to whisk her half way across the world. Who could possibly need a grandparent dressed as tropical forest when Asia can provide the real thing, the forest that is. The photos above are the tenuous link to this mornings blog. In case you haven’t spotted it, the mug swaggeringly hanging on my playsuit belt depicts a harbour. Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong. Our recent move has taken us to live among harbours, although not a Asian ones swanky enough to have thermal mugs depicting the skyline!
I love a harbour, all the glamour and thrills of travel with none of the faff. Today turned out to be a cornucopia of glamour. A cruise ship with 5 masts.
Shyly peeping into Plymouth Sound. Before hiding behind Drakes Island.
If only I could briefly roll back time to when hundreds of ships like this were jostling to dock in Plymouth. On an olfactory note the area where I took this last photo was very reminiscent of times past. I stood on an area of concrete frequented by solitary fishermen and others in the twilight hours, they really do like to build up a historic fragrance, which was still resonating at 7 am this morning. Beer, tobacco, fish, piss and marijuana. Not perhaps the historic experience passengers on this luxury cruise liner are searching for!