Friday, September 01, 2006

An Annual Pilgrimage

Well it's a few days after Greenbelt and it's about time I said something about the weekend. We do a bit of a hit-and-run on Greenbelt, due to the fact that younger offspring needs delivering to Brownie camp on the Friday and then picking up on the Monday. So we arrive at Cheltenham racecourse at 9am, get 2 day tickets, and stay until Sunday evening, with older offspring in tow. Having a 12-year-old with us partially dictates our choices of events, even if she is a) remarkably patient, b) far cooler than her parents and c) perfectly content to sit for long periods in the organic beer tent, so long as she has a good book. So : the highlights...
  • The Psalm Drummers - even if we were reduced to drumming on our thighs, each other etc due to an underestimation of numbers wanting to attend a drumming workshop
  • Jon McGregor's session on writing his second novel. It was a revelation to discover that real published Booker-longlisted authors struggle with pretty much the same obstacles as the rest of us who mess about with words
  • I'm sorry I haven't a poo - no, it wasn't big OR clever but it was funny
  • the clay city (above) - despite the fact that Jordan and I made a wonderful roundhouse with a thatched roof and a candle on top, that promptly collapsed beneath the weight of its own pretensions as soon as we tried to move it. We were reduced to building a Barratt home instead. Kevin McCloud never has these problems.
  • The Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain. Ukeleles! In unison! Playing 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'! What's not to love?!
  • A delightful seminar on Rublev's icon of the Trinity and the emerging church. Which I understood, thanks for asking.
  • And of course, it goes without saying: Bruce Stanley's session on 'Naked Wishing', Bea's sculpture and Foundation's shed were all wonderful. And I'm not just saying that.
Unfortunately we had to leave way before the major Foundation undertaking of the 'Breath' service, though Richard and I had fun at Jez Nash's last week doing the vocals for the song what we had wrote. Richard feels that his role in Foundation is akin to that of the Little Britain take on Dennis Waterman...'So, you want me to write the theme toon, an' sing the theme toon...?' Rich and Jez are a third of the way towards their first album. Which makes me a groupie.

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