Monthly Archives: September 2009

RIP Papa

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My Papa (Grandad) holding me as a baby in his back garden. He died peacefully this afternoon.

Here’s to his 89 years of life. Here’s to his 62 years of marriage. Here’s to his contribution in the second world war. Here’s to the two children he lovingly brought up. Here’s to the towns he was postmaster for. Here’s to his four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, who have always looked up to him.

He had a wonderful life. The only thing I’d change is the last 6 months. But his suffering is over now. RIP Papa.

Greenbelt

I realised last night as I was going to sleep that I hadn’t mentioned the actual Greenbelt festival in the previous post, when I’d intended to. So I thought I’d give you a quick synopsis.

Best Talk – Gene Robinson’s ‘In the Eye of Storm’ It was truely inspiring. And I told him so when I bought his book and managed to get 3rd in line to get it signed! He thanked me for coming and I insisted that he needed more thanks because he’d travelled further than me – I only live an hour or so away!

Best Music – Duke Special. Mr B loves Duke Special but I’d never really been exposed to him at all, so I was determined to see him at Greenbelt. Unfortunately I returned to my tent a couple of hours before he was due to start, decided to close my eyes for a few minutes, and woke up 2.5 hours later! I jumped up and walked really fast over to main stage, when I realised I hadn’t given myself chance to wake up properly. So we ended up sitting in the picnic area, watching and listening from a slight distance. But it was still good. And we bought a couple of his albums.

Best Spiritual Moment – Sunday morning. But not at the main service. I was camping with people from my church, most of whom decided they didn’t want to go to the service. So Mr B cooked eggy bread for everyone for breakfast, and then one of the girls returned from having a shower with a brown bag that they’d been handing out at the service. We read through the programme, picked out the bits we liked, and had our own little prayer and oil blessing time between us. It was lovely.

Best Overall Thing – This year I think I got the balance right between catching up with friends and going to programmed items. In previous years I’ve often felt that I’ve spent all weekend having drinks with old and current friends, which has been great, but I felt that I missed out on a lot of the actual festival. But this year I managed to chat to most of the people that I wanted to, and still went to most of the programmed stuff that I’d planned to. And one friend that I chatted briefly to, immediately commented how grown up I seemed. Which I took as a complement…

Holidays

Today is the last day of my holiday. It’s been a busy but good holiday. The wedding that I blogged about a couple of week ago, was the start of it. And then we went off to Greenbelt. Being on site from the Tuesday was quite interesting – when I got there most of the racecourse was empty of tents. The big tents were all up, but none of the stalls, decorations, main stage or thousands of people were there yet! It was quite odd on Friday when so many people arrived and we were none longer camping in an empty field. I was part of the ‘site vibing’ team, who made and put up most of the decorations around site. Giving the site it’s vibe. I had to work Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and the following Tuesday. It was good fun and satisfying when the site looked pretty, but was also hard work. I re-learnt how to drill, saw and spray paint, among other things. Nobody had ever let me loose with a spray can before! And now my boots are tinged with (Hebron) red… All the big venue signs were handmade from stratch, although on site we only finished them off – a lot of the work had been done in the month before Greenbelt. We’re now hoping that they keep the venue names the same for next year! For those who weren’t there, I’ll try to put some photographs of signs below.

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I spray painted both of these signs, the Festival Bowl one took an awful lot of masking tape… Oh, and the Hebron sign was actually going vertical off the ground – the photo needs to be flipped by 90 degrees to be accurate, but it’s easier to read this way! There were lots of other signs but I won’t bore you with all of them.

When we’d finished packing all the decorations at about 4.30 on Tuesday, I caught the train back home and spent the next few days catching up on washing, sorting through paperwork and relaxing. On Friday night we went to a lovely birthday party of a friend. It was at a local pub which has an old fashioned Skittles lane! After you’d had your three turns at trying to knock down the skittles, you had to walk down the isle and stand all the skittles back up and put the balls on the ramp that would return them to the throwing point! It was great fun. Mr B ended up with the highest individual score with 33, and I was chuffed that I’d managed to get 29. We were in two teams, but when we added up the scores for each team, both teams had ended up with exactly the same score!! Much to some people’s disguntlement, the birthday girl decided to leave it at that.

Then on Saturday we packed our bags again and headed to Birmingham where we spent the rest of the day with friends of ours, who have 2 teenagers and a 7 year old, so the day was enjoyable but lively. On Sunday we said goodbye to them, and headed off to the Moseley Folk Festival. We had a lovely day, lying on the grass listening to music and relaxing. It reminded me of afternoons at Cropredy – as there’s only one stage area theres no need for the long walks in between veunues that you get at Greenbelt, and there’s much more chance to chill out with a book. It was a much smaller festival than both Cropredy and Greenbelt, so it felt more intimate. Given the main stage’s requirements at Greenbelt, it’s difficult to then make it into a space where people can take picnic blankets, chairs and a book. I have seen people doing this at the main stage at Greenbelt, but a more intimate space, like the one at Moseley, is much more welcoming to this activity. I was also impressed with little things at Moseley – like they gave away a free CD with 15 songs from the artists from the weekend with the £5 programme. And the music of course was good, I especially enjoyed Cara Dillon. The only real crititism that I had was that there didn’t seem to be quite as much energy in the audience as I’d expect. Often when artists tried to interact with the audience and get them to make a bit more noise, the audience didn’t really respond. Maybe this comes from the more chilled out atmosphere, I don’t know… Or maybe it livened up more after we’d left – we had to leave towards the end of Cara’s set as we had to drive home. Photographs of Moseley Folk might have to wait a few days – they’re still on my camera!

Anyway, it’s been a very good holiday. Just hoping that work isn’t *quite* as busy as it was in the week before my holiday…