Thursday, 22 August 2019

Art, Life, Theology, and Badgers #NotGB19

Every year, the Beaker Folk make a special trip, to a virtual field in Midsomershire, to attend the annual Not Greenbelt festival, run in aid of the Big Issue Foundation by the wonderful Graham Hartland.

As usual, due to a race memory going back to the real Greenbelt in 1985, we are already here. This gives us the chance to set up our tents, get in some early reading the Bible and looking serious, and - most importantly - release the dozen badgers we've brought with us specially to liven up the event.

Early signs are good. All the Beaker Folk, being assorted kinds of stereotype by definition, have fitted neatly into their allotted grooves. To wit:

Burton Dasset's tent has already blown away in a gentle breeze, and he has had to chase it across three barbed wire fences and two fields until it came to rest in a tree.

The Young Adults Group have packed so much alcohol into their borrowed people carrier that they had no room for a tent or food, and are currently begging for a few carrier bags to give them overnight shelter.

Charlii and Young Keith have already spent so much time trying to stop Celestine wandering off, that they've put their dog's satellite tracker on her dungarees strap and connected her to a tree by a length of elastic to be on the safe side.

We've had a row with the First Church of Trump the Redeemer next door, and won the battle by throwing tins of corned beef at them.

The Hnaef family have arrived in their Winnebago, planted a vineyard, built a patio, installed a Jacuzzi and started renting out Internet bandwidth.

Drayton Parslow has come along "for the atmosphere". Made it clear that he will not be attending any events or concerts, as he is merely to be "salt and light" for all the other, inferior, Christians.

Three mates who tagged along, who have no interest in spirituality or art, have been accidentally converted to the Elim Pentecostal tradition and have started an all-night prayer session.

Ranulf and Gerbriza have established a second tent for their larder, and are currently cooking themselves a selection of dim sum and a Mongolian barbecue.

Grinkle has got her guitar well and truly out of tune, ready for singing "Kum By Ah" at 3 am.

 And me? Personally, I have been sitting around, looking thoughtful and jotting down some observations in the manner of Adrian Plass. Like I say, we've all very much hit our stereotypes already.

So get over to NotGB19 and support it!

Want to support this blog? Want a good laugh? (or to shudder at death at any rate? Then here's two ways you can keep the Archdruid in doilies...
If you want someone to share the terrors of death while making you laugh, we have "A Hint of Death in the Morning Air" - 97 poems to make you wonder, laugh or shake your head sadly. At only £1 on Kindle. Or if you want to know what the people in the pews really think, and you prefer your words printed on paper, why not try "Writes of the Church"?  The letters to the Church magazine the vicar really didn't need.


  1. Adrian Plass, or Adrian Mole?

  2. Never ever go to Greenbelt, which is my idea of hell. The last festival that I attended was in 1992 in Plymouth, where we were herded into an arena normally used as a market place for Cattle. And Cattle we felt like. Particularly as they had forgotten to clear away the piles of manure before the festival started. But what a treat, among the Acts were "Marmalade" and some lesser names, whose identity I have forgotten, because by the time Marmalade came on stage, I had consumed enough alcoholic beverages to lose my sight, let alone my memory. But I recall dancing among the dung with about 800 others confined in the market, liberally spreading it around on our sandals and kimono's (we were responding to the death of flower power).

    Marmalade were memorable by their lead singer Singing Obla Dee, Oblah Da in rhyme which wasn't what we paid for, and it's hard to dance to rhyme. In fact, that is where I learned to "Dad Dance" which suited the occasion.

    When the sang "Reflection of my Life" I suddenly came to my sense and wondered why I had ever thought that festivals were the thing to do. I went home, ponging of Cow Dung, had a shower and threw away my sandals for ever.

    This festival put me off Glastonbury or Greenbelt or the Reading Festival for life. So, bully for Graham and #notGB19 because that is as far as I will get this summer.


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