Moot and Aboot
28 June-4 July
It’s been a busy week, bardically, with lots of talks and travelling…
Tuesday I performed with my friend, fellow poet Crysse Morrison of Frome, in the Arts House Cafe, Melksham, as part of their food and drink
festival. We were billed as a ‘Poetry Fest’ and were given the theme ‘Feast and Famine’ which we both responded to in typically atypical ways. I read out poems from Egypt. Our hostess was Sue, who looked after us extremely well and made things flow beautifully.
Wednesday I travelled to London to give at talk to the Moot with No Name in the Devereux Arms – a charming olde worlde pub usually frequented by City types (its opposite the Royal Court of Justice on the corner of Fleet Street and the Strand – tucked away in its own ‘Dagon Alley’). My friends Geraldine and Bali from Atlantis Bookshop were there to greet me and sell books on my behalf (The Way of Awen was stacked up – the focus on the night’s talk). Steve Wilson was hosting and introduced me. I raised the awen and this seemed to break down barriers. I ended the talk with a story, as requested by G&B – one of my desert ones. I managed to catch the last train home (just) and got back late.
The next morning I was on the train again – to Bristol – to give a poetry reading to Can Openers, at the Bristol Central Library, a monthly open mic event hosted by Claire Williamson. I declaimed through the mike in the middle of the library – I don’t normally like using mikes but with building work going off in the background it was essential. I joked that it was like some kind of industrial art happening: Beatniks meet Bob the Builder. ‘Howl, we can!’
Saturday I performed at the Camerton Batch Green Fair – my second gig on its slagheap, (remnant from a working of the Somerset Coalfield) albeit a very pretty one now it’s been reclaimed by nature and made accessible with a lovely nature trail. Various fluffy crafty folk did their thing – bodging, making stuff from felt, willow, clay, dreamcatchers. A lovely old steam engine powered a scary-looking saw mill. A mighty shire horse helped extract timber. The ladies of Polka Dot Pantry tempted passersby with their cakes. I performed a couple of thirty minutes sets of stories in a bell tent that was furnished comfortably with fleeces. My audience ended up being very young – something to do with it being incorrectly billed as ‘children’s storytelling!’ (‘I am not a children’s entertainer!’ he declares in Sideshow Bob fashion) – but it seemed to go down okay, although, by the end, the adults were laughing more than the kids. My set of short rustic tales tickled them. Saravian provided moral support. The sun shone and it was a pleasant affair.
Sunday, I needed a day off and so I went for a spin on the bike – up to the charming and wonderfully eccentric Banbury Hobby Horse Fair and back – over the Cotswolds on my own ‘cock horse’.