Friday, August 02, 2019


Sidmouth, please.
Single or return?
£7.10, unless you would like a daily rover.
No, I’m just going to Sidmouth
It’s just that the daily rover is £6..10.
Then what was the point in...
I recently came out as an introvert. Festivals are fabulous for introverts. I talked to a lady on the bus with jewelry all over her about social dancing, ceilidhs, and whether Molly Dancing is a thing, and a man n a Blackbeard’s Tea Party Teeshirt about Blackbeard’s Tea Party, but i don’t have to talk to anyone for a whole week.

My very lightweight very easy to assemble tent is very lightweight and very easy to assemble but turns into an oven when the sun is out. The sun is out, but I am not spending any time in the tent pin the hours of daylight.

The festival happens in pubs and marquees in the town, a regency seaside town that has something to do with dinosaurs. The campsite is out of town but there is an official shuttle. The official shuttle is part of the experience, how often have you been on a double deck bus full of Morris Dancers?

The music got off to a (rousing) (raucous) (up tempo) (not entirely folky) start with a standing ovation for Lindisfarne who I admit have up to now almost entirely passed me by. I know the very famous one, of course. (Does he really sing “i can have a wee-wee?”) They came across to me as somewhere between the Oysters and the modern Fairport. Very much the right kind of thing on the first day of festival, but actually I was more enamored of Miranda Sykes, who opened for the. Miranda is of course “the one with the double bass” in Show of Hands, and I remember not specially liking her in a duo with Rex Preston, but her solo act is a chain of well judged covers. We get Little Johnny England’s lament about, er, country life, and a wonderfully specific piece by the singers mother about the way Lincolnshire has change in two generations.

I may possibly have mentioned before that it isn’t a folk festival until a song has reduce Andrew to tears, but perhaps it was a bit unfair to choose Vin Garbutt’s “what’s the use of wings” as the second song on the week.

The headline in the local paper is, I swear, “Call for tougher sanctions on mobility scooters.”

Diary written in Browns Kitchen


  1. Speaking as a Molly dancer, can I stand up for our thingness? We're a slightly improbable thing, even by folk standards, but we genuinely are a thing.

  2. “People have argued since the days of Cecil Sharp about whether women can Morris Dance. And since they do, you would think the argument would be over...” —Sid Kippeer


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