"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde
Going to a folk festival is a bit like failing to shave your armpits. Privately you may feel better for it, but you don’t necessarily want people to know. In fact it’s probably a mistake to post an entry on your blog about it.
I have unmixed feelings about folk music on the whole, but I do have a deep and unhealthy admiration for Bellowhead, who headlined at a little festival this weekend. So off to the little festival I went, with friends Ruth and Kirsty. It was in a village near Huddersfield, where a canny Yorkshireman had realised that he owned the only two flat fields in the county and might as well make use of them. Our friends at home had been urged to pray for good weather; but they evidently all stopped doing that and went to the pub at 7.00 on Friday, when it started raining. On Saturday we had to buy the sort of jumpers and hats that seem cheerful at a festival, and make you look like a menopausal gnome afterwards (below).
Nonetheless a warm gnome is a happy gnome and in our lurid sweaty woollens we trailed between drummers and mummers, clog dancers and bagpipe players, fortified by burritos and alcohol. Kirsty, with her unfortunate skill in feigning enthusiasm, was trapped for some time with a clog historian, but by Saturday night he had fallen asleep and we dragged her off to see Bellowhead. Bloody marvellous. There was bouncing and whooping of whoops, and not a neckerchief in sight. For a short while we even took our jumpers off.
Too late to redeem my credentials as an urbane artistic type: but on Thursday, with proud and swelling heart, I went to the opening of an exhibition at the Tregoning Gallery, of work by dear friend and pink-obsessed genius Heather Duncan. Watch out for her, she’s a star in the painting firmament and will be getting interviewed by Melvyn Bragg in no time.
Lastly, an apology to the tent-dwelling neighbours who heard our discussion of the SheWee, a horrid little object designed to help women to urinate standing up. ‘You just have to clench your buttocks really hard and invest in some good hosepipe,’ said a member of our party a little too loudly. We did notice that nobody had camped near us. We should be careful. We are just a woolly hat away from complete festival-goer cool….