All the Arty stuff seems to come together for me – first it was the belly dancing – then the Poetry.
This time we were back at the Port Eliot Festival – yes I’ve written about being there before – but this year was different – in a couple of ways.
To begin with it had been raining – and I mean seriously raining (should have known that a dry weekend for Glastonbury would have to mean a wet one later on!)
I normally wear only sandals – nearly all the year – though I will wear boots in winter when the rain makes my feet too cold, but not if it is dry and cold. This year, middle of the summer, I wore my sandals but packed my glittery canvas slip-ons and my common green garden wellies. Thank goodness I did.
‘Is it really bad down there?’ I asked at the gate. I have seen falsified reports of mud on the TV on previous years where they must have persuaded the lithesome girls to paddle in the mud at the edge of the river to ‘make a story’ out of what were a few puddles here and there. The guy grinned, and said, ”tis a bit’.
So wellies on, and feeling a bit weird, I ventured down. No sooner than I was though the gate and I could see the main route down was mud. (DOWN being the operative word, a steepish sloping field) I picked my way carefully down, thinking I really didn’t want to stand up before an audience plastered top to toe in mud. It was a real possibility!
At the bottom, the two main tents, Park Stage and The Ace of Clubs stage tent, were marooned in a veritable SEA of MUD! Squelching through carefully this I stepped over the temporary bridge over the HaHa – to a relatively clean and well-drained area that surrounded the main house – like a different world!
From here up the hill the other side, via the gravelled tracks, to the walled garden, where some areas were thick with mud, while others relatively unscathed. Here the Liskeard Poets were to give the first show of the day in the Tiddy Tent. Thankfully, this year a tent that held not just the electrical equipment, but one that was also was big enough for performers and a decent-sized audience, all undercover, with overspill space to the side.
Even though we were on quite early for the last day of a festival – we had a significant audience, which grew as passing people heard and joined those listening.
Then off to look around and listen in to other poets, music, comedians, and dance to the great music in the Ace of Clubs – until it was the turn of a few of us to try our hand on that same stage. I watched as they scraped a layer of mud off of what was, beneath, a green ground mat, then scattered straw all over it. The effect of this was to gather a lovely halo of straw around your wellies as you walked across the inside of the tent. This was going to be weird – I would prefer to be barefoot while reading poetry (if you gave me a choice) but to stand there with wellies with a muddy-straw fringe – well!
The first three of us up took to the stage between the music acts, pop-up poets were designed to entertain while those behind removed or placed equipment. We performed against this – and to an audience who weren’t really expecting poetry at all – and a full bar operating in the background. A challenge we all rose to – belting it out! Here’s my ‘The Novelist’
The second pop-up poets slot we did was slightly more challenging – in that this time we followed a Pole-dancing demonstration and had to stand part way behind them as they dismantled their poles!
I spent quite a bit of time listening the poets in the more refined space of the new Poetry Tent between and afterwards and wondered how well some of them would have got on in the Ace of Clubs! Port Eliot is always a fabulous festival – but this year was more memorable than most!
Are you into going to festivals?
Do you like the variety – the wildness – the camping?
Do Share – you know I love to hear from you
ps if reading this on email to see the video you need to click into the blog post title at the top of the page 🙂