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The Tibetan Ukranian Mountain Troupe.
Stour Valley to Clay
early-ish and call at Argyle St
while the Buzz goes off shopping and trying to
get the genny serviced ( no luck ) the street is amazing , full of squats
, doors and windows rainbow painted , colours on the road and walls , the
lampposts mutated ( one into a giraffe ) flags strung about, lovely place
nice vibes Thandoys home base, they left for
the the festival while we were there.
Posted a letter to the Mill .
We left there, a good drive up to Clay, Norwich seemed to go on forever- ran out of diesel in the Beast synchronous with getting lost . Lined up on the roadside directing traffic , Jay having lead us in ( then ran out of petrol , which we dont carry ) , we found the way in okay . Lined up the busses in the carpark, discovered Dave had kept us an excellent pitch on the flat, theyd really had to fight for it . it was well worth it though , we drove across and set up the busses, unloaded the Ting, at once and started on the marquee, we sorted out the kitchen and Chris and Woo began to cook pancakes for the crew. Meanwhile me and Jacky seemed to be on a night off, well spaced out .
Got into building the temple , Jeff and Glen teaching me Tibetan rope tricks, it went up looking great , the canvas stretched tight , no wrinkles ( had to move the centre pole a bit though ) Bender cancelled due to lack of co-ordination . Sit around Waggy's fire , everything dark by then and well strange, met the axe grinder at last. Long talk with Kath about the South . Head for the sun flipping though the arch types , roaming with the gun dog out and about under the stars , this night is for us , the stage is set.
morning, crowds pickup later , we don't do much during the day, still coming
down off travelling . Me and Jacky cook, then the bender goes up, very slowly
, new poles , new design , also many visitors and frequent cups of stuff.
The Transcendental Tinkers were round today . Dot and Pikie, stopped for a long chat , as did many others , all in all it got finished by sunset , an expanded model with a single experimental annexe , it was surprisingly big, the new poles are good and strong .
Caught the procession and the firedance with torches outside the marquee, fair bit of ritual theatre going on , but shortish on pure entertainment , more traders than clowns again, though some stalls are pretty enough to qualify. Rock and roll and kids stuff in the big Top , Gyp and Steve's rides , not much else fairground things. The Convoy demonstrating ethnic lifestyles and a 24 hour reggae disco just close enough to be totally maddening , we reached a compromise in the end, theyd close down when wed had enough.
Began just on breakfast with a special showing of GUN CONVOY CONFRONTS HELLS ANGELS a spectacular entrance through the heart of Tibet of fifty odd warriors, armed to the teeth , the bikers, a new group called the Brothers- camped just behind us. Mutual brandishing of weapons and assessing of bottle and possible organic damage . Then peace talks commenced, argument over certain material goods that had made their way into the wrong company .
All ends peacefully
, followed by conference over tea in the bender.
Finally we settle down to work, luckily there are some puppet shows on in the afternoon Jolly Jay on later. Crowds reasonable, but not exactly mobbed , we blame poor publicity, they blame the convoy. Weather pretty good today, warm and sunny. More random theatre during the day, winding up to the Wystic's at night .
It was a good show, we got it taped. Nik joined us for a bit then some Red Ice got in the mix, generator phased out once or twice , random intervals ( Hot Tea ) . We did a stall , made tea , tapes and a few badges, more for fun than profit ( fire and water supplied ! )
Got away to see the boat burning, another Magic Ox construction , pine splits with straw wrapped round the wood doesn't catch , probably a good thing this time . so near the canvasses). They were doing a bit of theatre to go with it , but the audience was more into the burning. I think they cut it short and just stepped in with the torches.
Home, packed up. tired. Sleep.
we are a pantomime ( among other things ) Kate needs a cast, for the afternoon
show . Tony and Kath play Sir Cumstanshall and
Lady Silvertoes, Will makes a truly awesome Ogre, stamping about the
stage with straw in his hair , me , Mandy and little Jessica played trees
, painted ourselves green and waved branches about !
It went on at the Big Top, about four, we dressed up and learned the lines, none of us had done it before! - it was good though . Kate plays Esmerelda the cook in the ogres kitchen, John the kitchen cat Stripe . The story is about Lady Silvertoes lost son Rupert, she meets the Knight and they go on a quest for him to the castle of the Ogrosity, who keeps a dungeon full of children to eat- this is where Esmerelda works, poor woman . The Ogre, to cut a long story short, turns out to be the lost Rupert, the mother son reunion really funny and pretty close to the bone .
Ogre: you would never let me go out and get dirty . L S: But then why did you have to eat children ( voice from audience - because his mummy did ! )
That blew me out a bit !
We enjoy the show and so do the audience .After wards back to the camp and prepare a trip to the showers , spaced about a bit in the green paint working on ideas.
Rainstorm and double rainbow, then me and Jim drove up to the showers - an incredible Heath Robertson construction by F Nick Engineers, giving hot showers in a luxurious parachute silk tent, total luxury , keep it in the script. Called in at the mindbender on the way back and played with Sue. Home . Missed out on dinner by falling asleep, we need a campaign to eat earlier, ( CEE ? )
lovely summer day after a
grim drizzly start, up early for a prowl and ended up having a long rap with
Morris of F Nick engineers. Discussing possibilities and learning about the
system . Then ran into Rico and talked of roadshows till I suddenly noticed
the marquee was down ! Ran down to the site and began to pack the bender up,
seems like we're moving again! We were ready in good-ish time , loaded up
, vibed up and finally lined up in the middle of the field. Saying goodbyes
,we were amongst the first to leave of the hard-core ) right out the gate
and onto The Road ...
There was quite a few vehicles. The four Tibetan busses , Waggy's, Sid . Chai Wallah Andy , the Sunburst truck and the two cars. Gyp left with us, but took off ahead when we got tangled up at a diesel station . Turned out there was a lady in severe distress at the roadside there, without the chaos we may not have noticed. Tony picked her up and drove off ahead to get her to hospital , we met up in town , sorted out what had happened and Sid finally got his chips .
reasonably happy again, we set off and reach Rougham without any more
trouble , except a bit of confusion on the road in . Site is well busy
already , lights, fires , tipis and assorted structures , including a
cosmic dome directed by Daniel , it looks good , the double line of huge
old trees and everything building and growing around.
The moon bright and close to full.
Tipi encampment at Rougham Tree Fair. photo H Hill.
THE STAGE IS SET .
dull, dismal , damp and drizzling, pace slow and erratic. I have to go into
town with Kath and Waggy's , shopping and bank, entertained by Jay! then off
with Graham for bender poles, we spend ages cruising about looking for the
lake but no luck, we finally cut 23 on the edge of the strip of forest mown
flat to create space for a pylon.- just daring them to come and hustle us
about our poles after that , we almost hoped they would , taking it to court
would have been good !
The convoy arrived during the day , Dot, Vagabondi and a couple of others come ahead , the main group pulled in just before dark and circled in the field by the road( Reserved for convoy ) Goodish trip some breakdowns including K9 ( but it got here ) it was a pretty sight seeing them all arrive though.
Not much done in Tibet, slow windup unpacking , moving buses . Dave built a Wild west saloon bar at Waggys it looks amazing , had to wash my hair by moonlight , then all for a walkabout , up late and slept on the Buzz .
sunny and warmish , but the nights are bitterly cold now , winter draws closer
, we all fell it , its been a strange season . Much activity , everyone building
and creating . Colours spring up around Tibet , we sort the kitchen out (
and Glenda washes up ) Jeff gets a fire going and Kath cooks dinner . Meanwhile
in parallel we have Jeff on sewing machine fixing the long awaited centre
section and a generator hunt , ours has a temporary malfunction , it was taken
to be fixed today.
At some point the first of the Welsh crop arrives , what with that and the full moon ( in Pisces 0 everything ended up well chaotic and spaced out. Got the bender up during the day , three bedrooms and a living room, spacious and cosy in one , but it really needs a stove , its cold out there , clear sky , diamondice freezing with huge red sunsets.
official opening at noon passes us by totally unnoticed , we get off to a
slow sticky start , all feeling pretty wiped out from yesterday , especially
me and Graham. The campaign to eat earlier launches with a veg pie and salad
at lunch , attention of kitchen routine takes a lot of energy. Meanwhile all
hands on deck to erect the marquee . full size this time , newly repaired
, centre section and all, it looks beautiful.
Active day on site , the pub opens opposite us , crowd entertainment , Pete tatting up and down the field with a cart full of kids , lot of traders roaming about with their wares, sunny hot day . Everyone happy, ( though not much energy it seems like. )
Most of us got to sleep early . Music on in the newly expanded marquee.
More sunshine , good start, the field fills up with people real early , if all the festivals were this big wed do all right . Light a fire and set up KITCHEN SINK DRAMA ( Life in Tibet ). Ethnic lifestyle Unlimited production and the FALLOUT SHELTER, next door. Someone arrives with a load of photos of the Green Gathering . sort through them for the book. Life in Tibet continues unabated, Real photographer joins the movie.
Exploding Glove Ritual at dusk starts off the show ) The Wystics play at night then Thandoy and wind up with Inner City Unit , two members missing though, but good rock and roll . Music all over the site tonight , busy crowds . A band sets up outside the beer tent Jackson Five stuff ( Sundance ) We do a stall at night , make tea, macrobiotic munchies from Janet , tapes and candles . Ricky Jacky and Louse facepainting all day, marathon session !
day, very intense , deep and dangerous waters......
Wake up soon after dawn, the bender full of smoke and the bedding on fire - ouch ! Dragged it all out and beat out the smouldering feathers, the smell was awful and it took all day burning strong incense and having the back of the pod open to clear it .
Even now the reminder of the smell gives me the shivers , as it happened I was only thinking of the necessary repairs , stitching up the quilt in the freezing misty dawn so no more feathers got lost ( lose bedding at start of winter- go back to start ) , cutting the smouldering bits out of the blanket, feeling really annoyed with myself. A for Gouching out on a candle B For designing a sleeping pod with a roof too low to burn a candle without singeing the tarp ( REMEMBER, FILE, AND RECALL )
Afterwards tidying up the Beast, I couldn't go back to sleep because of the burnt smell , talking with Tony about it , realised we could have been suffocated. Connected with the part of me thats been aware of the danger all along and woken me up in the first place . Felt a bit spaced out for the rest of the day .
So missed the other real life drama , a killer crazy found his way here and sheltered with the convoy for a day before it was realised - thanks to Jay -exactly what was going on. Judging by the manner of the killing - really bizarre and pretty twisted - he was a totally dangerous lunatic . A bit much for us to handle- so we turned him - heavy stuff these decisions . ( Neptune goes direct to day at about 10.30 GMT - pivot point ).
Shows on in the marquee all day , the tea on a bike man looks after our fire , but Kitchen Sink Drama is off . Set up at dusk after the evenings entertainment , starting with The Chat Show . The music on-stage woke me up, remembering Jay had wanted me on-stage , being the Last Gig and all, changed quickly and into the marquee, the vibe was really strong ,Jay and Will up front on guitars , Graham vocalising and hand drums in the background , Spike on fiddle . Tibetans and friends all about dancing , clapping, looking colourful , the Chat Show set-up still on-stage , armchair and tea. Hi energy and love , everyone putting out their best vibes. .
Touch the stars.
Through the Beast and out following music under the stars . The Pyramid was Africa , drumbeat calypso music . Up the lane of trees, under the great starglobe suspended in the sky , they were singing about a Tibetan mountain in Iceland. The Palladium of Fools, the dome transformed, an empty stage , banners flying in the wind, a small quiet party in the cafe and back down to a rather patchy timetrack to Tibet , where Thandoy had begun ,
swept up and danced on waves of music ,
the air alive ,
danced all night.
do you do the day after a night like that ?
Nothing at all is the general opinion, totally relax and wind down .
The camping field empties very fast , even the showers are gone first thing ( hey man what about the site crew ? ) Called at Chris, a good rap with him and Brian m made bread and cake long talks with lots of people drifting about.
Then asked to do a Tarot for a lady travelling with John Pendragon , lit the bender stove and got set up.
I enjoyed doing the cards , took her through a Zodiac reading last, energy flow of winter laid out , Took a long time though being into it, even got my palm crossed with silver , itb be a good way to spend a festival that !
Quiet night , no meal, still feeling a bit erratic, sociable bender night , people getting into the space.
Bit of a void day , no one doing
much , lot of people packing up to go , the hard-core staying put and relaxing
. Rico and Jester round awhile , also Maggy and the Welshman. Janet and Kath
cook up a good meal , then everyone goes to the movies, I stay in and think.
Off into Bury with Kath and Chris, mission highly successful, about Tibet most of the day, long Dakinit session in Annie's bender.
( news -
1. We got paid 400 pounds.
2. Repairs to generator cost 372 pounds
3. We are now officially skint )
the chaos squad got somewhat out of hand down the local last night ,
presented with the bill this morning .
Unfortunately, this is the end of the journal.