Well, what a fantastic weekend! The weather was mainly kind – though Friday night was very very rainy – a deluge in fact. Pity the poor campers! We went for a compromise this year and stayed at the Travelodge at Cherwell services – just 10 miles down the road from Cropredy. And the benefit of the hot shower, private bathroom and a proper bed really paid off – we’ll do it again – definitely!
The programme was amazing – and a real mix, some I liked, some not so, but all lovely to have such a parade of live music in front of your eyes! I have already downloaded the last Blackbeard’s Tea Party album and will listen to that a great deal; plus really looking forward to Fairport’s next album – due in February – the tracks they played sounded very rock based which is great.
I shall look out on my streaming service for a few more I want to know more about – Al Stewart was lovely, Travelling Band were great, Cara Dillon has a great voice, Treetop Flyers were fun. Could all be a very interesting few months as I explore!
And all this whilst having time to read in-between the bands. Lee Child Killing Floor (the first in the series, which I had not read to this point.) Great page turner, and sets the scene for later Jack Reacher thrillers.
Filed under Diary, Reviews
What a lot can happen in ten days. I watched with disbelief and horror as the riots in London and then in our major cities spread. The disgust at the pointless waste and the vandalism, and then the difficult process of trying to understand (not excuse) and thus try to think of ways that will make a difference and help to heal all the rifts. The solution is probably political – and thus fills me with a certain amount of healthy cynicism. But, with disassociated, disaffected youth in all our cities why then continue closing the one non judgemental place society provides for all – the public libraries. There have been a lot of discussions of this in the press recently – Alan Bennett in the Telegraph and Boyd Tonkin in the Independent have both said it better than me.
Meanwhile the LGA and MLA have reported on their Future Libraries programme – and what dispiriting reading that makes! No recognition of the intrinsic value of libraries – just an exploration of the ways to decimate and cut the library services in the name of economy. There are savings that can be made I am sure but cutting librarians, opening hours, or running libraries with volunteers are not the way forward for any good quality service.
So to finish the week I got away from it all by going to my favourite music festival – Fairport’s Cropredy Convention. This advertises itself as the friendliest festival – and it really is. The village really seems to welcome all it’s annual visitors and lays on breakfast in the village hall or the boating club so that those of us who are infrequent campers can eat well – even if we can’t do the camp-fire cooking bit! Then we all get onto the field and watch the most amazing selection of musicians appear before us. Acts varied from UB40, The Blockheads, the Travelling Band, Horslips and Seasick Steve to folk favourites like Lau, the Shee, Moore Moss Rutter and, of course, Fairport themselves – briefly joined on stage by Ralph McTell too! The sound of 20,000 people enjoying themselves and singing Meet on the Ledge at midnight on Saturday is spine tingling. It was also reassuring to go to a festival where camp-site neighbours will lock the car next to them and put the keys into the owners tent rather than steal anything from the car that had been left with the keys dangling in the door! A caring society does exist – we just need to spread the ethos a little more widely.