Glastonbury Festival 08


Arabella died just before Christmas last year. The best obituary online that I have found was written by Michael Eavis and appeared in the Independent.
I was very priveledged to see her the weekend before she died, making a
special journey down to Glastonbury to do so, and then again, sooner
than expected, the weekend after, for her funeral, on Christmas eve.
The Memorial Service in Glastonbury Parish Church and Charity Benefit
evening in the Town Hall in February were moving and very well attended
events – Bella was widely known and widely loved. I am very lucky – and
grateful – to have had the opportunity to tell her, that last weekend,
that she was much loved, and what an honour it had been to have known
her. Her presence here at the Festival is everywhere – particularly in
the minds of all of us who have worked for her for so very many years
and whose tasks here in the Theatre-Circus fields have been honed over
many years of following her direction. The huge peace garden called
“Let it B” in the newly renamed ‘Bella’s Field’ is testimony to her
immense presence here. In my own humble portacabin, where I and my team
of 25 make and distribute the passes that give performers and crew
access to the restricted areas in the heart of the Theatre-Circus
fields, I have made a little shrine of photos and flowers to her memory,
that has caught the attention of and brought back many memories for
some of the many people who have been in to sort out little problems
with their passes.

Bereavement is a strange thing. It changes one’s perspective in many
subtle ways, and can bring through some quite profound realisations
about oneself, one’s life, and the prospects for the future. It can,
despite the loss, bring about some much needed healing of older issues
foregrounded by the deeper pressure of grief. This, indeed, in
surprising ways, has to an extent been my story over the last six
months. This week, in a field in Somerset, has been something of a
culmination of that story of old issues and healing, with people from my
life in the 90s turning up for the first time since, people from my
current life with whom I have had issues recently turning out to be more
than fine in the end, and on top of that a bit of a family reunion with
my sister and her family on my team for the first time (oh the excited
smiles on my niece and nephew’s faces!). I am glad to report a more
settled sense of self than ever before.

Here amongst the madness, chaos, jollity and creativity of the
Theatre-Circus area of the Glastonbury Festival I am at home in a bubble
that seems like a parallel world to the other 51 weeks of the year, a
forever fantastic world filled with old friends in a structure built for
and now sustained by the many wonderful people who were fortunate
enough to become a part of Bella’s world; a place where even in grief,
there is healing. Let it B.

shrine to Bella

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Hope for the World?

Obama Victory Speech
Buried in the half hour victory speech Barack Obama made in St Paul,
Minnsota in which he expertly moves his ecstatic crowd, are some VERY
potent promises about energy policy and addressing climate change. I
confess I am quite excited about the possibility that this man might
really make a change, not just to America, but thereby the whole world.
After the failed years of the Bush administration and its backward
looking policies the world so desperately needs the change this man
seems to promise. I only hope he can deliver – and that he lives to do