Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Mud, mud, glorious mud.. and sunburn

I went to Glastonbury and then the following weekend to Beat Herder. At both festivals I was working for the Travelling Homeopaths Collective who provide low cost homeopathy clinics at various events over the summer. Glastonbury seems a long time ago now but thought I'd leave you a few words and pictures. the weather really wasn't great for most of the time - loads of rain and then scorching sun so a weekend of extremes but we still had a good time.

I really do need to mention the mud. It always amazes me that we only have one word for mud in English, when faced with a wet Glastonbury 'mud' just isn't enough to describe the array of conditions underfoot. Squelchy, rutted, slippery, spongy, welly-sucking are just a few of the words that spring to mind.

In the clinic at Glastonbury we saw the usual dodgy tummies, insect bites, hangovers and a lot of hayfever. On the Sunday when the sun came out we treated a fair bit of sunburn, cystitis and headaches. The clinics are always a great way of introducing homeopathy to people who haven't tried it or who want to find out more about what we do. It's great to get the instant positive feedback as many people we have treated pop back in to say they are feeling much better.

There are always loads of bands to see and highlights for me were Elbow and Mumford and Sons but there is so much more to festivals than the music. There are always some unusual outfits on display amongst the acts and the punters. See here for Cee Lo Green and his extraordinary shoulder pads! I can honestly say that one of the best dressed gentlemen on site this year was my husband, Lyndon. He was sporting a suit made from previous years Glastonbury cotton bags which was made by his very talented mum, Joyce. Whilst walking around we came across Colin the Oxfam steward. He had made himself a hoody out of bags whilst working in a quiet night shift.

Colin and Lyndon - snappy dressers

There are many great cabaret and circus acts too. We usually end up in the cabaret tent for a few hours - we saw Mitch Benn on Sunday who is best known for his musical contributions to radio programmes like The Now Show

Here is Mitch with his homage to Bruce Springsteen - 'Glastonbury - Born in Mud'

Beat Herder in the Ribble valley was a very different experience - much, much smaller and the sun was shining! It is a great venue with some quirky features like shops and a stage in the woods. They also have the unique Beat Herder and District Working Men's Social Club with real ales, barmaids in drag, Beat Herder's Got Talent, bands, cheesy disco and 70's pics on the walls. I could have spent all weekend in there!

A number of local organisations got involved which was nice to see. Project 6 from Keighley were there with info about what support they offer for people struggling to cope with drink and drug issues, Hudson's Ice Cream from Chatburn, Bowland Brewery had brewed a special Beat Herder ale just for the festival, Clitheroe Transition Town stall were giving away veg plants and fruit bush cuttings. The highlight for me was the Clitheroe Ladies Circle tea and cake stall. They were so dedicated to their task of providing cake to festival folk that some of them went home on Saturday night to do some more baking.

We were very busy with the homeopathy clinic at Beat Herder and the festival organisers had offered us a free tipi. Our tipi was opposite the Ladybird Project who were offering free workshops all day to show kids (and big kids) how to juggle, unicycle, hula hoop and much more. Ladybird are at several festivals over the summer and well worth a look - I can recommend their cabaret, great entertainment for all ages.

A pic of the THC Beat Herder team on Sunday night after we'd finished work.
Jane Clifford, me, Angie Zajac and Jenny Howarth

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