Saturday was a huge day in the dovegreyreader tent. A succession of authors plus an interview on the Five Dials stage and I don't mind admitting that the preparation, though incredibly pleasurable, has also been like sitting a degree, with a great deal of information to hold in my head and in my notebook. I have been known to get slightly panicky if seperated from this notebook and pen for longer than ten minutes. I stuck the Angie Lewin on the front to make me think summer sun way back in February.
'Chatting' with authors belies the intense concentration required so 'tis true that after seven hours of that and by about 8pm on Saturday night, well I was about ready for slippers, cocoa and bed.
But no, I'm a grown-up after all and much as I may have yearned for a wheelbarrow to sleep in while Bookhound pushed me around... this we discover is the vehicle of choice at festivals, dozens of children curled up asleep in wheelbarrows whilst their parents enjoyed the evening, so we decided to brave it all. Having queued for freshly-cooked Thai noodles we walked down to the river and the outdoor Paradiso cinema to catch the beginning of a film, if only to sample the plein-air movie experience.
The Red Shoes was about to start to a backdrop of the darkening sky, the Brunel viaduct and the river but we had dancing shoes of our own to get on and a 10.30pm appointment in the Big Top with Bellowhead.
Just brilliant as we knew they would be.
I'm a bit late discovering lead singer Jon Boden's A Folk Song a Day project but you can catch up with it here. Jon Boden has a wonderfully in-tune live voice as do those who sing with him, and the seemingly relaxed yet frenetic mayhem happening on stage belies an incredibly tight musicality. And everyone seems to play such a wide range of instruments, there's the brass section ooompahhing over on one side and the strings on the other. One minute Rachael McShane is cosied up with her cello and the next she's jigging around having a fiddle (if you see what I mean.) Then a couple of them pull tin whistles out of their pockets and let loose on those and then Paul Sartin drops his oboe and gets fiddling (oh dear, if you see what I mean again). I'll stop there because it'll only get worse but if Bellowhead are playing near you definitely don't miss them, we'll certainly be there if they come back to Devon.
Having been up since 6am our batteries finally ran down just before midnight, and fearful of turning into pumpkins we headed up the hill to the car and home, singing and jigging as we went.
It was a pleasant surprise to meet Paul Sartin from Bellowhead (that's him on the phone) who came up to the dovegreyreader tent for William Fiennes's event on Sunday, so we had a lovely chat with him and looooook, he sent me a Bellowhead picture for you all.