Tag Archives: Greenbelt

Hurray!!

Well people I am going to disappear for a couple of weeks. We are off camping today for a few days and then off to Greenbelt for Bank Holiday weekend. I can’t wait, even thought the weather report is pretty dire!

So. see you when I get back, when I will undoubtedly have lots of photos to share!!!

A holiday of three parts

I have had a brilliant couple of weeks… but it has been pretty hectic. So, here is a quick run down.

PART 1
P1010698Firstly The Mister and I flew to Guernsey for my cousin Matthew’s wedding. It was in the most beautiful venue, on top of the cliff and the weather was lovely. The bride looked wonderful and had some fab bridesmaids, and the bridegroom and his 7 best men all looked very dashing in their feature hats. The evening do featured both the bride and the bridegroom’s bands and a marvellous time was had by all.

I love my family. They certainly know how to have a good time and this wedding was a classic example of a good time being had by all!

(for more pics click on this one to go to flickr)
———————————————————————————————————————————
PART 2
P1010871After flying back from Guernsey The Mister and I drove up to Wales to spend some time camping with friends and their two boys, as well as being close enough to spend some time with birdie and family.

We had a fabulous few days, even though the weather was rather too blustery at times and made the tents rock in a rather alarming manner in the middle of the night. It was fab to spend some time with birdie, especially as I hadn’t met her daughter yet which was pretty appalling as she is over a year old now The Groover seriously kept me entertained. I don’t know how mr and mrs birdie do it. He is so full of beans he exhausting, but I adore him, he is such fun!!

We also went to Hay-on-Wye for the day and spent loads of time wandering around bookshops (this is probably The Mister’s favourite activity of all time) as well as eating the most fabulous ice-cream sundaes.

A lovely few days and a much needed rest in the middle of the madness.
———————————————————————————————————————————
PART 3
P1010932P1010907Greenbelt!!! Once again we made the annual pilgramage to Cheltenham racecourse to wander aimlessly, listen to talks and music and to spend time sitting in the Tiny Tea Tent or the Beer Tent, chatting with old friends and watching the world go by. In some ways it was a little like returning to the scene of the crime as The Mister and I got together in the Beer Tent last year (photograpic evidence!!!) It was very different doing Greenbelt as part of a couple for the first time. I loved it in so many ways, but it also meant I had to be not so selfish. I guess the nice thing was wandering off to do our own things and then meeting up later. Fabulous stuff.

Highlights for me were seeing Ockham’s Razor which were an aerial gymnastic/circus act. It was absolutely fantastic and well worth seeing!!! The other highlight had to be Beer and Hymns. I love this event so much. The singing is quite divine, the beer is good, and in general people take part in this event with a huge amount of fun, but also a great deal of sincerity. I have never doubted that the people who go to B&H’s really mean what they sing, and in some way it is way more liberating than church. Singing at the top of your voice with several hundred other people is a wonderful experience.

Greenbelt is an amazing place. So much to see and hear, so many friends to pass the time of day with and so much time to think, and be and enjoy.

The Gayification of Greenbelt?

The very kind Dave Walker pointed me in the direction of the Anglican Mainsteam blog, and in particular a post by Lisa Nolland called Greenbelt, ‘gay evangelicalism’ and CMS: Summer 2009. One of the standout quotes is as follows…

Finally, perhaps most galling is the deeply discriminatory nature of the programme, which presents itself as the antithesis of discrimination. Given the resources and people which such recent events as Sex and the City, The Big Question, and the Moral Maze, showcased, there is no reason why Greenbelt should only push one ideological agenda and only grind one axe, unless it is wanting to slant the argument and deprive its audience of expert opinion on the other side. What about equal air time for it? What about poster boys or girls for the ex/post-gay movement being handed the microphone, instead of just Gene Robinson (again), with his sadly amaturish biblical hermeneutic? Given that Greenbelt has invited so many people who strongly promote a different sexual ethic to that of a traditional Christan sexual ethic, the least they could do is allow equal air time for traditional sexual views.

I found this especially interesting in, as she calls, the ‘discriminatory nature of the programme. It seems to be that Greenbelt over the last couple of years has actually decreased the amount of high-profile gay, lesbian, bi and trans people involved in speaking and performing at the festival. Certainly those who are focussing on sexuality as a primary issue anyway. It also irritated me that she describes Athlete and Royksopp as “gay bands”. For a start I didn’t even know they were gay. Surely a band is just a band, if they happen to be gay, lesbian, bisexuals or trans does it really matter? Most people will be going to see them play music, not because they are gay or whatever.

Interestingly conversations I have had with gay men and women have seemed to suggest that they feel that Greenbelt has actually built themselves a a gay ghetto with the creation of Outerspace. Instead of having LGBT people involved with every part of the festival they are kind of shunted into a corner and left to get on with it. The label sticks and rather than challenge it directly there is a rather more subversive feel to it. I am not sure how I feel about that perspective myself. I would like to see all parts of the festival being inclusive and I am slightly uncomfortable with the creation of specialist groups such as this. However, I also recognise that there is a need for individuals to be offered a safe space to discuss potentially difficult and emotional subjects.

I expect this is a subject that is going to run and run, especially with more mainstream conservative people getting offended with what they perceive as the ‘Gayification of Greenbelt’. Personally I say, BRING IT ON! Big parties, fabulous clothes and a deep sense of joy about a festival that is truly wonderful. The gayer the better 😀

Go on… you know you want to!

Last year’s Greenbelt was a slightly weird one for me. Not only were my best mate birdie and her family absent due to the birth of baby Ginger, but also my friend and fellow drinking companion Peterson was conspicuous by his absence.

I am really hoping that he will be invited back this year, maybe to perform his show Transfigurations which I had the privilege of seeing performed back in May last year. It is very different to Peterson’s previous works… much quieter, stiller and very thought-proviking. There are still some comedy moments in it, but they are somehow much more subtle.

Anyway, if you would like to see Peterson perform at Greenbelt this year then I suggest you send a little e-mail to Greenbelt asking them if he will be performing. It will make me happy anyway. Here is there e-mail address for your convenience… info@greenbelt.org.uk … go on… e-mail them… you know you want to!

(… the picture of me and Peterson was taken at Greenbelt in the Jesus Arms a couple of years ago. We were quite… erm…. relaxed by this point in the evening!)

Greenbelt 2008

Well Greenbelt is over for another year. It was a lot muddier and a bit wetter than last year, but in general it was fine. Thank goodness for wellies is all I have to say!

This year I went with my friends OJ and Jonathan and we had a wonderful time. As always I mark down in the programme loads of things I want to see and only go to about half of them. Part of the problem is that I have such a short attention span at times so I tend to leave when I get bored. The highlight for me was seeing Brian Houston in the performance cafe. He was fantastic as usual and the venue was packed. Also Beer and Hymns was marvellous. I actually find it quite moving to hear so many people singing hymns and being very genuine about it, even if they have a pint of very nice organic beer in their hand. In fact, the beer tent was marvellous all round. Great beer, great people and one or two surprises along the way 😉

So, here are some photos for your perusal…

DSCN5070DSCN5103
DSCN5107DSCN5097
DSCN5161DSCN5142

Greenbelt

This weekend I am heading off to Greenbelt. As usual I am ridiculously excited. I am so looking forward to seeing lots of different people, listening to different speakers and hearing all sorts of types of performers. Somehow though it is just the atmosphere and the people I see that make the difference. Also, the chance to chill out and relax. Once I have put the tent up and dumped the car in the car-park it is lovely to know I don’t have to go and get it until Tuesday morning. Those few days of not having to be anywhere in particular and the ability to run on my own pace and schedule is more relaxing and restorative than a fortnight off anywhere else. So, I will see some of you at Greenbelt, and I will be back blogging on Tuesday I would think! Seeya!!!