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Halloween in Glastonbury, how can you tell?

November 1, 2013

So let me talk you through Glastonbury. Famous for the nearly annual music festival which attracts 100,000 plus people and sells out in under an hour, it is perhaps not surprising that the shops in this disappointing village are swamped with new age, alternative shops offering a range of goods which would not ordinarily be available in an old English town.

The smell of petuli oil is all-pervading and to start with, being a bit of an old hippy myself, I thought I might like it. However, when almost every shop is offering this type of merchandise, and on every street corner are unwashed dishevelled people with rat tails hair styles, I quickly decided that my hippy days are over. The town itself is massively disappointing. I expected a slightly bigger version of Arundel; a lovely old country town with a handful of great pubs and an attractive atmosphere. I got a nice old High street, albeit plagued with stores selling stuff that no self-respecting person would ever want to buy, surrounded by a massive overbuild of undesirable housing. Not even a decent pub to be found at lunchtime,

Anyway, after the pub search ended in failure although not for want of trying, and after a siesta, we readied ourselves for the reason for the visit, an appearance by Wild Willy Barrett at the Hawthorns in the heart of the village. Had that been open during the day then a would have found a decent pub.

Whilst discussing with That Nice Lady Decorator my impressions of the inhabitants of this iconic town, she made a telling contribution; it being Halloween and with a gothic theme running through the local populace, she said she could not tell the difference between normal residents and people dressed up for Halloween. One should perhaps be wary when talking fashion on the vicinity of Wild Willy Barrett, who, past 60, still sports hair down to his waist and wears a hat at all times, but for once he seemed perfectly at home in his surroundings.

halloween body

A local inhabitant of Glasto?

He is an enigma. Supremely talented, but you can never be sure if that talent will show up. Last night it did and it was a fantastic show. No more than about 50 people could cram into the room where he and his band were plying in this lovely pub, but to a man, all were enthralled by the performance, not of The French Connection, one of his recent entities, but Sleeping Dogz, specially renamed Scary Dogz for Halloween. it features his sublime talents on banjo, fiddle, guitar and keyboards, but also a cellist and a percussionist who also has the only electric bagpipes I have ever seen. Not a traditional line up by any means. the gig coincided with a curry night, a chance to sample 5 different curries, a buffet for £13.50 a head, which would have been cheap except for the three bottles of Rioja which we consumed during the evening.

The hotel, the George and Pilgrim (I had to make clear to the Reverend Jeff that I was staying in the George part, not wanting to associate with with the Pilgrim bit, was charming in part but downmarket in general. I shall not be returning.

So this morning, we will set off east, not knowing exactly where we are going, with the vague intention of getting back to Arundel later today or tomorrow if we find somewhere we want to go. There is something about getting older and losing the day to say responsibility for Sprogs that us liberating, a kind of freedom one loses with responsibility, that I love. Of course, my responsibility for ensuring that anyone I come across who has a foreign exchange need should be using the services of Currencies Direct.

Chris France

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Patrick permalink
    November 1, 2013 10:36 am

    With streaks of bright green, yellow and red,
    Stiffened whorls of wild knots on their head,
    Rastafari wear dreadlocks
    (Bob Marley-like head locks)
    Crimped, not for neatness – for cred instead.


  2. howzaaat permalink
    November 1, 2013 11:23 am

    Folk and Country is the music they play
    With guitars, drums, and fiddles today.
    You’ll hear, too, steel guitars
    In a few of the bars,
    Pubs and garages Glastonb’ry way.


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