Like a number of other wibloggers I was at the Greenbelt Festival over the weekend. Here are some of my highlights (in no particular order):
* catching up with friends from far and wide, including a few I wasn’t expecting to see at all and people I haven’t seen for years from various bits of my life.
* spending time with HD 🙂
* Tony Campolo on the Friday night. In the 90s I heard him speak a few times at madchurch, and he is just as engaging and wonderful as ever (and I totally can’t believe he’s now 78! He’s got far more energy than me!). He spoke about the difference between power and authority (taking as his examples the US evangelical movement as an example of those seeking to win through power, but by doing so lacking authority to demonstrate anything other than their own agenda; whilst people like Mother Teresa had an authority borne out of service). It made me think very much about parenting, both how I was parented and the many examples of parenting I have seen over the years of being a health visitor, and thought about how if we are ever blessed with being parents it is a lesson I want to put into practice – not imposing my rules because I’m the parent so what I say goes, but having the authority borne from love and sacrificial giving. Which I know is ever so idealistic, and I’m not putting it very well, but thinking about my own experiences I now know what I’m aiming for (even though this is an entirely hypothetical situation right now, before anyone asks!).
* The Proclaimers. Especially ending their set with ‘500 miles’ (how could they not?).
* Stanley Odd. The rain meant that they had hardly anyone at all seeing them on mainstage which was such a shame as they are great – I hope they can come back and get the audience they deserve another year.
* Transcendence. The one worship service I went to during the weekend. A good place to slow down, and think about why I was there.
* Tiny Tea Tent. Respite from the rain, warming brews and catching up with friends old and new. Perfect.
* Bellowhead. I loved them – where on earth do they get their energy from?
* Imagined Village. Always wonderful. Having lived in Scotland for 7 years now and felt a lot of challenges to my national identity (not anti-English, just difference and awareness of that) they are one thing that always makes me proud of my roots – their music resonates with me in a way that other English stuff doesn’t.
* The Rising with Martyn Joseph on Monday morning (with Abigail Washburn, Luke Sital-Singh and Karine Polwart). I think this was my absolute GB highlight this year. We’d seen Abigail Washburn before at Womad and got her CD, and seen Karine Polwart a few times at various things in Scotland, so knew it would be good, but both they and Luke Sital-Singh were extraordinary and sublime. And I was so happy that Karine Polwart sang ‘Cover Your Eyes’, the song she wrote after seeing the ‘You’ve Been Trumped’ documentary about Donald Trump’s shenanigans with the golf course in Aberdeenshire, and which now closes the film. I was actually moved to tears (just as when I saw the documentary) at what that vile man has done to that beautiful dune system and her quiet rage. There’s a review and interview with her about the new album here.
It was a shame about the terrible weather and the mudbath that the site became, but it didn’t stop us from enjoying it a lot and being so glad we went. I don’t know if we’ll make it next year (it *is* a long way, and there are other things we want to do – let’s see what WOMAD’s line-up is next year) but thanks Greenbelt 2012, it was a blast 🙂