About Me

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Bristol , United Kingdom
I'm co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy, which provides advice for poets on writing, editing and publishing, as well as qualified counselling support for those exploring personal issues in their work - https://theleapingword.com. My fifth poetry collection, Learning Finity, is now available from Indigo Dreams or directly from me.

Sunday 7 August 2011

Blackbeard's Tea Party in Sidmouth, 2011

John Betjeman loved Sidmouth for its 'timeless charm'.  I love it for its annual folk festival, and last Thursday we ventured over the River Exe to see Blackbeard's Tea Party perform at the Anchor.  

It was the first time in some years that the town and surrounding cliffs weren't dressed in shades of grey for my visit.  I love Sidmouth when it's all misty and mysterious, but I have to say, the sunlit view along the coast to Beer Head was just stunning.

The moment we walked into the town centre, I heard the opening bars of a familiar piece of music, and as we rounded the corner, there were Blackbeard's Tea Party busking on the pavement.  My nephew, David, is in the centre on the djembe, and his girlfriend, Laura, is playing the fiddle.  Before the first song had finished, people were dancing in the streets (me included).  

We had a few hours to idle away before the gig proper, so we wandered through the streets and up to the front. There were statues and cats to fraternise with ... 

... and hat stalls to patronise ...  

...plus all the other sights and delights of folk week in Sidmouth.  

The gig when it happened was brilliant fun - so many people of all ages dancing, including a team of female rapper sword dancers with a very sexy, top-hatted Tommy - and I discovered that I can whoooo! after all.  Apart from the member of the folk police who remarked 'Well, that's a social faux pas for a start!' when David walked on stage with his djembe and who didn't stay to hear the band play, I would defy anyone to leave without a smile on their face.

In the end, they ran out of CDs to sell, and had a great festival (apart from Paul having a head-on collision with a drunk driver six miles out of Sidmouth, but that hasn't happened yet in this account, and anyway, he was uninjured, though the car was a write-off). It would be really good to see them somewhere  more official next year, though. The Ham Marquee would do.

There was just time on the way back to the car for a last bit of magic. Writing in fire.  Poetry.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you had an amazing time! I love the new hat too! Very much suits you.