So, yesterday. I was doing the Bed'ff Folk Festival. Full of Bed'ff folk, and me with no idea of what they might like to buy. Probably not my stuff. This thing is on every year and it's quite big, but this year there was !sno! so half of it was moved indoors. Or something. It was tres cold, and I had to wear my spectacular noo red coat indoors, which is dispiriting when you wore your fabulous hand-embroidered blouse specially. Aktually it not all bad, I am sounding mythery, but I probably won't go again. I got talked at by the Mayor, who is the smiliest man ever; he asked where my accent was from. From here, thyworshiffulness, honest. Later his lordship did get dressed up in a velvet doublet and hose, which was quite nifty. I took one of my language books so I could get some srs. studying in but it eluded me. I did get asked what I was reading/doing/making faces at the page for. I sez, I am learning [language], as you do in your spare time; pleasant lady says, 'Oh, nice. Are you English?' Well, if I wasn't, then I would be learning ESL maybe. (Do you ever get this? you are asked if you are from [homecountry] whilst in [homecountry]? You can have it.)
I do have some serious mythering though: the music. And I *like* accordians and fiddles and bashing the floor with sticks. At first I was glad of the tunes 'cos there were a couple of music stalls, and one was very carefully tuning miscellaneous stringed instruments for about three bloody hours it felt like. The noise of opera singers on fire would be a nice break, in those circumstances. Appalachian step-dancing is the coming thing, I gather. Grand for those who enjoy it, and good for them that they have found a non-generic hobby (and an actual dance which is not like made-up and trademarked)... but perhaps all the various groups could confer beforehand, txt each other and discuss who's dancing to what. Avoid repeats. Something like a limit of no more than three performances of 'Turkey in the Straw' per day, that would be nice. See, I like a lot of daft music, but most of the trad. English and yeeha American folk tunes sound... stamped from the same sheet of pastry. They all go 'Nee nee nee, nee nee nee nee nee nee *nee*' and don't have much to distinguish, not even a drum solo. At the third go of The Salesman's Happy Finger or somesuch I would have given 3cheers for a drum solo, no lie.
I like my olde/folksy tunes to come with a large slab of suffering, see. If it's based on a long and terrible journey, or involves murders or secrets or QRV/gin, that's grand.
Altogether I made 31 pounds. I took many of my seasonal maiko kanzashi to show, 'cos they are nice for folk to look at (I gather), with an explanatory paper, but no one asked about them. Many comments of 'aren't they *pretty*!' but that doesn't line your pockets, eh? Trouble is I don't know what you would ideally take to a craft fair. I didn't look around this one (I was on my own except for Ben bringing me a big sandwich) but I remember from going to them that there will be: jumpers, things of fleece, that sort; woodturning, maybe, if it's in summer; hopefully fudge, which is excellent (but there was no fudge); doll's house furniture; misc. stuff with your name on; jewellery which is handmade but fairly uninspired. Possibly dog-coats.
If I were bilocating and both visiting and selling at the craft fair, I'd be more interested in things like mine. Jumpers are great but fair ones are likely hand-knitted, which cost immense amounts (rightly so, but I can do that at home). Craft fairs seem to be the folksy semi-rural equivalent of 'vol-au-vents, chicken legs, cheesecake. One table and a shitload o'mirrors.'
Well, there it is. By 4 when it finished I was thinking, I never want to hear any accordian music ever again. But! we were then going up to Leeds to see Gogol Bordello, so you're out of luck there. But that's a different class of accordion altogether. So we go to Leeds. As you kno it's been snowy, and was all the way up to the Yorkshires at least. I hadn't been to Leeds before, and now I've only been to a tiny bit of it in the dark, but it has a lovely Union building (Warwick u suk) and the whole campus looks nice and together. Heartening to see lots of agitatey posters about the govt. cuts and associated bastardry. Anyway, I don't need to tell you that the band were spanking great, that's to be expected, and I am all glad Ben got to see them too 'cos last time I had to go on my own. And there were a few songs he'd not heard and it's quite something to be introduced to new tunes live. (Minor bother: room was very narrow, so you have to compress more to see owt, and so there was more squashing. We ended up about a 3/d of the way back but at least had room for some proper dancing.) Excellent support act also- The Skints- who were all entertaining and had great hats and a really gorgeous and multi-instrumenty singer. Good times.
I had sort of a deep thought, that it must be incredibly gratifying to get your audience singing along in a language that was once as good as outlawed.
Anyway, there it is. Tiring *afterwards*, and why aren't motorway service stations properly open late, and cats' eyes don't work in heavy frost apparently, and I am quite comfortable in snow if I wear the new coat with the fur collar, muff, and ushanka. So it is a pity that I have no toboggan.
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