Festivals – July 2018 – Lattitude

This was the year of festivals, I’d written it into my New Year resolutions and I actually did it. Late developer or what. I booked WOMAD, Buddhafield, Henry told me of Buddhafield, the usual Folk East, and Latitude.  This write up has never been finished, but I’m putting in the few notes I took then together with the images. It started inauspiciously with Latitude, which provided an excellent yard stick for the rest. It could only get better, and it did.


Lattitude 2018

Roped in easily by a soft irish voice, Ros came air bnb a stranger. First she needed staff and stuff. ‘You’ll need to feed them’, I say, the food at Latitude is excrutiatingly expensive. ‘Can you do it?’ her reply.  Cheese and pate from Clevely’s Water melons from Morisons. The set up was the Hot House – madness in this unusal heat, an open polytunnel, bececked with palms and olive trees (thanks to Michael. But they got it right. Sitting down was popular.

The whole site is huge, dusty and commerical. From empty pasture land, a festival is created, with infrastructure, and satiating the appitite, food, music entertainment, and dealing with the exrement, the shit and waste. Here are some numbers I got. A stall is £4,500 plus electric and water (500) plus 20% of takings. The Falaffal stall took £11,000 in one day last year. Festival Republic the organisers. There is no heart here, just commerce.

Buddhafield July 2018

“And where is your voice from?’ a Navaho Indian returned my question to him back to me, and suddenly Suffolk seemed so far away and I so received, in a field which kept reminding me of India all those years ago.

I tried but could not hold Henry’s suggestion to me of staying local and gradually exploring more each day. Henry who’d suggested this as a festival to go to before Womad: ‘It’s a smaller gentler festival’, he said. So it is I rocked up on Wednesday evening, just in time for the opening ceremony and sit by the fire to meet a Navaho Indian. I had to walk the space first though.

Set in the Mendip hills, surrounded by woodland – some plantation fir, some English birch, beach, hazel, oak – Buddhafield takes place over two fields, enjoined by a Fairy pathway of that raised bank edge they have in this west country and which we lack in the east of England. I’m parked up in the Live-in field, and beyond the tents, which decorate the hill opposite.

Check in. Hairy legged women (Oh Bryan!), men in skirts, faces painted, glorious hats. Indian clothes.

A huddle of people are around a notice board packed full of events – how to choose? I am relieved I can avoid Speed Dating, and Sexual partnering, (although later regret this assumption). There are three distinct areas: DHAMA, HEALING and LAND / SOCIAL JUSTICE.
‘I’m going to aim for 2 things a day and to rest’, said one to another. Good plan, I thought.


1. (I’m going to number after that comment) Run – I’ll find yoga another day, I want to find the land where I am. We are on a farmers land, which is also a local aerodrome. The site is high with easy tracks. 2.5 k.

2. SOLAR – As if Paulo Coello is whispering in my ear do a foreign thing a day (like talk to a stranger a day). No idea what this is. She was late. And Dutch. An ex ballet teacher who’d fallen seriously ill, and healed herself, and so became a healer. The movements were slow and meditative but I wanted something more awakening for the morning. The Chi Gong woke me up and he was on time.

3. LAND and The Commons
Where does the Commons fit in with State and Market? Asked a beautiful student, implementing her PhD on a Commons based system to challenge the predominant capitalist one we exist in now.
Commoning – shared rather than individual property rights. A resource + a community + a set of social protocols. The opposite of commodificiation.
eg Fisheries or sharing water resources.

Commons eg Metfield Stores CIC eg East Lodge – sharing resources. eg Nile water

State Public – eg state owned eg National Health system eg social welfare eg National trust and other such bodies state supported.

Market Private – eg shareholding Corporations

My contribution was Buddhafield as an example: We had all paid to come here but once here all free for common enjoyment and participation.

4. Shiatsu with young Alex
Second choice of the day go to a stranger. £40. Randomly chose Alix out of the circle of camped out healers. She was young and strong. After some fragrance of a bunch of herbs washed over me, she pressed and lay and steadied at various points of the body – meridian points – she explained and once again I felt inadequate to understand and realised how the body had been neglected. Oh India how I miss you. I must have let go and found myself crying at the end. We hugged and I went into the festival.

Slept – it became a habit to have a rest in the afternoon.

5 We the Uncivilised
An award winning documentary it was billed as. In a film tent with the two protagonists, Pete and Lily, introducing the film, inviting a discussion afterwards.
It’s their years road trip to find of the seeds of a different story, to our capitalist system, and with it hope for the future.Grief and hope, meeting extraordinary communities and connections working away, and our yearning to live in relationship to one another and the natural world.

‘Have you seen the Hazel, flower?’ Mac Macartney, founder of Embercombe, asked a person. And I realised hadn’t. Starting at Embercombe, they travelled around encountering people and their stories. Polly Higgins, environmental lawyer, Tinkers Bubble in Sommerset. Dark Mountain project. A Scottish Island. Hastings.
A man, at a breaking point of his life, is advised to sit on a mountain for 4 days and nights. It was many things – above all boring with some moments of ecstatic revelation. ’It changed my life’, he said.

I return to Mac Macartney who said: i know the science and see the patten of human behaviour now I have lived the majority of my life. I see that destruction is inevitable. But having seen that I can still live a good and different life to the one opted for.’

6. The origins
At the Buddhafield shop I found its beginnings. Began in 1995 by some monks from the WBO disillusioned with Sangarachita. There is a story here.


Run  / Chi Gong / Basket weaving / Dosa lunch / Flat Land confrontation to Ball Earth / Angus McEye, (determined son of fire)


Run / Chi Gong / Belonging Workshop / Dance with Denise Rowe /


Run / Chi Gong  (Elephant testicles Wrens Eggs, wiping off dog shit) Land Commons, Ceremony, Dinaz Stafford.


It was at the Petrol Station that I entered back into the other world. The world of drink, brands, the smell of tailor made cigarette smoke. After the Tor, I discovered Clarkes museum of shoes, and smiled to find my first every Start Rite Shoes.


‘You remember when we dressed up in science space suits to protect ourselves against mosquitoes, when we finally found our final picnic place by a lake? ‘
So it goes, Iryna labunska and victor sologub and I recalled over 20 years ago, back in the USSR.
We drank Prosecco on their newly made roof terrace overlooking from already high on Becon Hill to the hills beyond, this warm summer evening. Of course we drink. How could one not drink with Ukranians, for even in an Exeter suburb we are back in Ukraine.
‘I will never go back’, says Iryna – ’It will make me too angry what is happening there.’

We eat salted herring, and Iryna cooks chicken. Chicken of course. Remember those Bush legs? The only food we could find in bulk at the time, as George Bush 1 had done a deal with Gorbachovs Russia, and let them have what the Americans didn’t like the legs (Americans of course loved plump breasts) in exchange for something which must be flooding America now. So we ate Bush legs for breakfast lunch and dinner.

I asked about Greenpeace India and the court case. Greenpeace funds had been seized and the Government were doing a purge on outside funded organisations who were detrimental to Indian development.

Iryna the precise scientist: I will be 7 or 9 minutes away.
Iryna the precise scientist on cigarettes: These are 0.4 tar compared to the Ukranian 0.1 tar.

Her final Greenpece work is fittingly in collaboration with Ukraine and concerning Chenoble. 1984. The health effects of people – particularly kids – drinking milk contaminated with Caesium-137 – yes the grass around is still radioactive. It messes up the whole insides, irradiates it. There is a solution, and Iryna published a paper putting forward how this solution could be implemented.

Her last task before leaving for work at GP exeter Lab is to water her garden – a roof of tomatoes and small cucumbers.

An easy 10 minute drive away further into town, once again on a hill, with sun streaming in the newly refurbished sitting area – velux x 6 slant down the roof, and where the window was a french door with glass outside tempting a lean onto it to look out over the habitation and hills of Exeter. The Cathedral is not quite in site just around the corner. Ruth has transformed their living space. I sit in her comfy chair and watch swifts cut the air coming in and out of the nest box they’ve put up. Last year they installed the boxes and played the call of the swift – its worked for this year they are here. Sparrows land on the rosemary, feed from her bird feeder.

However, no dallying for she is busy. Fresh back from a month in various countries promoting Health Care without Harm, (with a brief sojourn in Cornwall to see parents and Bev) she is urgently into her railway alotment, as the inspectors are coming today.

Putting up deck chairs on the Titanic.


I’d booked Womad late one night in dark december and foolishing through a 3rd party, not only paying over the top (300 rather than 185) but came a cropper at the entrance. Tickets not valid.

Started by Peter Gabriel in the 70’s, the first year a financial failure, rescued by Genisis and never looked back.

Rendez-vous with Serena at Hen’s estate pad, 3 miles from the site. Hen is a healer. Set up camp finally  under a fine Lime tree near to Chalcot house.

Buddhafield v WOMAD
3,000 v 35,000
£3 mobile charge v £20
£8 food v £10
Men in skirts v No men in skirts

Naturally I worked the field, happy to find Falafal from Buddhafield here, a friend, ate delicious pad thai. Bed watching the huge moon.

1. Run – plenty of good tracks around the stately home. Church locked. All pristine
2. Yoga – its been a long time. Iyenga would be 100. Full hall good teacher.
3. Bollywood – boot camp good workout
4. Jose Ferrera Cuban Street salsa worskhop. Brilliant. I have so much to learn. I danced the mans part to a woman who knew Graham Elliot!
5. Physics
6. Gasper Nali workshop with Serena Marion etc. But fell asleep
7. The original Gypsyes

Saturday  – CERN day
Jasper Kirkby a physist at CERN talked of CLOUD theory begun 20 years previous, and how this contributes to our current knowledge of climate change.
COSMIC RAYS, effect clouds and aerosols do effect the climate. In 1750 fewer clouds because less sulphur dioxide. But nature has ways of making clouds.

The joy of listening to a physist from CERN, affirming the fundamental knowledge so welcomed from the Open University on ice-core data and the Keeling Curve.

Fuller of people, families arriving. Rain cam early light morning. No run, lay in. Yoga not as good, the man cracked jokes.

Salsa, found a man to partner, and learned the womans part!

Matt Harvey interviewed Jess Thorn talking tourettes. Not an easy task. Biscuit, hedgehog sausage fuckit. Ticks punctuate. Donald Trump is dead (came from somewhere) ‘I’m often pronouncing someone dead and petrified (BISCUIT) Radio 4, if I said the queen is dead. Matt asks do you tick in your dreams?

Aheaus Ahmad – Syrian refugee now in Gemany, on the piano. In all his stories, everyone dies.

Mamal Hands – Pub Barrats son on drums

Writing workshop. 10 nouns: Umbrella, Indian bean tree, bacon, chair, rain, dosa. 10 adjectives: Foolish, dreamng, generous, naughty, lonely, popular, yogic. Mix them. Naughty bacon.

It was a suburban digeredoo blowing under the dancing indian bean tree, while the scent of naughty bacon that moved the main in the lonely chair to aise and done is yogic cagole, in search of a focus in his mind, a yearning for an immigrant dosa.

Human Books and OSHO

At eh end he said
Your eyes are clear and open(I’d say the same of you)
I feel you are so open so I’m wondering why you are alone.
Try Guardian soul mates he said as wafter we embraced to leave. I am almost tempted.

Rachel Riley -t this isn’t a letter this is my arms around you for ahile. Katherine Mansfield, and handwriting

When Stars Collide (Andrew Levan) began with the periodic table. The bases: Hydrogen Helium 14 billion years later, C, Fe, Au, U, heavy. Light to heavy. What about the heavy elements. 7 times every second a star collapses. how do we know? Beause every element creates a different colour spectrum

Serena and I ate falaffal watching the sun go down through the hair of young girls. ‘Lets ride the wheel!’ They gave us 3 turns, S offering comfort to my suddent birtigo anticipation. Above tree hight, we saw weather coming in.

Moonlight Benjamin. Front rowe egged on by S, small barefooted woman who moved and sang with equal dexterity.

Bed beside the long married couple. In the morning their auto sleeper is gone, and so the chance of asking their name.

Monday – i do not dally. Back to dogs, via Oxford, via Hen and a rainbow, who dance with her hoop and I wished i had one too.

Back to Simon Flowerdays funeral. Aged 58, far too young. I only knew him in his overalls, as part of R&S, Rain and Shine, Shirley and Simon, they came to service our electronic gates.

Sommerset house, Lori, Deborah, Jackie Styles, Rhadica,


Camped in the now usual place under Glenham great limes listening to the life and death of Aretha Franklin. Rosa Parks, Martin Lutha, Obhama. Detroit Babtist. The music that brings divided people together. RESPECT, I say a little prayer for you.

During this time Michael Imison declared his hand. I know I’d rather be 20 years younger. Gill (Becky 2nd in command) not here as her 2nd husband almost died.

Kinodrome. Bungay Horse Fair, insprired by Medieval fayers, rough fighting one moment and giving out of Daffs the next. Suffolk faces long dead. Tweed backs and hats. Applby Fair.

Sunday backwards. Sleeping in Mazda van. Watching John Rowe walk into the night at 2am. As Misha tells me another story, i realise my mind is too full for a friend of a friends story. A friend is sufficient.

The Younguns hilarious.

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