They’re singing sea shanties. I’m at a festival where the lineup includes Jarvis Cocker, Luella Bartley, and Diana Athill and here is a Cornish men’s vocal group singing a capella sea shanties. The crowd— a mix of people my age, my parents’ age, and children— lap it up. This is either the weirdest or most brilliantly eclectic festival out there. I have fallen down some kind of rabbit hole into an alternate British universe without irony or hipsters. I am so confused.-Lauren Elkin
I've been musing with a friend about a Bath-Wales-Cornwall trip when I'm feeling better & have the wherewithal. When I saw Lauren Elkin's Maîtresse post, You haven't lived until you've seen an English field full of teepees at twilight, I thought, aha Port Eliot. Yep. You can read Lauren's Letter from Cornwall: the Port Eliot Festival on Bomb . It's pretty inclusive. (I would've loved the Persephone tent arranged as Vanessa Bells's Bloomsbury sitting room. I don't see any photographs but I shall pursue. Here's the Persephone blog.)
Teepees are OK but I'm the Gypsy Bowtop Caravan type. Enough tents in my lifetime, thanks. The kids atop a bovine is not from the festival. I'm looking for decently priced rainboots. (To everyone who will email: Hunters, yes I know. The prices are out of the question presently & for the abstract future. Update--I forgot to say that they're now made in China. So, ugh.) I had wet feet most of last winter. Plus, it's so hot out, that I need to look at something green. My paternal grandparents had a cow* that I don't remember riding but I choose to believe that I did. And if I'm not mistaken, some time ago my father either bought a cow-out-to-pasture for hanging out or he meant to. Anyway, I've done this, yes.
From the website: This year the Idler’s Academy of Philosophy, Husbandry and Merriment opens its doors for the first time. Tom Hodgkinson, editor of cult magazine The Idler, has established the Academy as a resource for these three valuable but generally neglected disciplines. This year’s curriculum includes Latin grammar, scything, woodwork, education theory, poetry and, of course, lashings and lashings of fun...
Bring on the rest of the weirdness.
[photograph of teepees by Bill Bradshaw; Gypsy Caravan via Port Eliot site; *bulls & asst. cattle are still bovine]