Thursday, February 19, 2015
The words struck a chord with me. It seemed to be about me. It was all about this adventure of self discovery and personal growth involving Insight Seminars,Ta'i Chi, Astrology, Tantric Sex, Re-incarnation, Hypnotism, and loads of other stuff. " I want some of this", I thought to myself. I was thinking more of the tantric sex. Anyway I decided that if the weather was nice on Tuesday morning I would get out of Westbury and where better to go to than Glastonbury, the world centre for spiritual growth and new age alternative life-styles. I only live 25 miles from Glastonbury and I have been there loads of times so I needed a new reason to go. To do something that I had never done there before.Then I remembered another book I had read a couple of years ago called Glastonbury,Avalon Of The Heart by Dion Fortune. I had discovered this book because of being a Van Morrison fan. On Van's album Enlightenment there is a song with a similar title and I am convinced that the book was the inspiration for the song. Glastonbury is situated in the Vale Of Avalon which was a huge influence for Van in the 1980's. Dion Fortune lived in a tiny house at the foot of Glastonbury Tor and when she died in 1946 she was buried in Glastonbury cemetery. I decided that I would go and see if I could find her grave. I put my copy of the book in a plastic bag and and put a little note in it saying whoever finds the book is welcome to it and I sealed it with sellotape to keep out the rain. This is what I was going to leave on the grave of Dion Fortune. Crazy I know but as Van might say, " It ain't why, it just is". If you have never heard of Dion Fortune then I suggest that you read about her on Wikipedia, I can't be bothered to tell you all about her here when you can find it all at the click of a mouse.
Fifteen minutes later I arrived at the cemetery entrance. Inside the deserted graveyard there was a really peaceful atmosphere, not a cloud in the sky and just the sound of birdsong disturbing the tranquillity. I had expected my intuition would lead me to the grave like a holy magnet but after a few minutes I realised that I had a major problem. There were hundreds of graves, a lot of them covered in lichen and so worn that you couldn't hardly read the inscription. I wandered up and down the rows for about half an hour looking at graves that looked about 70 years old. "This is impossible", I thought to myself and was beginning to despair.
Then I noticed a van parked nearby with a man in it eating sandwiches. " He must be a gravedigger or a sexton or whatever you call them", I thought, "He might be able to help". He put down his sandwich and gave a cheery smile. "I wonder if you can help me, I'm trying to locate a grave but I don't have a clue where it is. Violet Mary Evans better known as Dion Fortune". " I know exactly where it is", he replied, "You're not the first person to ask me about that grave,I'll show you it". " Oh brilliant, thanks mate".
He led me up towards the far end of the cemetery and then down a few rows and there it was, my quest was over. I had found the grave of Dion Fortune. I thanked him and shook hands and he left me alone at the graveside. Even after 69 years she obviously still had visitors because there were recent flowers left there and various trinkets and things. I took a few photos and then I noticed just a few feet away the grave of her patron and secretary in the Fraternity Of The Inner Light Charles Thomas Loveday who died in 1948 so I took a photo of that as well.
Wednesday, February 04, 2015
In the interval I knew I had to get the new CD in case I didn't have time at the end. Having played it three times now I must say it is a labour of love, not only in the great,well produced music but in the whole design and artwork and a brilliant booklet with all the information you need. At the back of the hall we met Simon Nicol who was kind enough to let us take a couple of photos. All the band were chatting to the fans which is great of them.You would think they would prefer a bit of a sit down in the interval.
The second half began with Peggy and Chris Leslie starring in The Fylde Mountain Time and Roger Bucknall's Polka. The tunes take their name from the Fylde Guitar Company who made Peggy and Chris's bouzouki's. The Wassailing Song was next featuring Chris Leslie. If you don't know what wassailing is look it up on Wikipedia like I did. It's all to do with going from house to house singing Christmas Carols in the winter or singing to trees in cider apple orchards in the summer. Mercy Bay was the next song. It is all about Lord Frankin's doomed expedition to the icy wastes of Canada in 1850 and I thought Gerry Conway on drums who had kept a great rhythm all night was really brilliant on this one. Love At First Sight written by Chris was next and is a song about a girl who disguises herself as a man to join a Morris Dancing team. A song from Liege And Lief, one of the best albums ever made followed which is Crazy Man Michael.
Then disaster struck, Jacquie pointed to her watch. It was 10.30. Two and a half hours had shot by and I had ordered a taxi thinking it would be all over by now.It's my own fault for going to all those 90 minute Van Morrison shows. It was too late to cancel the taxi, he was already waiting. We heard one more song which was called Home and written by PJ Wright. Simon did another great performance on this and then we had to drag ourselves away. I bet Fairport played on for at least another half an hour. They looked like they were enjoying themselves. I wasn't familiar with a lot of the songs but I didn't mind one bit because I don't like bands that live in the past. Fairport Convention are alive and well and coming up with great new music.We headed home in time for a last drink in The Ludlow Arms after a great night. Thank you very much Fairport Convention and I urge you to see them on this tour if you get the chance and buy the new album because it is great.
Tuesday, January 06, 2015
"Oh Belfast Cowboy,lay your cards on the grade,
Oh, Belfast Cowboy can you call a spade a spade?.
Oh, Belfast Cowboy lay your cards on the table,
Oh Belfast Cowboy do you think You're able?"