We headed South after that run of gigs, keen to sleep. The long haul of the tour was starting to make itself felt. Two nights in Dursley thanks to the wonderful Jarrad and then South to Dorset and the Sunray Folk Club in Broadmayne. This is a newish club but Bob and the gang have done a terrific job. There's a real community feel, the audiences are substantial and enthusiastic and everyone seems keen to join in and make a success of the club. They were a lovely crowd.
Next day it was time to head back to Eden, with a short detour via the Cerne Abbas Giant. While the sign said that they'd been a bit lax with the application of sheep in recent months (to clear the grass away from the chalk outline), I'm glad we made the detour. (One theory is that he marks the site of the death of a Danish giant who led an invasion of the area. His head was cut off while he slept and the villagers drew a chalk outline around him - presumably "crime scene" tape was unavailable. This theory does not explain the need to create an anatomically correct representation of the slain foe. I mean, 30 feet!!!! And why the nipples?)
But we only had a little time to linger at this ancient crime scene. We were off to Eden. I'd met one of the directors of the Eden Project, Caroline Digby, in 2007 when she took part in the Great Debate at the Woodford Folk Festival. She showed us around the Eden site in Cornwall on our last trip and had invited us to join her for another look around and to catch the final night of the Eden Sessions, a series of concerts held on a purpose-built stage in the middle of the project. (For those who've just come in, the Eden Project is a vast educational and environmental display centre, built in an abandoned quarry in Cornwall. Vast domes, or biomes have been constructed there, containing controlled environments, such as the Tropical Biome to show visitors biodiversity up close. There are huge gardens and displays and everywhere you turn there is creativity, education and delight. We loved it. They know how to party in Cornwall -
KT Tunstall was the act on for the final night. The sound was perfect, the venue was gorgeous, but the music let us down a bit. A few too many 4/4 pop songs for my liking, but still a fun show. I was happy to be there, but by the end, we were all keen to get away and head to bed. I'm sure it comes down to personal taste, but I had much more fun catching the Eden Choir performing with Audible (a local beat-boxer) in the Mediterranean Biome. Here's a snatch:
We woke up at Caroline's house in the seaside village of Pentewan, with the sun shining and the beach awaiting our previously boot-clad toes. Fantastic! We had three days of blissful lying about, visiting the beach, John saw The Dark Knight Returns (Heath Ledger - Wow!!!!!!), there was music, food and more lying about. Just what was needed.
After the delights of Cornwall and a day at St Ives, we spent a solid day driving East to Essex. Once again, Jonny and Vicki opened their house to us (thanks guys) and now we are preparing for the flight to Denmark tomorrow.
A joyful time.
More to follow. Love from the road,
John, Nic and Bec