Musical festivity, surreal moments and crazy tattoos.

Home from the US and as usual I’ve hit the ground running. I’ve been trying to finalise the programme for Sark whilst also writing a children’s book idea ready for a meeting on Tuesday.

How funny can life be? Last week I was a guest at the Newport Jazz Festival in Rhode Island and last night I was invited to attend the Glastonbury extravaganza which took place in the grounds of Glastonbury Abbey and ended with a fantastic firework display.

I hadn’t realised until I was shown to ‘priority parking’ that I was indirectly a guest of the man himself Michael Eavis. When I arrived I was asked if I knew Michael. I simply said yes and the next thing my daughter and I were parking up alongside the stage with all the headliners and sponsors. Clearly where we belong!

Slipping through a make-do stage door we suddenly appeared amongst a 10,000 crowd all waiting for a night of great music, picnics and plenty of laughter.  From the start the evening was electric.  It was the 19th Glastonbury Abbey Extravaganza and the main acts were Ray Davies and The Shires.

I hadn’t realised how many Ray Davies hits I knew from his days with The Kinks. I’m sure all 10,000 were dancing and singing along to Sunny Afternoon, You Really Got Me, Waterloo Sunset and Lola. Although Ray was an amazing showman and certainly stirred up the crowd,  for me the Shires were just fab. I’m loving country and for a British country duo to get into the top 10 is just amazing. The Shires – you rock!!

My host for the evening was Master of Wine Neil Tully. In fact he is Mr Wine! While I sat listening to great music I was also educated about what I was drinking. Really interesting but after a few glasses of bubbles I really didn’t care what I was drinking.

Sunday morning was a very leisurely read of the paper then Sunday lunch. Then before I set off back to Wales my dear friend, the wonderful violinist Kerenza Peacock sent me a message via Facebook asking if I wanted to meet up for coffee. Turns out that she was at the concert last night too.

So I’m sitting in the George and Pilgrim hotel drinking coffee with Kerenza. She’s brought her dear friend who only happens to be New Zealander Hayley Westenra – international recording artist. We’re in a beer garden together, and I know it’s Glastonbury – you know, free spirit and everything – but my daughter, Kerenza and Hayley are covering themselves in semi permanent tattoos. I’ve even had a couple myself. Gosh I love Glastonbury!  

Oh this sounds like I’m exaggerating but Myfi and I are having a curry before leaving Glastonbury and Russell Brand is on the next table. Can I really go and say hello? Next thing I know, my daughter and Hayley are running down the street after him having left me holding the curry. So I guess not! Next time maybe!

This article was originally published in the Carmarthen Journal in Mark’s weekly column for the paper.

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