The Rifleman’s Arms in Chilkwell Street, Glastonbury, is a proper pub. It’s the pub I measure all other pubs against, if there’s a Platonic Ideal of Pubs then the Rifle’s, as it is affectionately known, is it. I first drank in there when I came to the town for the 8.8.88 Free Festival on the Tor, and when I moved to Glastonbury in 1993 it became my ‘local’. The pub has buckets of atmosphere with its dimly lit, low ceilinged 16th Century front bar, stone mullioned window frames, old wooden tables and roaring log fires in Winter.
While rummaging in Daisy May’s secondhand shop I was very excited to find a dusty old vellum scroll secreted under some old mattresses, upon unrolling it I discovered it to be an ancient map of Glastonbury, which bore an uncommon resemblance to my own ‘Glastonbury Town Tourist Map’. It’s remarkable to see how little the … Read more
What Glastonbury offers those who move here, or visit at length or frequently, from more anonymous towns all over the UK (and increasingly from all over the world), is an opportunity for reinvention. While ordinariness seems to be something to be striven for in other places here it is scorned. I don’t think there are many here who would describe themselves as say “Just a housewife”, here they become witches, artists, mystics, workshop leaders, Reiki masters, poets, permaculture gardeners, teachers, even bloggers. A hobby or a passion becomes a vocation.
One of the wonderful things about living in Glastonbury is going to visit somewhere else, especially when that somewhere else is a complete contrast to the Town, and is only a 10 minute cycle away. It does sometimes amaze me that people spend a small fortune going on a workshop to find peace and serenity … Read more
Who remembers the days before Pokemon Go, when we walked around and looked at real things in our actual environment? I thought I’d celebrate the particular visual delights Glastonbury has to offer by creating an I-Spy game for the town. See how many you can spot, if you find some good ones tell us about them in … Read more
Some people get confused when I say I live in Glastonbury, they associate the name purely with the Glastonbury Festival and don’t know that the town exists. Sometimes they ask ˜But I thought the festival wasn’t on yet? This is particularly odd when you are talking to them in December. They assume we all live … Read more
An update on my blog so far, or ˜Crikey, this has all got rather exciting”.
I’ve been working for a friend, Daisy Foss, helping run her healing retreat centre and put together her new website and blog. I didn’t really know much about blogging, so I had been looking at the course materials for the course she was doing with a blogger called Sarah Akwisombe. I really liked the way Sarah said blogging was about putting across your own authentic voice and writing about the things that interested you most. Sarah was sweary and funny and honest.
It’s an oft heard complaint that you can’t buy anything useful in Glastonbury. This is of course nonsense. What could be more functional than a mirror ball Ganesha? Who needs underwear when you can simply don a very long cloak? As Kim said to me earlier “I don’t actually want a cauldron, but it’s nice to know I could just pop into the High St and buy one if I did”.
The High Street has changed enormously in the two decades I’ve been here. When I first arrived there were a handful of hippy shops – the Glastonbury Experience Courtyard was already here, so we had Star Child, Margaret Kimber and the Library of Avalon upstairs. Gareth started selling some Buddhist books in a tiny cupboard there which grew into Speaking Tree Books, now a worldwide wholesale business. Bruce had Unique Publications on the High St, there was Gothic Image of course – which was one of the very first alternative shops, there were a few vegetarian cafes – Rainbow’s End, the Blue Note etc. We also had a dress shop which sold the kind of floral frocks stout ladies wear in church, a Woolworths, a shoe shop and a furniture shop and other, rather more ordinary, consumer outlets.
I can’t really take credit for this post. I’ve been busy this week, having a birthday, helping run an Angelic Healing Retreat Centre, organising the infrastructure for a field at Glastonbury Festival, booking pirate folk bands for Tewkesbury Medieval Re-enactment, arranging for this blog to be self hosted and failing to go to the Bardic Trials at the Assembly Rooms because it was just one thing too many. I needed some post content that wouldn’t take too much brain power.
I had some examples of things I’d overheard in Glastonbury already written down and thought they’d make a good start to a post: