Normal for Glastonbury blogger Vicki Steward interviewed by writer and journalist Guy Kennaway
Glastonbury’s Oracle magazine offered me space to promote my book in their September issue, the obvious way to do this was an interview. More accustomed to doing the interviewing myself, I asked my great friend Pilton based writer and journalist Guy Kennaway, to interview me instead, sweetening the deal with the offer of homemade sourdough pizza. He kindly obliged:
“Many people have powerful stories about what brought them to Glastonbury, and Vicki Steward’s is one of the best.
Vicki is a writer whose first book, ‘Normal For Glastonbury’ has just been published. Of all the people who blog about Glastonbury, Vicki is the smartest. She’s also the funniest. I went to meet her in her house to talk to her about her life, the town and the book. She made sourdough pizza while we talked. At 52 she has abundant long hair which frames intelligent eyes, capable of a chilling deadpan stare when she hears something she doesn’t believe, which I suspect is quite often in this town.
Born in Northamptonshire she endured what she described as ‘a boring childhood’ until she met the bikers who lived in her town. ‘They didn’t look boring,’ she told me with a mischievous smile. I asked her when she first visited Glastonbury and got a classic Glastonbury reply: ‘The eighth of the eighth ‘88. For a harmonic convergence on the Tor.’ Being a dyed in the wool skeptic I passed over this without comment. ‘It turned into a free festival. I loved it, but didn’t move here until 1993 .’
Meanwhile, she moved to a housing co-op in the East End of London and worked in an occult bookshop in Covent Garden. By then she was bored of hanging out with bikers “Biker culture was just too racist and misogynist in the end” she said.
‘The one day I saw a front page picture in the Guardian of three girls sat in a ditch crying at the Twyford Down Road Protest, and I thought there is another more interesting and important life out there. A few months later I was living in Glastonbury and those three girls were in my kitchen. My house became a place where road protestors came to chill out’. Like most of us, she has had her fallings out and make-ups with Glastonbury, which included stints in Spain and Ireland. ‘Every time I left I realised people in Glastonbury were just nicer.’
Vicki started the blog that led to the book Normal For Glastonbury in 2016. ‘People kept saying I should start writing but I wasn’t sure I could do it,’ she told me, adding, ‘do you think this pizza needs more cheese?’ The pizza didn’t, and was perfect when she served it up. Just like her writing.
‘I started to blog about the town,’ she continued, ‘the characters, the events and anything else that amused me. Even though some people drive me mad. I refuse to talk about 5G masts, for instance,’.
To visitors of the town I say: just read Normal For Glastonbury and you don’t need to bother with anything else. It’s chief and unusual quality for a book from Glastonbury is that it is not written as therapy. It is honest, funny, and neither gushing or boringly cosmic, and refreshingly produced for the reader and not the writer. When I tell her her website has made her a bit of a celebrity, she says ‘Glastonbury is the celebrity, I’m a mouthpiece.’ Buy her book, and if you see her around town, she’s very approachable, so go and say hello, and hear some of her stories”.
Or click on one of the images to order your copy now:
Guy is a Pilton based journalist and author, he’s always been very supportive of my writing. I’m a big fan of his work too, Bird Brain is a laugh-out-loud story of country folk and reincarnation, while Time To Go is Guy’s own story recounting what happened after his elderly mother asked him to kill her. I recommend both titles as thoroughly good reads and if you buy from the below link I earn a small commission.
Enjoy this post?
Then you’ll love my books – ‘Normal For Glastonbury: Life in England’s Most Magical Town’ and my ‘Crap Views of the Tor’ Postcard Book.
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