A Moving Tale

David and Fran Taplin

A guest post from David Taplin. “Just as the people we have been in our past are still alive within us, the Glastonbury I first knew and loved 45 or more years ago seems to me very much still alive within the current town; it’s like having a foot in two worlds simultaneously (rather appropriate for this place, perhaps)”.

Shepton Mallet – Less Rubbish, More Art

Every so often it’s nice to get out of Glastonbury and explore. I can’t quite believe I’m suggesting this, but Shepton Mallet is really worth a visit. I popped over there last week to visit my friends Dimitris and James who are running the pop-up ‘Art Bank Cafe’ in the old HSBC bank, which also houses the ‘Rubbish Art Project’

A Magical Portal on the Somerset Levels

Photo taken on the Somerset Levels by Vicki Steward

Don’t tell everybody, but I think I’ve found a magical portal on the Somerset Levels. On a Sunday afternoon, at the beginning of Summer, I went out alone for a long cycle ride, intending to see a bit of nature and get fit. I got as far as Ham Wall Nature Reserve, only a couple of … Read more

Old Oaks Touring and Glamping Park

Old Oaks Touring Site near Glastonbury

A Tranquil Oasis in the Heart of the Somerset Countryside. James and Tara White got in touch to ask me to write about  Old Oaks Touring and Glamping Park. I was curious, although the Park is at the foot of the Tor and less than 2.5 miles from Glastonbury Town centre, I had never visited. While … Read more

Glastonbury Town Fairies in a Flap

Glastonbury Fairy Community in Shock over New Legislation Fairies were known to the Victorians as elusive creatures, rapidly retreating to their home under Glastonbury Tor when spied by the curious. Apart from abducting the occasional sleeping swain or newborn babe, they shunned human company altogether. In recent years, the fey folk have abandoned their reclusive … Read more

Glastonbury Town In the Seventies

Glastonbury in the 1970's. Photograph by  Michael Lidgley.

I recently received an email from Normal For Glastonbury reader David Taplin, he’s been visiting the town since he was a young hippy in the seventies. He’ll shortly be moving back this way – to Street this time. He sent me a fascinating and funny account of his time here and agreed to me sharing … Read more

May Day 2018 in Glastonbury

I thought you’d enjoy a video and some photos of the magnificent May Day 2018 Celebrations in Glastonbury Town. The sun shone, there was ceremony, music and dancing, hugs and a picnic. Please share! Click on the photos to see larger versions. If you’ve enjoyed reading this blog please subscribe by email, ‘like’ the Normal for Glastonbury facebook page and contribute … Read more

A Troubadour in a Glastonbury Supermarket and a Mysterious Note

I’d spent the afternoon in the Covenstead witchcraft-themed Bed and Breakfast in the delightful company of newly-wed Spiritualist mediums Jan and Ian, who I wrote about in my last post Mediums on Honeymoon in Glastonbury’s Pagan Bed & Breakfast . I assumed the rest of my day would be rather more prosaic as my next stop was Morrisons. After … Read more

A Cycle Ride to Roger Wilkin’s Cider Farm

View of Glastonbury Tor from Godney

When I visit a new place I like to meet the locals, people whose families have lived there for generations, know every field by name, and can tell you the gossip from 1934 as if it was yesterday. If you want to meet some ‘proper’ locals on your visit to Somerset then I’d highly recommend Roger Wilkins Cider Barn at Lands End Farm in Mudgely, just a few miles from Glastonbury across the Somerset Levels.

Read moreA Cycle Ride to Roger Wilkin’s Cider Farm

Glastonbury Reclamation Yard

Glastonbury Reclamation Yard

Perhaps I’m just a hipster in denial (except for my lack of a beard) but I love reclamation yards. They’re like charity shops for people with big houses and access to a flatbed truck. There is something thrilling about wandering around looking at all this stuff that used to have another life, and could now be … Read more

Glastonbury Snow

I love snow. We hardly ever seem to get it in Glastonbury, so when we do it’s even more special. I think the snow clouds tend to dump their load over the Mendips before they rarely get here. No matter how old I am I still get that ‘No School Today!’ elation when I open … Read more

Glastonbury Body Art Event 2018

Alice photograph by Mark Pickthall www.markpickthall.co.uk

Saturday 13th January saw the launch of Glastonbury’s first Body Art event in the Assembly Rooms. Organised by The Facepainting Company’s Mel Broom and Glastonbury local Stephen Duross, the event was a fantastic success in every sense of the word. The theme ‘Myths, Legends and Mythical Creatures’ is perfect for a town which frequently hosts … Read more

Christmas in Glastonbury 2017

Most of England woke up to a Winter Wonderland today – carpeted in a blanket of snow and ground to a halt. Glastonbury saw strong wind, torrential rain, and then some wet stuff that was not really rain, hail or snow but came down as a sort of drizzly slush and melted immediately upon landing. The 6 year … Read more

A Fool’s Journey to Glastonbury

Rumpel in Glastonbury Town

Glastonbury Festival always brings a few visitors to the town, many of them are crew and performers stopping by for a few days before heading off to their next event. It can be quite shocking coming back to the ‘real world’ after spending a week or more at Somerset’s most surreal and frenetic camping trip. Glastonbury Town acts like a decompression chamber, it’s got roads, supermarkets and flushing toilets, but no one’s likely to get too concerned if you’re still wearing a sarong and flip-flops and talking about the weird afternoon you’d had in Lost Horizons sauna watching a guy hanging upside down in a tree playing the guitar and singing Jolene. (This really happened see this YouTube video )

Read moreA Fool’s Journey to Glastonbury

The Glastonbury Festival Dream

At least once a year I have the ‘Glastonbury Festival Dream’. It’s always incredibly vivid and I can generally recall it in detail after I wake up. Although the dream takes many forms it always has the same theme – I either can’t get to, or can’t get into, the festival. I’ve dreamt that I … Read more

Chasing the Beltane Dragons in Glastonbury

May Day Celebration 2017 on Bushy Coombe, May Pole, Glastonbury

I do my best to have my finger on Glastonbury’s pulse, especially when we gather together to celebrate the Celtic festivals to mark the times of transition between the seasons. But, even in Avalon, sometimes things just don’t work out as planned, I end up out of kilter, dislocated from the community. I missed Beltane … Read more

Glastonbury Style

Glastonbury Style Icons

If you were young in the 1980’s, you might remember articles in teen magazines where they came across people in the street, who had their own unique style, photographed them and asked where they got their clothes. I had a secret dream that I would be spotted in my dull Midlands hometown, recognised as an … Read more

Show Normal For Glastonbury Some Love

I love living in Glastonbury, it may only be a small Somerset town but it’s got a rich and long history, a vibrant and colourful community (with many oddballs and eccentrics)  numerous myths and stories of magic, King Arthur, early Christianity, plus it gave its name to one of the best music festivals in the … Read more

Glastonbury – the Perfect Place to Reinvent Yourself?

Man promoting Glastonbury Medieval Fair in full armour with a takeaway cup of coffee in Glastonbury Town

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.

Glastonbury – The Spiritual Supermarket

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”.

Read moreGlastonbury – The Spiritual Supermarket

What’s Normal for Glastonbury?

Glastonbury High St Broomsticks

I love Glastonbury, I’ve been visiting since the 8th of August 1988 (8/8/88 of course) and have lived here since July 1993. I’ve tried moving away, even emigrating, but I’ve been pulled back repeatedly – by the Glastonbury rubber band effect as it’s locally known. Glastonbury is an endlessly fascinating parade of engaging characters, mythology and history, interesting shops, and great musicians. Except on my less positive days when it’s shabby, shambolic and full of nutters trying to blag a quid.

Read moreWhat’s Normal for Glastonbury?