I've just come back from the Green Gathering, a solar powered gathering of people who want to live a bit lighter. The food was mostly vegan (although the grill cheese stand and wood fired pizza places did a brisk trade) and all veggie. Recycling was amazing, they had places for everything. There wasn't a piece of litter from start to finish, no drunks, few drugs, lots of happy, co-operating people. We needed help moving our caravan to help our neighbours, four stewards appeared and sorted it. The medical tent had staff herbalists. There were more than enough loos (always a potential bugbear) and they were well kept. Without cars, kids ran free and clambered through trees, enjoyed all the music, fell asleep to the sound of great music. Two mini thunderstorms entertained. We heard new music, new poets. We enjoyed art and dance, there was every kind of free workshop from campaigns to laughter yoga. We watched the sun go down, we talked about the world and our impact on it, we shared stories and songs. I can recommend it. Sometimes your soul needs feeding more than your mind or your body. Music for fourteen hours a day and the odd plate of bhajis (courtesy of Lalita's South Indian Street Food), heaven. We fell in love with a new singer/songwriter (Bea Everett) and an amazing didge player (Sika). We laughed at the Antipoet. I met up with a writer friend, Russell with songwriting ones.
The architect of this new freedom is our elderly, tiny caravan, which we have lovingly painted with left over turquoise emulsion and made curtains from old upholstery fabric, dyed deep orange and fuchsia pink. We've padded the beds, created a tiny bathroom, filled the lockers with essentials like tea bags and hot chocolate and put a tow bar on the car (which nearly cost as much as the caravan). So far, it's enabled my elderly lumbar spine to enjoy camping four times, and it's been lovely. Russell installed a solar panel and a 12V circuit of lights and chargers (for laptop and phones) so I can camp away from the campervans with their satellite TVs and wetrooms. Instead, we can sit on the edge of a field, under a hedge, by the stream. Lovely. I look forward to more Green Gatherings.