Appledore Summer Festival

Sunday – a more overcast day today – looks like rain. Just as well. My neck and shoulders are still sore after Fridays sunburn. The Appledore silver band arrives and settles down to wait for the Vicar’s open air service. People begin to gather around, chatting quietly.
The Scouts arrive, and there is a lot of activity –what is going to happen, I ask myself. Eventually they erect an enormous white tent, and from time to time I stroll casually past, hoping they might be running a barbeque.  I see there are plants and egg boxes, and I decide they are going to sell garden produce. People come past, telling me that down the quayside there are belly dancers amongst the craft stalls.
The band strikes up: Amazing Grace, Tell me the Old Old Story’… Blessed Assurance’ … and there is a lump in my throat as memories come flooding in, of an innocent time long ago, and my long dead granny: a devout Methodist and a great singer.
The Vicar arrives, says he would like to pass the hat round and send funds to the people of Sudan who are undergoing yet more horrible warfare. Is that all right, he asks. The crowd shouts ‘yes, yes’, and he calls out ‘who’s got a hat, then? Let’s fill it up’.
Back at my table, promoting my art walks, I am overwhelmed with the smell of diesel from a little fishing boat. The owner is charging the batteries. Eventually the noise of his engine and the smell goes away, thank goodness, and I can now hear the couple of young men charging about the water on motorised surf boards. Then it all goes quiet. Around 11.30 as the open air Service draws to a close, I hear tentative sounds of a folk musician and another girl singer (or maybe it is the same one), starting up a few yards down the quay.

I discover the Scouts are selling Rice Crispie cakes and plants, and the egg boxes are full of beads as the girl scouts show people how to make bracelets. I buy some Rice Crispie cakes, delicious, but decline to ‘Soak a Scout’ for £1. By the look of the sky, we are all going to get pretty wet soon anyway.

A happy black spaniel skips along, carrying his red lead in his mouth, wagging his tail furiously as he spots a potential doggy friend in front. A boy falls off his scooter in front of me. A man goes by carrying two pleated paper lampshades. The folk musicians and the girl singer get under way, and it begins to rain.

About throughstones

I am primarily a visual artist, living on the North Devon coast, a beautiful semi-rural area in South West England. I am interested in full engagement with 'place' and the eternal movement of life - particularly as it relates to what we call 'the natural environment'.
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1 Response to Appledore Summer Festival

  1. Nice post that gave me a real feeling for your setting. With hope, you were able to interest a few art walkers as well.


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