GLEXIT ! Glastonbury 2016 

So… Glastonbury was fab! It was muddy, not rainy really , but when it did rain, it churned the mud back up and made getting about difficult. 

We managed to keep our little space nice and clear, although we had muddy entrances we maintained green grass. It did effect trade, no one wants to lounge about on the grass making stuff when it’s wet and soggy. But the workshops were really busy and financially it wasn’t a bad start to the season. 

Socially we had a great time. Libby made friends and was off with them most the time, William and Kitty just played constantly with their friends and walked all over the site having adventures. 

For the first time I took a childminder and it worked super. Not having to worry about Kitty allows me to work harder and tbh it’s the only time (ever) she’s ever gone off with anyone.. So the freedom was great! And I appreciated having her back in the evening no matter how tired I was! 

Grace and Mr O enjoyed the bands and stages, I however did my usual thing and enjoyed the festival from the outskirts. 

It’s not that I don’t love every inch of the place… I totally do.. It’s so jam packed full of awe inspiring art, inspiring crafts and performance… It truly is AMAZING. But for me the one most exciting thing is the people.. I love to sit and watch, listen and soak it up, I have so many friends on site and love meeting new.

While they all traipse around in the mud, I take Kitty (and sometime William) and wander into the stone circle or hit the tipi village. I sit in a tipi cafe and share chai and cake with my daughter . She runs around and plays on drums or meets other kids.. I chat with others too.. It’s the feeling of safety that allows everyone to just slip into friendships instantly.

Up in the green fields you tend to find a different kind of person from down the hill, the old hippies and crew are been working here for years, the community is great and huge. It’s within this community that the most learning takes place for the kids. They sit and talk with adults and children alike and the conversation is equal and respectful. We talk about everything and the kids are involved and active within the conversations.. Their opinion counts and it’s uniquely precious. I remember as a child feeling quite lonely while parents talked to other adults, I’m proud my children can join in the conversations as equals among our people .

The cafe I go to is in the tipi field and it is hosted in a huge 10metre tipi with an attached yurt. There is a fire in the middle and lots of low seating and tables, the yurt hosts musicians and there are loads of drums, shakers and guitars about. It’s donation only for food and drink and there is something really special about laying on furs next to a fire, drinking endless cups of tea, eating tali and  playing with your toddler . 

Of course come evenings…( And a Glastonbury evening starts around midnight)… We tend to sit in our garden. We close the workshop at 6pm and although we are officially closed we get lots of people visiting us through the night. 

After everyone returns from their adventures at stages, clubs and cafes. The fire gets going and we all sit around in blankets, watching the punters walk and stagger by, laughing at their randomness. Matt , Libby and grace all play instruments and we all sing and have a real laugh one minute and real conversation the next. 

Folks hear the music and wonder in, many borrow the guitar and give us a song. We had some truly amazing talent this year!!!!! I cannot believe so many hugely talented people are unsigned and undiscovered!!

What I love about Glastonbury is the fact everyone who works the festival scenes is somewhere on site. I say it’s like the AGM of festivals. 

Because we have a physical space with seating and in a known pitch.. People tend to visit us and use us as a base. I love seeing people and love it when one of my crew comes and says ‘You have a visitor’ I go to the front not knowing who will be waiting and ALWAYS shreak with joy when I find out. Often we only see some people once a year at Glastonbury, and only for a short time. We always have a visit from Paul and Davey (aka Wino Tyrone and scary from hobo jones and the junk yard dogs) they potter up for a cup of tea and random objects.. Paul has been spotted a couple of times sewing up his trousers or similar onnpur bench! They open the Avalon stage on Friday which is a short walk from us. So it’s tradition we visit each other’s 

On Friday morning we woke to the news we were leaving the EU . In all the years I’ve been doing Glastonbury I have never experienced anything like it! 

Usually on Friday the cheering and excitement is noisy and palpable.. But this year Friday morning was silent… With a real sense of grief.

My crew hugged each other and my friends came over to hold each other too. We all knew what a huge thing it was and we were all devistated, angry and sad.

We drank tea and quietly listened to the radio as news of the pm resigning came in, then the pound falling and then the banks announcing our credit rating falling.

It truly was like someone had died.. or as if a war had started (maybe it has) . We were among like minded people we all knew this would be a disaster for the country and the communities within it , we sat and listened to it play out live together. It was tough! 

Every performer mentioned it, everyone talked about it in sad and disbelieving voices, I’ve never known anything quite like it. 

Ironically It kind of changed the festival vibe from one of the hedonistic and exciting ‘joy of life’ we are used to , to a sense of solidarity, strength in numbers and a huge show of support for each other as we all feared for our children’s futures. 

The festival was amazing, it was different and difficult.. But it was important and we still had fun and drew strength. Weirdly getting ready to leave was quite hard, many of us dreading leaving our bubble and returning to this new country of ours that was so familiar but now so alien to us.

But after two more day of music, singing, dancing, drama, laughs, circus and more we pushed the caravan out of the mud and set off out of the biggest and best festival we know. Our lovely home.. Greencrafts had been another triumph, and Nic and Marie continue to excel themselves.

I run spaces as you know, albeit very different to the green crafts field, so I know the work they do to make this field so magic . Hats off to them! Let’s hope we can be part of it again next year. 

On Tuesday we left for Blissfields festival.. But that’s another blog,,.  

What if? The normal Brexiteer on the street tells their story, 7 years on!


It’s seven years since we left the EU and things didn’t pan out as we thought, well all of us that voted to leave certainly didn’t think we’d end up like this!

We are in a terrible state and poverty and illness litters the dirty streets. Our homes are ruined and derelict. We are not a beautiful and Great Britain anymore!

We are at breaking point, no one can remember that only a few years ago how things were so different. How good we had it!

After we left the Eu the costs to trade with the rest of Europe doubled and that was just with businesses that wanted to trade with us. Countries just didn’t want to work with us, years of built up anger towards the English and their controlling history were brought to the surface and without the governing rules of the eu no one was forced to trade with us.

It was a perfect opportunity for other nations to make money from us too, they could charge what they wanted now, knowing we had no choice. It killed us as a nation, something the rest of the world said we had coming.

The small businesses went first. Even the companies who didn’t import or export products suffered. The realisation that every company needed something from somewhere else hit home. We were much more dependant on the rest of the world that we though!

So much was imported, wether it was simple parts, packaging or ingredients, so much of what we used would have been imported.

Then as costs rose,  businesses rose their prices to the customer. Of course as things progressed the normal man and woman on the street just didn’t have the money to survive and they certainly could’t pay so much more for the luxury items they once enjoyed.

Farming suffered,  as a lack of European workers left them short staffed and unable to produce as much as they once did.

That first year so many crops and produce rotted in the ground as thousands of European workers returned to their countries. It was a harsh turn of events as the British public were so desperate for the food they grew!

The second year farmers cut their agricultural quota more than in half to enable them to cope with lack of staff.

Many said because of the high cost of exporting food, their trade had dwindled and they simply didn’t need to grow so much anyway. But of course the people in the UK were desperate for their food.. but they just couldn’t get to it!

Year three saw farmers simply not growing , they couldn’t cover their living costs and the cost of growing the products, the public didn’t welcome the price increases that were there to cover the losses and with the huge rise in tax that year , farmers weren’t the only ones to cut their losses.

Those that do produce fresh produce now use all sorts of chemicals and take GM measures to ensure maximum growth at minimum cost. To think we were so keen to eat organic and naturally only a few years ago! We remember how even non organic growers had to abide by eu rules around the use of chemicals and and general farming standards! Not anymore, the U.K. Can’t afford such luxury of regulations!

Larger businesses started to suffer in year three as the tax rises hit them hard. The government explained that this was due to the dramatic fall of trading small business along with the sharp reduction in people actually paying tax ( so many became unemployed and tens of thousands of foreign workers and families returned home) The increase in people claiming benefits and using the nhs , the country had lost a huge amount of incoming tax!.

Taxes were crippling and companies started to lay off people more and more.. Business had dropped anyway with the lack of overseas trade and materials , but with the added high taxes the inevitable happened.

By year 4 only four huge multi national companies really existed. As they were funded internationally they had money to stay afloat and they pretty much controlled the market place and thus us as a nation.

Many say these company leaders are more powerful than the government, we all know that many ‘deals’ are made and corruption is rife!

The Food that is available in the shops tends to be preserved and long lasting rather than fresh and healthy. As a nation we get the cheapest and lowest quality and it is still more than triple the price it would have been four years ago.

These internationally owned companies have us over a barrel. Most are owned by huge American companies and they pile items high and sell them all at a premium.

With no EU LAW protecting our rights, minimum wage is no longer in place. The government were forced into scrapping minimum wage and encouraged more zero hour contracts. But these zero hour contracts are not like they used to be.

The multinationals wanted cheap workers and without them it wasn’t worth them trading in the UK. (So they say) . Controlled by these budgets, factories and manufacturers actually returned to days gone by where men would turn out every morning a queue hoping they would get a few hours work… The bosses may pick one or two but it’s luck of the draw if you get work that day..

It’s impossible to ever make plans or feel comfortable because no one has the luxury of full time work.

Women became tied to the home and children, with the factories and employers had the luxury of picking and choosing who they wanted to work. So investing in a woman was not good business, maternity pay was scrapped and no one could afford child care! The very notion is quite laughable!

There was no laws on discrimination , we all learned pretty quickly that equality is only available to the privileged.

With hordes of badly treated working men, the stress of poverty and general misery, tensions in the home were always palpable.

Then as those tensions rose which every blow, alcoholism, drug use and domestic violence was at an all time high.

Funnily enough the one thing that boomed was the drug and alcohol trade! Don’t misunderstand, there were no pubs or nightclubs anymore and the quality or alcohol and drugs weren’t exactly great.. needs must… moonshine and dodgy chemicals where the chosen escape for many.

It comes as no surprise that depression and emotional health suffered greatly. The poorest among us were in continuous battles against illness and infection too.

The NHS couldn’t cope! Hundreds and hundreds of expert Drs and nurses from all over the world left their posts in the uk and returned home, or decided to work abroad where their skills were better rewarded. The Americans had put the prices for all the pharmaceuticals we bought from them too. What once would have cost us pence now cost us hundred of pounds. The nhs counts afford to dispense drugs at the price so the public had to pay for the meds’ they needed or simply go without. They said the nhs still existed but really it was just a free advice clinic, no one ever received treatment unless they had money to pay for it.

This left hospitals over-run with the sick, queuing not only in coridors but in car park and streets.. People were often waiting days to be seen.

Infant deaths were at an all time high with malnourishment and lack of maternity care stated as the cause.

There’s no googling symptoms, no one has wifi, you are lucky if you have electric! There are local people who have some knowledge of first aid and natural cures, but even they charge huge amounts to see someone. Things really have changed! But on a macabre positive there were less people making up our population. People dying from once treatable illnesses and families choosing not to bring children into the mess we had made, we were a county with a rapidly decreasing population.

The country’s budget was severely stretched and at the end of year five,  cuts had been made in all areas.

Roads were falling apart and motorways unlit and full of pot holes. Lack of funding for the police along with higher instances of  domestic and community crime meant road and trafic police were barely in existence.. Driving wasn’t safe or practical anymore. This had a huge effect of trade too.. Again costs rose to cover it! A vicious circle indeed!

Not many had cars anyway, fuel costs were more than five times than they used to be. With the Middle East flexing their muscles and making it known they wouldn’t do deals with the U.K. We found oil prices were ridiculous and owning a car was the last thing people were worried about.

Theft and street crime was massive. The desperation and poverty after the total collapse of free health care and benefit system in year 6 simply lead people in to resorting to theft and aggression.

Those few in employment who had maintained good property and a decent living condition, found themselves in constant terror. Break-ins, killings and simple theft was common place and many of those previously in jobs found themselves with nothing. Everything had been stolen from them with great force and the middle classes found themselves in the breadline with everyone else.

Increases in violent killings were huge and rising,  if you weren’t  killing to survive you were killing to protect yourself.

Policing was next to nil and what there was was more aggressive with military style aggression. Calling 999 was a thing of the past .

Now in year seven, we tend to survive day to day on what we are able to produce and grow ourselves. Water isn’t as clean as it was so we catch as much as we can to drink and water the garden. But much of our water is often taken during the night along with the food we grow and anything we manage to make. We have razor wire around our home and garden now and we have had to resort to violence more than once to protect our things and our children.

It’s not safe to send the kids to school, the schools are overcrowded and in a bad state anyway , with their own problems of discipline or lack of it. I think kids that do go only go to escape the misery of the home.

The government started off (seven years ago) by introducing an eight hour school day and they pushed the kids like mad to get the highest qualifications. It was all about showing the world how good we were! But that’s gone now.. It was always going to be impossible to maintain, especially as we struggle as we do.

We, as a family, tried to leave the uk and find work abroad in France or further afield. Unfortunately many the countries capped all UK migration in year one, leaving us with little or nowhere to go.

Many have tried to make their own way across into Europe on little boats or hiding under cars and trucks. Many have died, many arrested and sent back. Those that were left were herded into camps and treated like animals.

Locals abroad would abuse them and blame them for every crime going, sanitation in the camps was terrible,  many travelled on foot to try find a clean and friendly place to settle. But no one country wants them.

They are abused, tired and hungry. Not to mention without a home. They just keep going , walking, wandering… entire families looking for somewhere to work and live their lives. People who only eight years ago, had houses, food, cars, computers and well paid jobs and openly spoke about their hatred of refugees coming to the uk! The irony!!!

Others look at us like we are beggars now.. It’s the hardest thing in the world. We have lost our dignity.

Many turn to anger , others simply put their heads down and keep trudging along. They are forced in to telling lies, giving false names and even stealing to feed their children. But none of this helps the reputation of the British refugees .

No one knows what is worse, staying and been in total fear all the time, living in slums and without any chance of an escape.. Or trying to escape, risk our lives and liberty… to hopefully find a new life somewhere?

I don’t know, I think we will try and get across to France. I fear for my children here and I fear for my husband. The local gang of thieves are constantly calling trying to get him to help them. We have to pay them in food and water to keep us ‘safe’ our supplies are nearly out.. We have nothing left !

Great Britain is not so great anymore. Shame we didn’t see what we had when we had it!
EXTREME? Maybe.. Maybe not.. Let’s hope so!