Secondly, last night in a village that is half way in between here and my home town. We were invited to a farm by the farmer because we are members of the FW Harvey Society. My son is, I think, the youngest member and we took him so that he could experience seeing the morris and clog dancers' enthusiastic dancing and music mainly. He had a wonderful time and it was great to meet the farmer, who introduced the fourth generation of his family. When we introduced ourselves to say thank you, he said how lovely it was that members of the society had come. A truly generous spirit, as he invited everyone. Long may the Harvest Home continue. It was also a lovely surprise to see friends of the Appalachian clog dance group Appleyard there. When I moved back to my home town, one of my friends asked me to play the fiddle with them and so I became 'Apprentice Fiddle' and also helped out at Upton Folk Festival.
I was actually paid for some of this work and used the proceeds to buy a low D whistle, which I've taken on various trips and played in places such as a gypsy camp in the Ukraine, at the Bible School in Serbia and these days, with the music group at St Mary's Church in Lydney. It's a little bit unpredictable (when I play it), especially with the temperature variations in an old building like St Mary's, but has a mellow tone for more contemplative worship songs. Today, we were delighted by children from two Lydney schools, who sang together in perfect harmony and led our worship time for the Harvest Festival. We talked about the meaning of 'Bounty' (illustrated with actual Bounty bars, which aided concentration) and how to share so that the spoons we share out with are the same size instead of (as illustrated in an assembly by our vicar) with a ladle for some and a teaspoon for others. If only justice was served out in the same way. Then people like Bear's family would not be suffering. If you build an estate with 80% social housing, cut it off from town and yet do not put in any community facilities and there are no shops, GPs etc and schools closest to it are all full, housing some of the most vulnerable people in a town there, it wrecks lives. That's the bottom line and that's how Bear ended up in the tip or (we hope against the odds) in storage.
There is one person I have faith in to #SaveBear. He has friends all over the world, in every palace, parliament, housing estate and the dark corners of each institution where evil is perpetuated far from the light of day and without the knowledge of senior management.
On the way home last night, I said to my little sleepy son that I hoped that the memories would stay with him forever. He said, "Yes they will mum," before spontaneously singing a favourite worship song of his own. Here you go, sunshine.