Monday, June 26, 2006

A Midsummer Night's Dream?

On Saturday night I found myself in a glade on the South Downs Way, where a bluegrass band were playing under a gazebo. A scattered audience sat or lay on the grass, among them a barman from my local pub, my ex-yoga teacher and the 1930s couple who've been stalking us all summer (OK, not stalking exactly, but they do seem to have been at all the same cultural events as us and are particularly conspicuous due to their striking vintage attire). This was an unexpected turn of events and a rather surreal experience. We'd walked along the ridge from Devil's Dyke to Truleigh Hill, to ambush Mat, who was camping at the youth hostel there. He'd mentioned something about an acoustic event going on, but this was not what I had imagined. We sat ourselves down and ate our picnic while the next band up, a Tortoise-esque stoner-jam ensemble, induced a welcome torpor among the crowd. Mat and his girlfriend, apparently unaffected by the mellow moment, decided it was the perfect time for a game of badminton. Sadly we couldn't stay to find out what other musical delights were on offer, as the light was fading and we had a 3 mile walk back to the car. I'm still not sure whether I was really there, or whether I just fell asleep in the garden and dreamed it. Either way, it was a memorable night.
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