Greenbelt 08- a Goan review…

Brian McLaren makes do with a bullhorn after power failure...

Brian McLaren makes do with a bullhorn after power failure...

We are back.

Greenbelt 2008 was great- it was Michaela and the kids’ first time, and I think it was a bit of a culture shock for M at least. Will took it all in his stride, nintendo in pocket for the boring bits, and we only saw Emily every now and again- she had a ball.

M struggled with the crowds, the thousands of tents with guy ropes akimbo, and, of course, the questionable hygiene arrangements. But we all had highlights that we brought away as memories.

For Michaela, I think it was the communion service, visiting a spiritual director, and some of the talks.

For Emily, it was meeting new friends, a hard core screemy-teeny band called Fightstar and having the freedom to be herself in a large setting.

For William, who knows? Bless him, he is so easy with life. He seemed to really enjoy some of the ‘Children’s Greenbelt’ activities- particularly the chance to hold a snake, and to sing some songs. He badly needed some partners in crime- but seemed quite happy to hang out with the adults.

For me- a mixed bag really.

I loved Seth Lakeman’s set on Saturday evening- he made me proud- not sure what of exactly- perhaps that English-ness thing again.

I really enjoyed Brian McLaren, but more in agreement than revelation.

I also enjoyed hearing Philip Yancey- he is a really good speaker, and it was good to put a voice to the books. His combination with the Saltmine theatre company made me cry several times (in a good way!)

I somehow missed loads of stuff I wanted to see- partly because of family things that mean that time is shared in different ways, and partly because you just get overloaded at festivals like GB, and the effect this has on me is to make me wander aimlessly, sticking my head through tent doors and then moving on…

I missed out on a planned beer with Simon Smith because he was mad-busy doing some very impressive art stuff, and likewise Gail Findlay and Stephen Tunnicliffe, who were engaged on other Greenbelt business. I did manage to spend some time with old friends Mark and Denise from the Rhondda Valley, along with John, who is always great company. It was really good to see them again.

Along with fellow Dunoonite and Aoradh member Alistair (who had been volunteering the week before constructing various weird arty things) we performed a short version of 40 at the Proost lounge event on Saturday evening. Not sure how it went down, but it seemed to hold peoples attention, and feedback was good. Mark did us proud by reading the part of Jesus in a lovely rich Welsh accent (He asked if we wanted him to perform as Richard Burton or Uncle Bryn… I think he opted for the former in the end!)

The Proost lounge thing clashed with a discussion about whether there should be a Scottish Greenbelt (Scot belt? Tartan belt? Thistle Belt? You decide!) This was led by Doug Gay, and seems an interesting proposition. Huge amounts of work though- step forward the masochists!

Anyway- attached are a few more photies…

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