I hadn’t even had time to check where the Faery Festival was, we’d been running so fast, we both just remembered it was down near the south coast somewhere between Eastbourne and Brighton, I can’t remember maybe somebody had told us, maybe, but it worked out to be right. We’d been up at 6am getting the flat sorted for Mikheil to turn it into his home and a saxophone workshop whilst we were away for, we plan for, at least 6 months. We’d been over to our friends the night before Bea & Balazs on their barge moored at Victoria park. Bea is a stage-set designer and had made a beautiful swing sign for us with our ‘How’ Logo with ‘Hypnotherapy & Healing’ It’s beautiful, the cherry on the cake of all the work we had been doing creating our healing work space.We were both thrilled
We are leaving our home. Renting out our old home, moving to a new one, we are leaving our jobs and starting a new job changing our life style all it seemed on the same day. We haven’t had much time to think about it all, though we have done nothing else, but working on auto pilot, packing the flat and our belongings up, packing the van, cleaning sewing carpeting, gathering essentials and a million other things
We’d decided that we’d have one last visit to the East end to the appropriately named Anchor salmon Lane E14 cafe for one last egg chips and beans in the heart of old east end. It made us both smile. We kept pinching one another still in a sort of disbelief that we were actually going to do this. So far we have 13 festivals booked of different shaped and types scattered throughout England. We will be trying to add more as we go along. There are still one or two weekends we need to fill in July, some have proven to be quite expensive for the pitch. We’ll see how we do, it’s a voyage into the unknown, we know the world is round and we know that if your focus is clear and strong, that what you will, will come to be. This we know this and this we will.
The lady in the Anchor café tried to delay us when we told her what we were doing, that Orsi read the cards. Orsi is going to be busy for sure. She has already proven many times over to have a natural ability with the Tarot and with her own designed cards that are uncannily accurate. How they work is still a mystery, but work they do. The lady at the Anchor wanted to know the future, Oris explained that’s not quite how it works.
Pearl was packed, Orsi and I were very much loving one another as we started her up and rolled out of the harbour onto Salmon Lane. She felt solid and dependable, we headed east through the blackwall tunnel towards the M25. Traffic was surprisingly good. We were laughing with our hats on feeling good. England seemed to be shining and green, we flowed, nothing stopping our route, easy and effortless.
We called in at Karen & Marks on the way down to Alfriston I had a Navajo Kachina doll from NM for them. It was good to see her, Karen was happy to see us too and to have a look at how Pearl had turned out, after all Karen had seen her progression daily way back in January & February as we worked away on her in their driveway. We’d see them later in the year all going well. Then back onto the M23 towards Brighton and onto the A27 towards Eastbourne, right then a lush corridor of waving trees, flickering woodland and swaying green boughs. We were in no rush as it still felt a little strange to really be on our way. I’d had a whisper just as we left Limehouse “3pm” it said. Plenty of room for the family in here i thought.
20 minutes along the A27 the turn off to Alfriston and suddenly we were rolling into what seemed like another time and another pace right on 3 O’clock. Alfristom Village on first sight was jaw droppingly beautiful. We hadn’t realized we’d be right in the middle of the South Downs National Park and right on the South Downs Way in an area of “outstanding Natural beauty” both of us blinked with open mouths as Pearl rolled slowly through the Village
As we’d turned off the A27 a huge Crow landed in the road in right in front of us, he turned, looked back at us, paused and then took off, we both noticed it. It was a really odd thing. I looked at Orsi. There was no reason him to have landed there, Crows are very cautious, Noah had his ark had a dove, we it seemed had the Crow, land ahoy, we were expecting great things.
Pearl seemed like a giant as we crept along in second gear looking for signs to the ‘Magic Faery Festival’ We were just about to ask when a lady with blue metallic hair and ravens wings tattooed on her biceps asked through Ori’s window
“Are you looking for the festival?
We said yes, and she happily pointed us down the road.
She said “it’s a quick turn so keep your eyes open” English directions, love it.
It was the first indication that people here would be lovely and helpful. We rolled round the bend took the quick turn and rolled slowly up the dirt road and into Pleasant Valley Rise, it was a lovely place
I said ‘I think we’re in the countryside’
The organizer Mathew Callow greeted us at the entrance, he was not at all what I’d expected, very together, solid and very open. Issued us with passes, program and a brochure of what was going on along the south coast then guided us over to where he thought best for us and just let us get on with it.
It’s obviously important where you set your pitch no matter what your doing at a festival or market come to that. At times Hypnotherapy can be a little, shall we say vocal, but also I would need quiet to be able to use the voice to full effect. Too near a stage and it would prove difficult to get deep hypnosis to far and we would miss the flow for clients/customers. But we’d landed very well.
We began setting up under the gaze of a group of noisy Crows right above us in the tree line that ran right along, up and across the hill side to the left. It really was a beautiful lush green place, though a little exposed as the winds were funneled right down off the hills into and along the valley. We’d find out later it was the ‘Spirit of the Downs’ and it seemed they were curios about the tent village forming in their midst and had come to greet us all as we unpacked, a couple of girls nearby very nearly lost their tent, if we’d not run across to help them pin it down it would have taken off for sure.
I heard one of them say “We should never have been left in charge of the tent” Made me chuckle as we helped them bang their pegs in
It didn’t take long to set up the dome and then the moment of truth, the tarp we had spent two long days fitting and sewing in the Vatican rehearsal Studio near Bethnal Green, Oscar and Steve had really helped us out with time and space there. Oscar has been very sick, so we done our first healing in the dome with him there. It had been strong and he text us a few days later saying he felt much better
Even with all that good will we hadn’t had time to properly sew the bottom hem in, we’d had to pin it, take it home and spend another two days double stitching all the seams in the front room at Anglia house, we’d never had the opportunity to properly fit it and see. It was the same with the parachute, which would cover the tarp. I’d been nervous all morning, if it was wrong we were in trouble, so the moment of truth.
We looked at one another and then pulled the tarp over and down …. to our huge relief it fitted nicely, not bad at all, and then the parachute had the measurements been right….? Yes !! They were actually bang on. Yes. !!
Once we had the dome pinned down, I strung some internal ties and pegged them down, tied and pegged the tarp and parachute down snuggly over the top, and it felt rock solid. We noted that gazebos other people were working from rocked and shook in the wind. The dome didn’t move. It really worked. It was such a relief
Orsi then got to work tying up the silk drapes paper streamers flower garlands on the inside, the paper lantern and the heart hanging from the centre. It look beautiful, it’s such a lovely space to work in.
When it was all done we just unraveled a little. We’d earned a pint. We secured the door and headed off down the darkening country lanes and into Alfreston village all of 10 minutes walk away, peaceful, atmospheric with whispering hints and feelings of things very old there. We’d really arrived. There was hardly a soul about, metaphorically speaking of course.
We peered through the windows of the three glowing pubs. Decided on the George Inn and after an odd start with a posh local staring us up and down for a few seconds too long, we settled in amongst the old church pews, stone slab floors, fairy lights and hop branches decked and draped across the walls and ancient beams of the old place and began immersing ourselves in the local maps and the faery festival information.
A guy came into the bar and noticed what we were doing but it was his dog a cocker spaniel ‘Boudicca’ who introduced us all, nudging and pestering us for attention. He turned out to be Darren a dog trainer and an ex prison officer who’d retired due to ill health and with his wife now took walking tours across the South Downs. Boudicca, who he’d trained to hunt truffles and called her golden nose, apparently had her own stool in the pub, her own face book page and twitter accounts. He told us about the Neolithic burial mounds above the Wilmington man, how he always took an offering up there, a coin or food when he went to visit, told us about the wild life and when we told him what we were doing, told us of a lady in the village who was a Healer and had cured what ever it was he’d had to retire with. He told us of the ‘Spirit of the Downs’ was the wind we were feeling in the camp and he said if you sat quietly up there and asked a question the Spirit of the Downs would bring an answer. It had worked for him many times he said. We were liking Alfriston very much.
At one point in the week Orsi had gone for a walk into the town and had ended up at the church of St Andrews with its ancient Saxon origins. The locals had gathered having their Sunday meeting. Orsi is always good at breaking the ice, had just wandered in and struck up a conversation. She came back to camp lit up with all the local knowledge and the gossip, what was happening and what had happened in town.
There was a place there called the Clergy House, the first National Trust house in the UK, bought for £10 in 1896. There was the great red figurehead of a Red Lion we’d seen resting against the wall of the Star Inn on the high street from a 16th century war ship. The Star had been built in 1345 and had originally been a religious hostel used by pilgrims on the way to the shrine of St Richard the patron saint Sussex. It later became a pub used by a gang of notorious smugglers who were eventually caught and shipped off to the colonies in Australia. We also found out that the beautiful song ‘Morning has Broken’ made famous by Cat Stevens had been written by Elenor Farjeon there in Alfreston about the beauty she saw all around her. Thinking about it now, it suits the place perfectly. As a child way back in primary school, we’d been asked to bring a record into class, I’d taken that one. It still tugs at the heart strings now when I think of it. Beautiful.
Next day woke to the wind blowing around pearl and the muffled sound of doors slamming shut somewhere nearby. Pearl had been warm and cozy. In front of us was a lush bright green field. To the right a long cluster of grey green and khaki colored billowing tents and scattered cars and vans glistening wet. The wind looked fierce tugging furiously at the bunting on the 10 khaki glam camping tents snuggling into the trees line below the Crows nests. The sky was grey and didn’t look much like it was going to be a very productive day. A man with a topknot of dread locks and a dread locked beard was breaking wood to make a fire, the smoke from it snatched quickly away. Sleepy creased faces emerging from underneath creased canvases, short necks, high shoulders, arms crossed everybody wrapped up hanging on as long as possible to the warmth of sleep.
The two large ladies in a thrifty hire van emerged looking not half as cheerful as they did yesterday when we arrived. I was sat in the front seat, Orsi was already away running across the hill top in front I could see her blue sweat shirt skirting the row of trees to the right past the horses munching on the yellow buttercups spread across the deep green hillside
I’d dreamt that Peter and the Test Tube Babies were playing at the festival. They were playing the song ‘Transvestite’ It looked cold and wet and the people that were there to see them snuggled around the front of the stage trying to keep warm but after a few songs most faded away in the end there was just a handful of chilly damp looking people left watching them. It didn’t bode well
We spent most of that day just sort of getting to know the next door neighbors. The Spirits of the Downs blew down upon us all day, still the dome never budged. People wandered past us, looking in, it seems to be how it is with us, checking us out, thinking about it, then gravitating back to us after an hour or a day or so. Hypnotherapy is quite uncommon, for now, at festivals we think, healing (good authentic healing) too is fairly uncommon. But Tarot card readers, there seems to be a lot. Mathew had allowed including Orsi 7 different readers there and at such a small festival it definitely had an negative effect on them all. I felt a little sorry for her, there was just not enough people around. But Orsi is a trooper though and within a day she was connected to all the stalls around us.
It was also the first time really living with Pearl. There is still quite a bit of work to do. The kitchen side and sink, also a rack where we can store plates cups and supplies. We brewed coffee and cooked food on the floor of the van with our legs hanging out the open side door looking out onto the growing faery encampment. We loved it but it would get a drag if we had to do it for 6 months.
All sorts of people began to arrive, most with a set of small horns, tattoos, top hats and just about everybody with a set of wings. All of which we expected but what we hadn’t was the continuous flow of good will, smiles and general warm loving good manners from the moment we arrived. It was immediately noticeable, it never faltered all the time we were there
We also both noted the startlingly beautiful children, all of them seemed light, faery, relaxed, free and happy, there were a lot about too, all seemed to be running free and for the whole time we were there we never heard a raised voice tears or tantrums. I said at one point
“Gosh Orsi what happens to us”
“I know” she said “Its beautiful isn’t it”
It seemed remarkable, a genuinely happy place with a genuine easy bunch of people, all searching, but everybody wanting you to be well. Doesn’t get better than that does it. Cynics would say it’s not the real world, but I’d bat that right back and say, well why not?
A stall across from us Hats and Henna were selling a bewildering array of stunning shocking top hats with hilarious gothic attachments, next to them a pitch selling dread lock hair extensions and right next to us designer fairy clothes and head gear, right behind us a gaye tarot stall manned by two striking guys with manicured beards and woolen Saxon cloaks, sweet and lovely, but who seemed to be hammered by the afternoon of the second day, the clothes designers were wasted too, the designers saving grace was their choice of music, I don’t think I’d heard any of it before except the sound track to Mary Poppins which some how sounded perfect there.
The dread lock lady, Leah, had told me of a lady a few tents away who had some Lemurian crystal skulls, so a little later on Orsi watched shop and I went to say hello, she was Catherine from Aberdeenshire slight and gentle with a light Scottish accent. It was good to meet and chat with her, I felt she was sincere and the healing she was doing authentic. We had promised ourselves that we would search out interesting people and places. It starts now.
I had one client a nervous young man who said he wanted help with some phobias. Turned out there were issues that ran far deeper. We finished at 7.30 after around 2 hours. It left me feeling a little down as I realised we would more time.
I still don’t know how she does it, even when I am watching, Orsi cooked some amazing food right there under my nose, she’s a magician. Then of to watch a little bit of the music, we tried but to be honest it was completely over my head. I really wasn’t interested in whether Mr & Mrs Blackbird were having a good time under the hedge row or not. David Courtney – Rancid, it was not. But the gathered wings were all of a flutter and danced spinning with arms raised and skirts a twirling, the rows of filled portable camping chairs all cheered and clapped. Good on them. We wished them well but we both looked at one another.
“Come on lets go down to the pub”
We tried the Star pub, but it was literally stone dead, 5 staff to serve us two, a pint and a half and 2 bags of crisps. We pawed maps and chatted about the day and the village but we were tired so wandered back slowly to Pearl under the full moon. I’d wanted to go back and see a band, I just thought I should, just to double check. Orsi said
“I have to go to sleep”
I said I’d follow, I lasted a few rounds of John Barleycorn and then I started to wobble. I found Orsi still dressed face down in the back of pearl. I joined her.
I woke the next day with the back door slamming and “Sorry” Oris was off and out over the hills again. I should have got up and gone, but sleep had her hold on me, I wasn’t groggy it was more sensual thing just enjoying the stretch and the slumber. I hadn’t slumbered it seemed for years. Outside all around us the first sounds of the day as the camp came to life, children’s voices, a dog barking then laughter as people began to emerge.
I was in a quite place, my thoughts were with the chap the day before. It felt unfinished. It had been a tough session and now that the van and dome are all done, and we are here, we are faced with the work we have set out to do and all that will bring to our doorstep, it is of course about our learning too and just the one session had provoked a lot of thought in me, maybe that is how it should be.
There were warm showers and clean toilets, luxury we’d said as we walked quietly and expectantly down to the shower house on that second day only to find that the hot water wasn’t working, and the very cold water at that time of day was shocking, but it was a shower and we weren’t missing out on it. Back at Pearl later Orsi got to work on Scrambled eggs Hungarian style and hot coffee whilst I opened and set up the pitch.
The sun had appeared that morning, The whippet on the dread lock stall pulled at the leash. The Henna and Hat stall next to them looked remarkable, I chatted with the husband, whilst the green and black painted faces of the Pentacles drummers, dressed in a cross between Morris men, Dickensian thieves and heavy metal dudes, gathered to start the day with a parade through the whole encampment followed by a great Red Orange Dragon. A noisy loveable eccentric lot they are too
Pixies and faery’s, horned tattooed humans and winged pets wandered up and down in various shades of purple pink and green. An adult fancy dress parade, but nobody was kidding they were all lightheartedly serious about their elementalness. We loved them for it.
The Hat & Henna pitch had a little Yorkshire terrier called Daisey, sweet looking but every time another dog came by she was out like a shot, I saw her take on a pitbull that was genuinely taken aback by her and go for the throat of a giant poodle, returning each time to the stall looking very proud of herself, the owners of the stall rushed out each time
“Sorry about that sorry, Daisy come here. Sorry about that daisy your going to bankrupt us” she was eventually banned to the van at the back for chasing one to many customers away.
I’d had three clients that day all quite odd and quite a puzzle. It left me feeling a little disheartened. Orsi had a couple of readings. It seemed to end in a bit of fizzle. Seeds were planted though and I am sure will sprout in unexpected healthy ways.
Afterwards trapeze artists and fire-eaters as the evening began to take hold, we tried again with the music, but try as we did it just didn’t touch us. And again for the record the tent was full. We walked up to the teepee’s at the head of the valley instead and made friends with some horses in the darkening twilight, that seemed much more our thing.
Next day Orsi dragged me out of Pearl laughing and led the way down an old path through the village across the road and out onto the South Downs. It was just so peaceful and beautiful. The morning air was filled with the sound of songbirds; it just makes a person happy to hear it. It’s perhaps an unnoticed part of the English background until you go away, come back, and hear it anew, the intimate noisy conversational Crows too.
We took advantage of the hot showers when we got back. I‘d opened up the dome and had a little nap, I’d had a dream that a figure rather like Prince William was stood outside a tent learning a song, with I’d thought, 3 woman and was laughing and having fun, lightening everybody up, everybody looked happy
A little later just after 10am just as I was starting my coffee when the first client arrived. I had three that morning, I didn’t finish till around after 2.30 It was a good morning, it perhaps takes a little time to get used to a new environment. Also interestingly the designers next-door I Player had flat battery and though I had really enjoyed their music, it had really limited what I was able to do with people. It made such a difference, as I was able to use my voice properly and get to the core of all three people who came that day. Orsi too had a couple of readings that had gone very well
We finished feeling good and realized we had made back the deposit and had covered most of the expenses. I’d felt a little bad for Orsi as she hadn’t really been able to really get to started on her readings,but we managed to do a double healing on one of the ladies during a drum work shop in a tent right behind us.It’d been 20 minutes into the session when they’d started up and there was no point in trying to compete, it sounded like a party of Cheyenne dog soldiers had arrived and were getting ready for a raid. The lady had already gone into hypnosis, I figured she was at a festival and was open to native American style drumming, so I used it to intensify the deepening just like the shamans of old would have done, use what you have around you, everything is an opportunity. She came out feeling great and us satisfied
We’d then gone for a final walk through the beautiful countryside. When we got back we noticed that quite a lot of traders were dismantling their tents and some had already gone. It was around 4.30 and there was nobody left. We pondered for a few moments, the weather was dry so we thought get the dome down when it’s dry.
We visited Catherine and her ring of Chrystal skulls. She came and had half an hour with us. We both saw stars and lights with her. It was nice to compare later we had some time with her. When she started singing I was gone and only came round when a dog barked nearby 20 minutes later. We both felt touched by her.
Then the dome packed up in around an hour and a half. We were pleased with ourselves. We also remembered to take the evergreen leaves, the blessings from the Hastings Jack in the Green and burn them on a fire there that last night. It was deeply satisfying, both of us focused and quiet while they turned to embers
We’d said we wanted to try each pub in town so ended up back down to in the village at The Smugglers Inn which turned out to be great. We gave it our vote of the best Ale in the village and once again the locals chatty and open genuinely interested in what we were doing. They looked forward to us being in town next year if not before they said as we left. Orsi said this is not a show village for tourists, it’s a real place with a real community, she was right.
On the last day Orsi had woken saying she felt guilty that we are not on the Central Line on the way to the Vanilla Black to start work. It made me smile, as I know that when we leave here today we have a lot of work to do. She went off for a run across the hills. To get the worry out of her tummy she’d said. But the worry would grow over the coming days.
I showered and then made my way back to Pearl. A lady who’d been to see me the day before and had had a realy good cathartic session, came across to say hello with her husband and beautiful 2 year old Daughter. It was good to see her with her happy family. I realized she’d come across to show them. It had been a really good healing with her, strong powerful and for her quite surprising. She said she felt so good and had slept deeply that night. They al looked so happy. The sun was shinning and Pearl was all packed up after one last walk down to the Cukmere river and the church we made our way back climbed in and rolled her out down to the main road. Now the Journey begins as we have 5 days to see where the wind blows us. Anchors away