DIARY DATE 23rd of August 2006

1 DAY TO GO!!!



Well this really is it, the last one. Sheer practicality of having from tomorrow to stay onsite means I cannot get to a PC! Apart from Constable Robinson, of course who will be on his bike from Silloth for a quick check to see if we are all OK at about half past nine.

I have really enjoyed doing this and I hope that anybody who has had enough time on their hands to waste it utterly on my thoughts has got a bit of a laugh and a glimmer of a look behind the set up of SOLFEST. It gobsmacks me and every single one of the committee (and the vast extended/ing family of people that make up us lot, who put it together and run it) that SOLFEST in such a short time has gathered around it the love of thousands of people all over the country and far flung corners of the world. You all care about Solfest and that is amazing!

Therefore, you are all I think our extended family….
…. and these are letters from the strange old uncle about things back home.

Angelas’ leg is still giving her gyp, but the hole in Chris’ foot where he fell off his bike is getter better thanks to Karens Tea Tree Oil. Adams got a bit of a cold, and I’ve not been peeing anywhere near as much as I should be.


Last year Ian and I, on the Sunday night were sitting in the Pyramid watching the clouds from the gaping hole in it where the tarp had blown off.
(That sounds like something you’d hear in the jungle)
and we were saying how much running this festival, takes you out of your comfort zone and STTRRREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEETTTTTTTCCCCHHHHHSSSSSS you.

Karen and I get decidedly tetchy (well OK I fess up, I do. Karen has her own stress head in a different way) and I’ve already told you about my tantrum.

Today over a much needed coffee one committee member told me thatshe and her partner had come close to getting a divorce while working on the layout of how their bit of the field should be marked out.
I actually saw a man who shall be UN named and I have never seen lose his temper…


Do the whole steam coming out the ears and bulging red veins standing like tarpaulin ropes on his neck thing, I swear I actually did hear a bell like metallic clanging from inside his arms.

Tom growls a lot.

Sometimes I fear Adam thinks of patricide.

However, to quickly interject some brightness, these moments are quickly passed and most of the time, it really is fun. A lot of BLOODY HARD WORK. Karen has repainted a section of the bar; Tosh has put up a whole line of posts to hang the bunting on. Alwyn has done the five million difficult things he does everyday. JT has been everywhere onsite sawing and fixing and drilling. Dave and Graham (He’s made the stools! I’ll tell you about them in a bit!”) have put the GIANT FORK’N’TROWEL into place, and have been plumbing the showers. Alec has been fitting the bar…


…Alex has been painting the GIANT GUITAR, Kerry has been lantern making, Chris ahs fulfilled his annual role as Alwyns’ Sidekick and does an equal about of work, Today Debbs has FED US ALL, AGAIN. Beef Chilli, Vegetable Curry, Sandwiches. Owen has found another aspect of his yurt to struggle with. Simon has moved the vans that kept me warm when it was just me and some scaffolding in the field. They are Stewards Points now.


Which of course is one of those things you wouldn’t say if you didn’t have Solfest to say them about! Exquisite simple functional stools at height for stiltwalkers, and he’s even put angled feet on them so they stick steadily IN the grass! That is one of the way a functional thing becomes a really beautiful and poetic object. Graham, I take my hat off to you.

Tomorrow I finish things surrounding the stage and work with the Artist who made THE WICKER QUEENS to site them, and place a butterfly upon the Drystone stage. One of us it was noted at the nightly meeting should walk around the camping fields and run all the taps for about ten minutes as they’ve not been used all year and need fresh water flowing through, otherwise lots of bad tummies! JT actually thought of that. HE ACTUALLY THOUGHT ABOUT THAT. I would never in a million years have considered such a mundane thing, but how important is that basic bloody task, and JT thought about it and tomorrow, well, in five hours and twenty-nine minutes time the first tap will be running.

I really do have to shut up now.

See you soon


Alan Whittaker aka Wizardmarra
Is a
George Francis & Dorothy Mary Whittaker Production

The Wizards Pot

An archive of the life and rantings of The Wizardmarra. www.wizardmarra.com The Best Storyteller In The World.

About Alan Whittaker

A storyteller like no other. Weaving traditional storytelling with madcap posing and stand up comedy riffing. Taking the listener from here to there and back again at break neck speed; with panache and a fine sense of the ridiculous.For more information about Alan, read his biography.

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