Friday 31 August 2012


Every year since the very first Purbeck Folk Festival there has been a wishing tree somewhere on the festival site and every year at some point during the festival I write a wish on a scrap of fabric and tie it to the tree. My question to you is what would you wish for?

Here you can see me making a tapa: pimentos de pardon. Small peppers every tenth one of which is hot, you just never know which one.  

Thought I’d better show you some of the music. Here is Jack McNeill and Charlie Hayes playing on the Fire stage. These are an excellent duo, thoughtful lyrics and amazing interplay between the two of them.

Here is the good old camper van at night.

And here are some Maypole dancers. This took me back to my school days, as every year we would dance around the Maypole on the first day of May.

All you really need for a festival is a ukulele and paella pan!

Here is the finished product vegetable paella.

I had wanted my face painted like The Green Man, but it is nearer Tolkien. Still it hides my physog.

Now for some poems.

This first one is, as the title suggests, about the time I went to see Arthur Lee in Frome. Arthur was the man behind one of my favourite albums from the 1960’s Forever Changes by his band Love. It’s fairly as it happened.

Arthur Lee in Frome

Our three lives lead to this point.
An evening’s intersection,
To stand outside the hall and read:
“Due to unforeseen circumstances,
Arthur Lee will not be playing.”
The night takes another turn,
The map of our memories will declare
We told one another stories,
Sat under the oil flares
As the turquoise sky turned Prussian Blue


We talk of truth
Compare our examples
Sketch the authentic outline

Linda in Bob’s Car

Turn the engine over,
It has sat on the drive
For the past year.
Turn the engine over,
This December afternoon
And I will follow you homeward,
In the M5 drizzle,
In the winter dusk.
Turn the engine over,
Let the machine live
While the owner dies.
Measure it in morphine,
The sound of the syringe driver,
The sound of the road,
And the windscreen wiper.
Turn the engine over
And I will follow you homeward,
As night falls by Bridgwater,
Which tail lights are yours?

This last poem, again is autobiographical.

I want to end though by asking you what wish would you tie to the Wishing Tree?


  1. I do like these Paul, especially Linda in Bob's car.
    At last I have found a way to post here!
    I'll be back....

    1. Thanks Jinny, glad you can now post.Linda in Bob's Car is extremely autobiographic.

  2. Wishing tree is difficult because there are so many layers of wish: from for the world all the way to for me only. Although of course they are all ultimately for me...
    Also public wishes/private wishes. Wishbone wishes were always a secret.

    1. Yes, I know exactly what you mean. When pen was poised on fabric all those sort of ideas ran through my head, so in the end I went for the selfish!