Since internet time is limited here, I will be writing about each day after it has taken place, the following morning. Today is the first day of the festival proper, but I will be writing about the "prep-day" we had yesterday.
Most people here are very busy. All craftspeople/demonstrators have to be in their tents for the whole day (11-5.30) - so, thats like a REAL job. Next, musicians have several performances each day. Then, there's the poets/storytellers - we have maybe one or two (sometimes 3) slots per day, of 20 mins up to an hour. So, either we are the least busy - or, we are the most relaxed - both I think, and of course this means we will get to see all of the festival for ourselves, unlike the poor cooks/Welsh teacher/clog-maker etc etc
Yesterday there was an orientation in The Dragon Tent for all participants. This took about half an hour. The rest of the day was our own! I spent some time talking to this really interesting guy, Pat McGee, who is a veritable knowledge of offbeat, quirky knowledge. I now know about Manchester comic poet Les Barker and understand the Scottish drinking phrase "a wee drop of the creature". Awesome stuff. :)
Later on I DID sample said creature - a reception/party took place on the top floor of our lovely hotel (s'posh, like) and first minister Rhodri Morgan flew over to join us. Apparently, there is a "trade mission" riding on the coat tails of this here Folklife Festival - 80 Welsh companies are over here right now, making presentations/contacts/sales/propositions... Not sure where they are exactly, but they are here. Apparently.
Speaking of propositions - it was free booze at the reception, and I spied more than a few participants participating in some improprietous behaviour... Naming no names (though I COULD if I wanted to; or even start up a profitable blackmail sideline) but, due to the fact that they dont seem to understand the concept of "spirit measures" here, quite a few people took a tiny tot too much of the demon drink. As I did myself, in fact - I then ended up drunkenly chatting with some near-7 ft tall submarine engineer who was wearing enough gold and designer linen to suggest he was bloody LOADED (plus the fact that this IS a swanky hotel). I - think I scared him off with my quantum physics rant, however - "everything is made out of ENer-geeeee". I then made some new "friends" amongst the other participants, and they were deadly impressed with my psychic abilities, the greatest of which is the power to tell people how old they are, "spiritually" - "you are 11"; "youre 12, you are"...
Oh dear. :(
Needless to say, this morning I was a bit Nevada-mouthed (desert - geddit) and a lil cactus-bloom-cheeked. But! Live and let live. And, I intend to.
More to follow!