Monday, 23 July 2018

when is small small? (23/July/18)

no one can really decide or agree on exactly what a boutique festival is, giving a name to something that’s been around for years, decades of decades, perhaps it’s yet another marketing opportunity, exercise in rebranding through the back-door, essentially re-inventing the wheel over and over again… some even given what’s become a now over-used and overly familiar moniker of (insert name here-)’stock which automatically comes custom-made to sell because of its history in the first ever and one and only Woodstock Festival of 1969… I haven’t yet comes across one called Stockstock but I wait in bated anticipation… the term ‘boutique’ tends to describe small, perhaps intimate though not really, and that is quite possibly the only thing they all have in common, although some aren’t as small as they claim to be, but then I suppose that relies on your definition of small, how small is small is dependent upon how big is big, or when is small no longer small?.... one could get in quite a muddle nailing that one down…… small here usually means small in actual size, usually inhibited by the physical space, as in place, they inhabit but also the number of people and thus tickets available, the hundreds or at most the low, single-figure thousands, though like I say I’ve seen festivals number over 10,000 sometimes claiming the title of boutique…… boutique festivals are also, though not exclusively, use a theme as their jumping-off point which can as and often is, as loosely-defined as you like… themes can be based on their location, say a woodland or a by a river, canal, or could commandeer a time of year, such as midsummer, start of spring, midwinter, while many round upon a genre of music which is very common… then there are those focused on an art perhaps or an activity, spoken word, books, Morris dancing, clog dancing, sci-fi, surfing, comics and a plethora of beer/ other alcohol-related festivals …… it can though be fairly random and many rarely continue beyond their first, second or third year at best and of many that do fall down the rabbit hole and expanding into near-unmanageable behemoths like Glastonbury which itself began as boutique-style though back then this airy near-meaningless term wasn’t used, it was just a festival… most are outdoors but not all so that’s not helpful, although some are exclusively al fresco others are equally exclusively indoors while other do the mix-n-match…. so what is a boutique festival?... and when does a boutique become not?... and when does it become a fringe?.... oh no, that’s just muddied the swamp somewhat……… how small is small anyway…?......

© 2018 robert greig

Sunday, 22 July 2018

seal is broken (22/July/18)

seal is broken….

… it made me sad to think seal, poor seal, poor probably lost and most likely blubbery, seal is broken… broken how, I wondered… physically, or perhaps psychologically, maybe even spiritually… how can you know, you can’t exactly ask a seal, unless you’re another seal and one who even cares enough to take an interest and not be too busy swimming, eating fish and doing banana on rocks… so this seal, this broken seal, is left to its own devices as the Sunday mist sits there in a way only Sunday mists do, lacklustre, disinterested, aimless with no intention of going anywhere but being here which as it happens is exactly what it’s like today, and today being Sunday fits exactly that… the broken seal can’t be best pleased, unless it likes the sensation of the cool fresh water attracted to its coat it like cling-film… he might look around and find nothing more than vague imaginings of shapes in the mist that could just as easily be gorillas as probably the rocks that they are and perhaps the occasional bottling seal perhaps come to check he’s ok without actually checking or simply popped up by chance, as mist’ified as our broken seal balanced on this wave-tickled rock….
… and then…
…… I notice...
……… wording I’d missed (mist?) before … “safety button pops up when…” … when?... tumbling, , stumbling, plummeting and spiralling, descending in a less than nimble way I’m dragged away from such prosaic reverie to find not a seal, or an actual seal, broken or otherwise, staring back but the lid of the jar of mango chutney on which I read the wrong way around… “safety button pops up when... seal is broken”…… and he slips from his rock vanishing into the mirror calm leaving not a single ripple or an echo or a second glance from blackwater eyes……


© 2018 robert greig

Saturday, 21 July 2018

pants of fire (21/July/18)

you’ve got to laugh, otherwise you’d stick your head in a blender…. “liar, liar, pants on fire!”… childish I know but that’s just I feel like shouting, and anyway, petulance seems to have become the default setting, alongside bigotry, racism, hostility, intolerance, anti-anyone who doesn’t look like you, a load of “na na na-na na” moments… but honestly, whenever the American president, I can’t even say that without laughing, says anything at all you can guarantee within 24 hours he’ll say the opposite, BFF’s face-to-face then slag, slag, slag as soon as their backs are turned, beyond a punch in the face reach… honestly, what’s he like!... well, a 10 year old, 12 at best, 6 at worse, although that’s probably disrespectful to those who are actually that age and not actually as childish as he is, or hypocritical, or turning a tantrum into an international incident, or worse… we’ve seen some pretty ropy, dodgy, you name it US presidents  but my oh my this has to be the worse, largely for its implications but also for the unfathomable reality that their equally ropy and dodgy, and outdated, voting process actually elected him…. “it’s democracy Jim, but not as we know it”, or wish it to be… the rise of right wing nationalism is not just the domain nor construct of the religious zealots, fanatics and your stereotype extremist but lives and breathes, pees and poos in the blackening hearts of an increasing number of (so-called) Western leaders doing precisely what they accuse others (i.e. the so-called East) of, becoming  Facebook besties with one after another eschewing those anyone promoting a more liberal, cooperative and less confrontational point of view…. honestly, one could say I’m speechless but as I’m scribbling this I’m clearly not entirely but I am become numb, don’t even know where to start in pointing out the clear and present wrongness of it all and it’s rubbing off on other global leaders, movers and shakers alike… yet another historical/ hysterical turning point?... but then, when are we not… every day another slow-motion car crash…  how low can one go?… as it happens very, exceedingly, lower than the word low can justifiably be used to describe it, too exponential depths ever in this bottomless race to the nadir… it’s said that rules are made to be broken, though I never thought by the people who actually make them…… honestly, he’s having one heck of a midlife crisis, get a sports car or have an affair (oh wait, he’s done the latter hasn’t he?... and the former!), take up pole-dancing (eek! now there’s an image I wish I’d never conjured)…. he’s been pushing so many buttons since usurping the straw throne that soon there’s only going to be one left to push, and therein lies to fear….
health warning: do not, and I repeat, do not, entertain a ‘special relationship’ with this man because it’ll end in tears… yours for certain…


© 2018 robert greig

Friday, 20 July 2018

trippin’ (20/July/18)

I’ve been trippin’……

… down memory lane, that is, not sure I’d recommend it especially as a form of therapy although to some rebirthing seems to be and isn’t that just the same thing, following the breadcrumbs, retracing ones steps only to find some bugger’s got there first with a clean broom…. it’s a double-edged sword though, mind your step, mind the gap, and while you’re at it mind your manners and most definitely mind how you go, it’s a veritable minefield of remembered, half-remembered, half forgotten, long forgotten, woebegotten, ill-gotten fancy-free and fanciful and oh my god I really had that hair… though not so much the latter in my case having lost most of mine slightly prematurely…. in fact it’s not unlike trying to find follicles on a bald pate, few needles or even straw in tis haystack…… wondering where they are now, not my follicles, they’re gone with the wind, names, how many are even still alive (again, not my follicles, they’re dust to dust)…..
… I suppose it was the sudden appearance of this Alumni magazine from my old alma mater in the heady days and daze of the ‘undergrad years’ …… it was fairly intense, much a blur, manic and wayward, starting as one thing and ending another, a constant battle of balance between academia and hedonism… I definitely gave the scales a headache… all the best intentions became increasingly unintentional as I stumbled and fumbled and bumbled from one clue to the next not really wondering what would happen next until it happened next and by then there was another next on the horizon lurking and looming……
… I went as a mature student, the only way given the normal path of educational attainment wasn’t shiningly educationally attained so I slipped in under the wire on age while feigning maturity, or a definition of…… I suppose I’m just nosy, wanting to know what happened next with anyone I knew, even though embarrassingly I don’t even remember all their names… shocking!...... faces yes, mostly, sometimes I never even knew their full name, just a first or a nickname so reclaiming them from my wonky historical hangover would be somewhat Herculean… who am I kidding, there’s little hope really but… you never know… actually it’s the obituaries in the back of the magazine that spurred this, not an auspicious beginning to a quest I realise as time crashes inexorably onward they become increasingly going, going, gone….
… but why even bother?... I should kept notes, a regular diary perhaps, details, dates and yes names, took more photos… hindsight is a wonderful if not annoying reminder to what’s irretrievable…… they say we should always learn from the past, well, this is mine, the good, the bad, the ugly, or part of it anyway…… they also say curiousity killed the cat, though I am puzzled as to why that should be the case, but reason, logic, definitely overrated……


© 2018 robert greig