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Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Ducklings, turkey chick, and the first day of the Festival

On Festival eve, eight ducklings hatched in dairy dining room at Lower Shaw Farm and a solitary turkey chick shell-toothed its way out of a bantam-warmed egg and joined them. They are all, of course, cute beyond belief and an attraction and distraction to Festival authors and workers alike.

But we all managed to tear ourselves away from them to set up for Dawn Chorus at 4am in Lawn Woods. Among the trees, in the early-morning darkness, as the birds’ singing was ending the Festival was beginning. The pipes played, the Samba drummers drummed, the jugglers threw fire, the Scratch Choir threw their voices and the hoola hooper her hoops, the poets and storytellers threw words to the sky, a very nice man with very nice child and a naughty balloon had us in stitches, and light cloud on the horizon parted and the rising sun lit up and warmed the frozen faces of two hundred plus who knew where the action was at dawn on the first spring Bank Holiday in Swindon. It was a great start!

Next, we headed across town to lovely Lydiard Park, story-walked 3k, freedom parkran 5k, and listened to talks on running for life and running for your life. The day ended at the Platform, once a railway workers’ chapel, now a fabulous venue where the Glow Globes played mellow tunes and we had one last story.

Pizza for supper and a great sense of gratitude for a wonderful first day of the nineteenth Swindon Festival of Literature.  And more to come. Yay!


Dawn Piper

Dawn Singers

Dawn Gathering

Jake the Juggler

Bruce Airhead and helper