Who will wake whom at 3am? Who will put up the flags and who will get the chairs from the old creaky-doored church? And who will guide the red tractor-bearing trailer on a route that avoids one-in-three Kingshill? And what will we do on that high ridge by the stone plinths?
Well, suffice to say that, next day, or night, by 3.53 the whole crew was on site in Lawn Woods, even before the early birds had stirred.
As dawn threatened to break but there was still enough darkness to hide a secret indulgence, I delighted in a daisy-dew face wash, head-down in the grass, freshening up in the morning dew.
Soon, streaming through the shadows under the trees, the crowds came, called form their beds by something more timeless, mysterious, and meaningful than an old tractor.
And the rest, as they say is now history: newly-back from Nicaragua Jake, on watering can; newly made granddad Danny, on pipes; Tom, Jake, and Fergie making fire and music move us; the Swindon Scratch Choir raising their voices for us and to the rising sun, which rose, obediently, as they sang; Suitcase Pete making words, hoola hoops, and chirpy teenager all work for him and us; Rachel Rose telling one memorable and spell-binding story; Andria Walton as Rainbow Fairie playing tin whistle to transport us to tin whistle land; Alison ‘Poetry Pod’ Brumfitt reciting poems about the here and now; Tony Hillier and Music Alive bringing the maypole to life; and the smell of hot coffee and bacon butties doing what only such things can do.
It was a great morning. See what others say at Festival Chronicle and Swindon Advertiser.
The afternoon wasn’t bad either. In spring sunshine, we ran 5k round Lydiard park, with Alexandra Heminsley, Bruce Tulloh, and scores of others who know the benefits of the body in motion; and then had a very good chat about running and writing and thinking about it.
The walkers meanwhile were walking, and talking, and listening to Rachel Rose Reid tell stories.
With another 12 days to look forward to, we cannot relax ours.