IT IS OUR LAST DAY!! So, this will be our last moneyless post (for this project).
We have had a fantastic few days here at BardsBarter camp. Tuesday saw us braving the fierce cold to put up some goal posts at the village hall green for the local kids’ football team. As our project focuses heavily on community, it felt good to be able contribute further to that of Wellow and its surroundings as everyone has been incredibly welcoming and friendly. To say thank you for our work we had a magnificent lasagne cooked for us by Vicky Hammerton, which really hit the spot on such a cold day. In the evening we arranged a deal with Janet where we would do a few things for her on Friday in exchange for buying us a couple of drinks in some really interesting local pubs. It was a fun evening exploring the local watering holes with much debating occurring (including which is better – rugby or football?) and we thank Janet for the arrangement.
On Wednesday we spent the day doing a few things around camp and starting to organise our belongings for packing up and leaving. In the evening we cycled into Bath to perform on the main stage at The Bell, Walcot Street. It was an enjoyable performance, despite the awkward aspects of the stage and the space. The home-made flat bread pizzas afterwards were truly incredible and the drinks generously bought for us also went down very easily! The Bell has a thriving music and performance scene and after our performance there were two bands and a captivating performance poet entertaining the crowds. Unfortunately we had prior arrangements and couldn’t stick around to see the entirety of their performances, but what we did see was top draw.
The prior arrangements were a fantastic replacement for the shows we missed…getting rather sozzled with the owners and staff of The Grapes and The Saracen’s Head, all of whom have been incredibly generous to us and we have formed a great relationship with. It was an opportunity to hang out with them, thank them for everything…and for Nathan and Darius to show off their FANTASTIC karaoke skills!! We are really going to miss these guys, as we have performed in both pubs quite a lot over the month and have grown very fond of them. We eventually stumbled into our tent at about 4 am…no early start on Thursday that’s for sure!
At around midday…ish…we arose and slowly got into the swing of the day; enjoying the peaceful, beautiful weather, playing music, reflecting on the project as whole and what we are going to miss, as well as what we are looking forward to when we return to the “real world”. We have enjoyed the experience tremendously, but we are all looking forward to getting out of that tent and having space to move!!
Yesterday evening was one that we had been keeping an eye on throughout the last few weeks – we were performing at The Natural Theatre Co.’s Christmas Cabaret at their HQ in Widcombe. This was a really important evening for us, as it would be our last public performance of the month, as well as the fact that the Naturals are such a world-renowned theatre company, of such a high calibre, that we really wanted to do ourselves proud. It was also incredible that they had even asked us to do it, so pressure was on to deliver – heightened by the class of the acts we had to follow (Bill Smarme was a real treat!). Thankfully, we had nothing to worry about. The audience were truly amazing – by far the best we have had so far, with fantastic energy and brilliant reactions, they really helped make it one of our favourite shows of the project. The evening as a whole was one of the best we have had, thanks to Lady Margaret and the rest of the gang spreading Christmas spirit around Widcombe. It was an honour to collaborate with them and we really hope the recent arts funding cuts don’t spell the end for such an incredible group of performers.
We bundled all our gear into the back of Erica’s van for the journey home, which we were ever so grateful for – although we have mastered the cycle to and from Bath, we really weren’t relishing the country lanes and icy conditions – so thank you Erica!!
After an early rise this morning, we set about packing up our camp for our journey home tomorrow. It was a long affair, starting at 8 this morning, we only finished just before it got dark. It was very strange to see the tent and camp that we have lived in for the last month dismantled and packed away…the only signs that we had ever been there were the patches of pale grass where our tents once stood.
This evening we are performing for Janet, Erica and a host of their friends, to thank them for everything that they have done for us. We will also be taking advantage of the kind offer by Phil and Catherine Beale to stay in their home (with central heating!!) for a night to escape the cold. We will update you on this evening’s antics in a couple of days’ time, when we do OUR FINAL POST!!!
Can’t believe it’s nearly over!! Much love from the BardsBarterBoys x