Tales from the storyteller with David Phillips:
Now that the Christmas and end of year festivities are out of the way, it’s time to get back to reality, and the idea that we somehow create our own.
As those of you who have been reading my column for the passed 20-odd weeks may recall, I have an interest in synchronicities, those little odd coincidences that stand out from the crowd during our everyday lives.
I like to see them as signposts along our route in life, that confirm we are on the right path, in the right place at the right time to notice them.
These new ones happened while my partner and I were attending the annual Frost Fayre in Glastonbury at the end of November.
I love Glastonbury - the town not the festival - and have been there many times for both paranormal and spiritual reasons, but for the purposes of this article I will stick to recent events.
The weekend before the fayre, we were watching a review of the pop charts from the year 1975, as decided by record sales over that particular year, and what an eclectic bunch they were!
The one that stood out the most for me was Jasper Carrot’s offering, Funky Moped.
As I was wondering how on earth that featured so high in the chart, the voice-over man explained that this was largely due to the B-side, Jasper’s rude take on the antics of the Magic Roundabout characters.
This reminded me of another single, by the Sex Pistols no less, which had a very rude reverse side, and was much sought after and coveted by my contemporaries at Bristol Grammar.
I myself wasn’t into said group, but I did manage to get a listen at some point, and most amusing it is too, up there with the rude character names in that other children’s perennial, Captain Pugwash, and the hilarious, innuendo riddled version of Rainbow, that I’m sure can be tracked down on YouTube!
Fast forward a week, and while checking out my phone in our hotel room in Glastonbury, imagine my surprise to find that the first random offering on Google was an old recording of Jasper Carrot live on stage explaining to an audience about his take on the Magic Roundabout... this begs the question, do our phones read our minds?
I then felt obliged to track down a recording online and have a listen. Suffice to say it was a bit of an anti climax, I prefer the Sex Pistols’ naughtiness myself!
For those that have never attended the Glastonbury Frost Fayre, basically the majority of the town becomes an open-air market, with lots of halls open for stalls too, with free entertainment and access to the abbey itself thrown in for good measure!
Unfortunately, this year’s event coincided with the wrath of storm Arwen, causing many stall holders to cry off, and toppling the town’s Christmas tree. It was also bitterly cold!
Undeterred, we set off into town, having arranged to meet an old friend, and TIP member, who had recently had a baby.
After lunch with said friend, it was time to do some shopping.
First stop was an old favourite, where I had previously purchased the start of my Steampunk wardrobe, including a purple bowler hat with goggles. This time I restricted myself to a jaunty, red, half-size topper.
Purchases made, we made our way to the lower part of the town, where the bookshops are located.
Having decided it was now too cold to hang around any longer, I announced to Sarah that I had also made the decision to resist buying more books.
Glancing in the next bookshop window as we passed, I couldn’t fail to spot the title of a book that was prominently displayed for all to see.
With black lettering on a white background, it read: HOW TO RESIST...
When we passed the same shop the next day the book was nowhere to be seen, as the display was in the process of being changed.
Our aim the next day was to visit the TV and film merchandise shop, that we had spotted but failed to visit the previous day.
I’m always on the look out for bits of Dr Who memorabilia, and currently trying to rebuild my Action Man collection. Sadly, no DW stuff I wanted, and all the Action Men on display had a £100 price tag on them... I’m not that serious a collector!
As we browsed further, I overheard a conversation between the shop owner and a guy who was trying to sell off some rare collectable cards.
“How much do you think that one is worth?” asked the owner, as he consulted his laptop, “I haven’t a Scooby!” came the reply...as I was looking at a model of Scooby Doo...
The other week, my walking friends and I literally had a meeting with reality. It was our Christmas walk with meal to follow.
We set off later then planned, due to car and parking issues, from Shipley Bridge, intending to follow the remains of Zeal Tor Tramway as far as Petres Pits.
The idea was to do some letterboxing along the way, as usual, but, as the weather wasn’t really conducive for people hanging around waiting for me and getting cold, it was decided to head to higher ground, to admire the fabulous views from the heights of Eastern Whitabarrow instead.
Once we had seen enough, it was downhill all the way, much to the relief of my fellow walkers.
The last stretch involved a steepish decent, below Black Tor, on to the tarmacked path that leads towards Avon Dam.
As we waited here for two of our friends to catch up, a dog greeted us that looked almost wolf-like, with unusual markings and coloured fur to match.
As we made fuss of it, its owner arrived on her bicycle, and greeted us as enthusiastically as her dog.
She was a sweet old thing, profoundly deaf, as became obvious by the way she kept handing us pen and paper to write down some of our comments and questions.
We were mostly interested in the dog’s name.
She smiled and replied excitedly, saying it was very apt. She was called Tattva, which in Hindu Sanskrit means reality, and our new friend felt we had all created our own realities that day, resulting in us all meeting up at that particular moment in time, having started out from very different beginnings.
She went on her way with a cheery wave, leaving us with a great sense that possibly something a bit special had just happened. Well met, sweet old lady...
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