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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Wednesday, September 24, 2003
    Greenbelt bloggers and old deers
    Les has posted me two newspaper cuttings from last week's papers. One is an article from The Tablet, on blogging. Inspired by my Church Times one, I wonder? Very dry but a decent overview, noting how Greenbelt "is growing each year as it becomes more internet-friendly, with many festival-goers booking tickets and holding discussions online." I wonder how true that is - the GB blog's been stagnant a week. "A Greenbelt spokesman, James Stewart, says, "We have yet to see the true impact of blogging on the Church. It does represent a new way of breaking down traditional barriers."

    Meanwhile, and far more entertaining, Patrick Browne, a lapsed choirboy dragged along to Cheltenham by his seminar-hungry wife confesses to readers of The Lincolnshire Echo that he loved it and will be back next year. For him it's the traditional elements of GB which thrill: the prospect of an "event under canvas which would satisfy Imogen's interest in the church, the kids' excitement at camping and an opportunity for me not to wash."

    His feet were "expelled from the tent" each night. He seemed to enjoy having them visited "by voles, mice, hedgehogs, rabbits, hares, foxes, badgers, wolves, and some old deers." He revelled in the communion service with all its contradictions. He describes a visit to the festival hospital "deaf, disoriented and dehydrated" after spending ten minutes with his daughters at a thrash metal gig. And on Monday, "my body odour finally paid dividends at the late night Billy Bragg concert" :

    When I arrived I could not even see the stage. In exasperation I clasped my hands above my head and people quickly backed away from me - some even fainted. As I moved forward, the red sea of Billy fans parted and I was soon at the front, right under his nose. ... His encore, which appeared to be aimed at me, of 'Sing if you're glad to be smelly, sing if you've got a fat belly!' was a bit unchristian, I thought.