Sunday, 4 November 2012

The mushrooms are back again!

After lunch, once again in a bit of a rush, I arrived to the coach station to set foot on folk music... again! It had been a while since I last danced and being back again to the folky circuit feels tremendously well, like a warmth cosy feeling over myself. Funny enough, was the fact that I found a friend, on the same coach, heading to Skint as well ^^
Her name is Cassandre, with whom I experienced the first french folk gig in London, at SOAS. In between catching up with each other, reading and sleeping the journey was, despite exhausting, very light to carry with.

Once we left, an escort was waiting for us! Nahhh, just kidding. We happened to arrive at the same time as other people and Ella drove us to the centre of the return of the mushrooms to Skint! A whole 2 days and a little more hours of music, dancing and good fun of french, english and scandinavian folk!

Next morning, still half awake, I open the curtain that separate the main hall to the stage, now served for some of the people to sleep in - other were in other divisions of the Hall and a few more moved instead to a Village, just to see the end of a Ioga session, while some other were still happily devouring the amazing breakfast, courtesy of the best festival cookers: the Vaughan's!
Oh, how can one describe their food? Imagine the best dish you've ever ate at a festival and multiply it by one hundred... and you'll get way behind what their food tastes like.
I can for sure and a lot of people will stand by me when I say that Skint without them wouldn't be the same thing :)

With the help of a few volunteers, all sorts of aspects of the festival were handled with no major issues: from making sure all the rooms are ready to hold the sessions and breaks to making the food ready to the hands of the chefs, everything is done with the most joy and love, making it an essencial ingredient of this gathering.

Clothes here, mattresses there, bags and instruments over there, every corner had some element of presence, memory and suspense. And the certainty of this are the sounds that dance throughout the building. Either it be music, or just conversation, the whole Hall is lively and merry, for everyone's reason to be there is the communion, and Folk! 

A little before lunch time, I set out with Amy to go for a walk and see what Ashover had to show us. We carried along the football field, jumped over the fallen wall and went down the road that led to the village's church. There, we found a very friendly fella who told us, right after Amy opened the door of the church "I'm sorry, but there's a weeding being held there now" to which we stepped back, thanked them and asked for a way to get over the hill. "Turn right after the church, follow the path over the tiny bridge and you'll face a upward muddy road that shall take you over the top of the hill. If you carry on that path, you can manage to get down again and be on the nearest village from here."
Following his instructions, we saw the road becoming more and more forestry, muddier and more like what I was expecting to see. The wind was whispering the coming of the winter but the sun still is strong enough for us to feel it embracing us.

After a while discovering around, we felt like going back and have a proper lunch; our bellies were shouting the same. It is wonderful to have moments like these, when the simple act of walking outside your frontyard proppel you to unknown lands, might they be as close as the hill you see from the windows of your house. The distance and toughness of the achievement do not have a thing to do here. What matters the most is how joyfulness of what you do. And if you enjoy what you do, the day seems to go right on the spot, like this whole festival felt to me.

And for now, we stay here.


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  2. Hi Joao, love your blog! I work at Ashover Parish Hall and am pleased to see from the photos that you all had a brilliant time! Are you coming to Skint this year? If anyone wants to find out more about the Hall visit us at

  3. oh, I've put a link from our website to your blog and publicised it on out facebook and twitter pages :)