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I remembered the quote wrong. It’s actually:

The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.

But it would be wrong to say that the countryside in England is like a foreign country when compared to the cities.  That would imply that one of the two is more English than the other.  That said, I think it is fair to say that the two are different enough to be different countries.

But, as ever, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Basically, I’m a useless relative.  I never go to stuff.

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I’ve always viewed Sidmouth Folk Week in the way that the author of Das Kapital saw history, and the author of Mein Kampf saw life: as a virtuous struggle.

You camp a mile or two up the hill, and you get to and from the town (where 95% of all the music is happening) by a bus.  The bus service is good, but still… once you go into town you can’t really just nip back to your tent.  So you need to bring everything with you: instruments, your own food if you can’t afford to keep eating out, sunglasses, swimming trunks, umbrella, GoreTex weather gear, defibrillators, the usual English summer stuff.  And whilst I have long appreciated (as a Sidmouth veteran of many years) that this makes me a better human being, it does have the negative side-effect of making me not quite be arsed to do anything much after about 11am.

And then a friend told me an extraordinary secret. Continue reading