Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Greenbelt '08 - the Rising Sun

Boo- hoo!!! Just back from Greenbelt '08. A fab time was had by all, as always. There was a significant amount of mud. Well the theme of this year's event was 'the Rising sun' so what do you expect? The Greenbelt communion service was at 3pm this year and the heavens opened right on cue. Oh, the irony!

The big memory of this year's event was the people. Having spent the year virtually connecting with a bunch of people at ASBOJesus it was great to have the opportunity meet up with a few of them at Greenbelt. Top of the list was creative genius, Jon Birch, who gave life to ASBOJesus. His blog of quirky little cartoons has grown into something of a community. I have known, for a long time (well, not that long in the grand scheme of things), that Jon has an enormous generosity of spirit, but to see him in action, the authentic enthusiasm and love for people was amazing. What a beautiful man! I was equally bowled over by the warmth and friendliness of Jon's wife Clare and good friends Sonia and Iain from the Sanctuary community in Bath. It was great to finally meet Robb and Dr Ruth who consistently contribute so much good sense and humour to the ASBO debates and Janetp who has more recently brought a new insight to the blog with her thoughtful and intelligent commenting. Caroline Too, I did enjoy meeting you - embrace your 'poshness', it's part of who you are. I was also privileged to briefly meet the ultra-cool (I am seriously not worthy) Jonny Baker, Jon's creative partner in crime with Proost. Far less scary was the introduction to Dubb aka Harry Baker. A fresh talent with a great future.

There wasn't much on the music programme which tickled my fancy but I did enjoy Emmanuel Jal. I forgot all about Daby Touré. I missed a few things that I wanted to see - damn Greenbelt programme! When are they going to come up with an online personal programme planner, which you can log into and input all of the things you want to see and the system generates a best fit before you arrive on site? I wanted to see Brian McLaren but only managed one talk which I wasn't particularly inspired by. I gave John Bell a miss this year. Best talk treat was Philip Yancey, whose books I love. I also went to Jenny Baker's talk on gender difference/similiarity with particular reference to church leadership. It was entertaining. I remember going to a workshop session on prayer which Jenny did with Pete Greig at Spring Harvest in 2002. This was a different set up, of course but she seemed a lot more feisty than I recalled from back then. Or was it just a different approach for the mainstream Spring Harvest punters? Best discovery was Pete Rollins. I went to his talk on Monday afternoon simply because I'd heard of him and there was nothing else on. I don't know how I got the impression, but I'd kind of thought of him as some cool, academic type (there is nothing I've read to reinforce this false impression). He looked about 15, and talked too fast. I figure if he had a fag in one hand and a pint of Guinness in the other, it might have stopped him playing with his hair so much. I have met pub philosophers a bit like him before but he has clearly developed the style to a fine art. I'm not altogether sure my brain had the time to process everything he said, but he said enough to stimulate my brain cells and stave off Alzheimer's for a week or so...or possibly advance it. It was a lively and entertaining performance. I sense that he is a work in progress and his ideas may be a bit more intelligible a few years down the line. I liked him.

Well, the tickets for Greenbelt 09 are already on sale. Things to do before next year:
(a) Grow a third arm - invaluable when you are trying to balance paper plate of food, paper cup of drink, bag of essential items, programme and folding stool.
(b) Contact Greenbelt organisers with a view to setting up a new venue - a tent where you can go to catch up on lost sleep. Suggested name for venue : Rest in the Spirit.

21 comments:

Steve Lawson said...

I was really sorry to miss Jon's session - what form did it take? Was it a Q&A, or live cartoon drawing? He's a delightful man; I interviewed him over the weekend, and you can see it here - http://qik.com/video/218710 :)

cheers!

Steve

Holy Famoley said...

Hi Steve, yes I have seen the vid - it really captured the spirit of the event well. The session was quite short really. As it was in the CMS Blah tent, it was quite an intimate affair with a few ASBOs in attendance. He gave a brief rundown of how ASBO started, how it has grown, what it has become etc with visual aids. We had a review of the types of cartoon/controversy we've had over the 18 months that it has been in existence. Then off to the beer tent. And yes, he is a delightful geezer!

Anonymous said...

such kind words Carole, it was lovely to meet you and your family
sonia

Holy Famoley said...

All true, Sonia, and sincerely meant.

jonny said...

great meeting you guys...

Holy Famoley said...

And you, too, Jonny.

Clare said...

sorry it has taken me so long to post! I'm with you on the need for a way to catch up on lost sleep - I'm still walking around like a zombie now and apparently on my first day back at work after the festival I looked so dog rough the rest of the staff were considering sending me home!!! Oops! I'm clearly not as young as I think I am. That said, wouldn't have missed any of those late night conversations for the world. It was just fab to meet you all. You feel like part of the family already!

Holy Famoley said...

There you go, Clare, I would not be able to keep the hours that you guys do. I like my sleep very much in fact if I can squeeze in an afternoon nap, I will! It was great fun meeting you all so here's to next time, whenever that will be...but it will be!

jonbirch said...

hey carole...
what a bunch of nice stuff you've said here! genuinely touched. that steve lawson's a good man too.
you and the boy phil are terrific! love you to bits already!
nice to see the baker boy here too, saying 'hello'. not toooo cool for school then! :-)
you know, i really enjoyed doing that session... never felt more relaxed. i was really at home.
a big, big thank you to you carole, for all that you bring to us. we are all very fortunate to have found you... or did you find us? either way, it's great.

Holy Famoley said...

Jon, how lovely to see you here on my patch. If I knew you were coming I'd have baked a cake! I'd have at least run the hoover over the carpet! And it has been lovely welcoming all my visitors post-GB. I soooo enjoyed Greenbelt this year and didn't get to half the things I intended to. Aah! a whole year to wait for the next one! Back to reality with a thud. See ya mate!

By the way, I found you lot, ably directed by your mate Mr Baker.

jonbirch said...

hey... we've found a use for him! :-)

Paul said...

Sorry I missed the ASBO bit. And you're so right about the programme. If they even published the early Friday evening lineup in advance it would make the first couple of hours so much easier.

changingworship said...

Did someone say cake?

;)

Robb

Holy Famoley said...

Do you know Paul, I missed a heap of stuff I wanted to see on Friday by the time I'd left the Brian McLaren talk (obviously one of the two good ones!) because the electrics were of the technical hitch with the electrics and had something to eat! I know they now let you buy an online copy of the programme but being a bit of a kinaesthetic learner, I need to print things off and play with highlighter pens and stuff...but they don't let you do that!

Holy Famoley said...

So you like cake, do ya Robb? I leurve da cake, but not as a dessert, I think cake should be an event in its own right, with good coffee.

jonbirch said...

absolutely right! cake should definitely be an event in it's own right!

Stumpy said...

SOunds like a pretty normal Gb Carole! Too much to do, too many places to go and not enough time to do it in! Plus you need a PhD in quantum mechanics just to get the GB guide working!
I always wish Gb happened 4 times a year, just so i can fit everything in!

Holy Famoley said...

Actually, Stumpy, I think part of the fun is the build up, thinking you might actually be able to beat the guide THIS year. I haven't managed to do that yet, and if you're struggling...well....

Stumpy said...

I usually end up beating myself round the head with the guide exclaiming 'why cant i fit it all in..!'
And then slowly eat it in a reflective and mournful manner.

Actually that last bit was made up. Probably.;)

Laura said...

Cake!??!! Woo hooo..
I want to go next year!

So...what's the best thing for a foriegner to do? Rent a tent or get a local room somewhere?

and...who's going to pick me up at the airport? ;-)

Laura said...

first thing a "foriegner" has to do is learn to spell the word foreigner. :oops: