This is the story of my peace pilgrimage journey to my 11th and 12th festivals (Green Gathering, and European Rainbow Family Gathering).
On Monday 29.07.13 we finally, after heavy rains, at about 1430 hours left the Cotswold home towards Piercefield Park in Chepstow, Monmouthshire for the “getting bigger Green Gathering” (greengathering.org.uk).
After a stop in Cirencester for some laminating and photocopying and a few other little things, as well as a late afternoon lunchbreak while getting some food stuff for the crew members of the Weirdigans cafe, we managed to get going towards the GG festival in Chepstow.
We arrived late afternoon at about 1630 hours and at the gate we were greeted quite well I had a pass code number which was given to me by my north sister and I didn’t have to talk my way into the festival because my passage was already opened for me by my sister, and some other organisers of the festival, for me to talk in one of the main stages of the festival for about an hour. So we went in and a little later on we met our host in Weirdigans cafe and our brother and sister from north.
We were told what sort of space we do have, and where we are going to put up the geodesic dome and the wind generator and our space for our personal camping, so after some discussion we started by putting up the dome with the help of already made props and we enjoyed putting it up quite nicely in a way, and by using our safety helmet and my hi vis jacket we looked like we really knew what are doing! Anyway before it gets very dark I asked if we can put up our tents so we don’t have to do it when it is very dark, and finally we put up our tents and we found out we have intruded by about half a metre from our allocated place and we were kindly told we will be ok and we don’t have to move them back.
So people were coming and going through our allocated space due to early days of the festival and it took us a few days to redirect people to the correct path and let them know where to get in and out through our allocated space which has been given for the duration of the festival from 1-4 August.
On Tuesday 30.07.13 we started our second day by putting up the three different colour tarps on the dome with mainly green at the front and white at the back and a top with blue. We managed to make sure the dome is safe and securely waterproof, so we can have our lunch or dinner in there if there is a heavy rains.
It was this day that we had a wonderful training about how we can use the Weirdigans cafe to prepare lunch for ourselves and the crew and also about using the washing up system which is designed for a remote kitchen in a festival area with less water and more efficiency; I liked it very much, the fact that we could could use this system and also the hand washing system as well, which was a very good system indeed.
It was this night that I have heard people from outside my peace camp reading my board and they were talking about why I am here in this part of the world and seemed not very happy or friendly, and it was then that I felt my tent was in an untenable position, so next day after my sister from north wanted to make some more space for public to pass and crew to camp, I was happy to move my peace tent for the 173rd time, so that it was closer to the dome and the Weirdigans cafe tent, where – despite a little bit of disagreement about its exact place – finally we managed to set its place and I stayed happily in there for the rest of the festival duration.
On Wednesday 31.07.13 just a day or two away from the public opening of the festival we had to do a lot before we start talking to people about our wonderful Green Energy Exploration Dome. We have to again make sure the dome is safe and secure then set up the other equipments, things like the controllers for the solar panels, kinetic energy created by a bike, and also we managed to put up the wind generator by using a tripod and secured it and cordoned off the area so people wouldn’t just walk through too close to the turbine, for the matter of health and safety.
We managed to make the dome almost ready to speak to the public in case on Thursday morning people might start to come to the festival and we could engage with them.
On Thursday 01.08.13 it was the first opening day of the festival and I was told I might have my talk to do at 7pm, but later on I was told by my sister it will be next day at 7pm (on Friday). So Thursday lighting and signs were the two things that remained and they were done with some help from our wonderful brother Dave from LEDfantastic (ultra low power lighting; www.LEDfantastic.com), and Kate another wonderful member of the Weirdigan crew, who did help indeed my brother Ben and things were getting completely ready by about 1700.
It was this day that I met some other crews from the festival including Colin who was into a lot of green stuff and he showed me around his camp site and how he is helping our main Speakers’ Forum get powered up by his 24 solar panels and many banks of batteries; he was indeed an electronic wizard engineer, and I enjoyed talking to him as well.
Friday was the 2nd main day into the festival and we did start talking to the public and explored and shared some possibilities of green energy with other people in the festival and we directed people to the Speakers’ Forum and listened to some of the speakers ourselves, and it was today at 7pm when I had to talk about my 1st peace journey from London to the Middle East, at the Speakers’ Forum, and some photos were taken by wonderful Janie Mac which I will attach here if I can.
Saturday 03.08.13 we carried on exploring green energy with people at the festival and also we arranged for us (my brother and I) to explore some other places of the festival and especially it was a great time for me to talk to more people in many different places in the festival and tell more people about my peace journey. It was today that my brother had earlier been in the town of Chepstow and very kindly did get me a rainproof jacket which I found quite helpful later on in the festival on the rainy days, and I have been wearing it all the time since, hope to last for many years to come.
Sunday 04.08.13 was our last exploration day at the festival and we engaged with a lot more people also my brother’s girlfriend has turned up to the festival as well and he was quite happy to be in the dome with her, speaking to public and then they set off themselves to explore the whole festival together and they came back with some more wood and leather and many old gadgets to the geodome later in the day.
Tony from a local radio Bristol (www.dialectradio.co.uk) interviewed my brother and then I had my interview with him late afternoon at about 1400, and I did enjoy talking to him (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wU8X3D0rYo).
On the same day a nice human being called Ollie came around and he kindly shared one of his nice poems in the dome, and we had wonderful chai about 1600 as our afternoon tea, and we enjoyed another lovely day at our festival.
I have to say here that my brother and I promised to help the Weirdigans crew with lunch preparation and washing up which due to our deep and 1st time involvement with public, we couldn’t always make on time, and we most of the time had to be reminded by our sister about doing the lovely task of preparation, which I hope did not put them under a lot of pressure, because they were quite punctual and busy and knew what they were doing. I really enjoyed the time there and hope we have learnt a lot from our time sharing which the festival brought us all together, thanks to our wonderful sister and brother from north of England.
Sunday we wrapped up our day by going to another talk at the Speakers’ Forum stage by Janie Mac (about the World Social Forum in Tunisia and beyond) and that talk was almost hijacked by someone so-called “Commonly known as Dom”. I had to say what was right in my heart and that was that the Forum was not a stage for personal attacks, and people were very much agreed and Janie Mac kindly rounded up her journey and we were all happy, and myself I went out for some more open mic speaking around the festival e.g. at the Radical Wales Dome, and later that day I went back to a stage where I had been before and met three members of a community called Avalon Rising, including Nolan Shone and Darren, and I stayed and spoke in their community till early morning of Monday, and after saying goodbye to the community I headed back to our camp area.
Monday 05.08.13 we managed to bring down the wind generator and pack some other stuff and it was a very heavy on-off rainy day, but we had a nice and a relaxing day as well due to the end of the festival and less people were around, also we sent back some considerable weight of stuff with my brother’s kind girlfriend, and we had our lunch inside the geodome, and over all it was a wonderful day.
Tuesday 06.08.13 I was told by the Rainbow Family that they have an open European ceremony in the Forest of Dean and I wanted to go there and be part of it, but first I managed to help my brother by using our wonderful tripod to bring the top of the geodome down with no problem and my wonderful brother was happy for me to go ahead and go to the Rainbow Gathering in the late afternoon, and I said goodbye to everyone and headed out towards outside of the festival. I have to say here that throughout the festival I met so many wonderful human beings, especially a few more new members of the Weirdigans crew, and many other members of the public, and I hope that love and peace one day soon will prevail over what is not right in humanity today.
Late in the afternoon, Catherine (who I’d met earlier in the festival) joined me and we headed together towards the RFEG (Rainbow Family European Gathering), and after speaking to some other nice people throughout our walk towards the exit gate of the festival, we met Dominic who I’d met the day before in the festival Sauna and he told me he is going to the RFEG and he kindly with his girlfriend Melanie gave us a lift, despite having not much space and they had two more nice people too (Anton and Paula) and we all headed towards Monmouth to get closer to the gathering. At the Lidl market in Monmouth we saw many other nice people going to the gathering and I asked Dom if it is ok for me to go with Delvin who I saw him briefly at the GG festival in the early days and he kindly offered me a lift to the gathering from Monmouth, and we said goodbye to the rest of the people who were there.
So we managed to get to the gathering at about 1830 hours, and I put up my peace camp and I met some more new people there.
On Wednesday 07.08.13 we had a nice opening ceremony and nearly 30 people including some children did participate in the event and later that day I paid a visit to the welcome home which the previous day I’d skipped due to being with Delvin who knew the main camp. Also we took Delvin’s wooden (hazel tree branches) geodesic dome, and we put it up together and it was wonderful to see another dome to be set up and to be used as a communal area and a place for focalising different things.
Thursday 08.08.13 I explored the camp area and also helped with some more new people, and helped to make the camp and the gathering to look more welcoming and also managed to walk from (http://www.sungreen.co.uk/Coleford-Glos/Biblins-Bridge.htm) Biblins foot bridge which was not very far from the gathering main site, and I walked to Symonds Yat West, and I told an operator who was crossing people from west to east about my peace journey and I told him and everyone on the boat a story of one of my border crossings, and I crossed with his boat, and told them about how my journey is not finished and please visit my weblog, then I headed back to the camp.
On Friday (09.08.13) I did help the camp trying to setup a couple of tipis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tipi), and later I moved my peace camp down to the main pathway to engage with more people and on a couple of nights I shared some of my peace journey stories by the main fire and told more likeminded wonderful people to get in touch with me and look out for more stories from my peace journey.
On Saturday 10.08.13 I woke up a bit early due to yesterday I tried to swim in the river Wye (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/River_Wye) by the Biblins bridge and I got unwell a bit, so I had a temperature all night and next day I went to the welcoming home and I shared all my 6 coconut macaroons (from Green Gathering) with some of the people in the “welcome home” area and then I headed to the main gathering site. On my way I met Teo, a wonderful person from the Rainbow Family, and Delfi who has just joined the gathering a day before, and they were about to go to the Symonds Yat East and see some members of the community who the night before had not been welcoming to Delfi and we wanted to know who were the people and why they were not welcoming? So I went with them and we talked to two couple locals and they were not aware of the people who were not happy to see Delfi, a wonderful person from global Rainbow Family who had travelled a lot and not seen people being unpleasant to him as they were in the car park of the Symonds Yat East. We got some info from the locals and headed back towards the main site to report back the news to the morning council of the main gathering site, then after seeing and meeting some more wonderful people and having some pancakes in our morning food and morning council, I said goodbye to the gathering and put down my 175th time peace camp, and then I headed back towards London at about 1635 hours.
Today I walked for more than 6 miles and finally with an injured right foot I arrived in Monmouth at about 1830, waited there by the same Lidl, which I had a lift to the gathering early this week on Tuesday.
I managed to get another wonderful universe connection at about 1925 hours, and this time by wonderful Gareth Baker from Wye Valley Apiaries (http://www.madeinmonmouthshire.com/eating/item/34021/Wye_Valley_Apiaries.html)
He did very kindly gave me a lift all the way to the mouth of M4(M48) motorway.
I remember early just before we enter M4 there were many balloons in the sky with different shapes and colours and Gareth was telling me that the biggest balloon making factory is in Bristol (http://www.bristolballoons.co.uk/?gclid=CJuGss33-rgCFbHKtAodpzYA0A).
Here I waited for a very little time before another two wonderful universe connections has just turned up at about 2000 hours and I arrived with them in London just about 2200 hours and after telling some of my stories to the wonderful couple, and telling them to visit my weblog for more stories, I said goodbye and a heart to heart hug to the wife and then the wonderful husband has very kindly brought me back to the City of London about 2230 hours, and also after hearing all my stories it was time for him to share one of his remarkable journeys by plane from London Heathrow to Germany Hamburg and from Frankfort Germany back to Heathrow London, England without using any passport; just another wonderful hint that we as human race can and do exist without passports and I am greatly advocating it to become a basic human right all across the planet to have free movement across borders.
So that is how my third peace pilgrimage journey has come to an end after more than a month away from London and after cris-crossing Wales and England in regular simple journeys, and crossing festival walls as high as 4m in Glastonbury (which seemed to me as a 16th country I entered, due to its high security and its high walls which I had’n’t seen before ( the yang festival), and balancing this, a festival as yin as the gathering near Pilton with no walls and just the wonderful voices of the women made me and my friend to respect their love and peacefulness and leave without any problem.
If we all trust each other, which is a key to human progression, I believe humanity will move forward in a very tranquil and positive way.
Again may love and peace be upon you all, and till than take care of yourself and each other.