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Officially born sometime in the mid to late 20th century, born-again in May 2015. My first two-score-and-five comprised a slow journey from the rural  peace of Blackestmoor to the edges of the big city. Long years I existed there until spent, grey; a mere costume of a man - I awoke one late May evening in Ffynchingfield, on a quiet hill near The Lion Inn. 

In my haze I recall a small group of men of musical leaning (they carried a variety of musical instruments) and friendly of nature. They had spotted me, slightly forlorn, slightly dazed, wondering how I got there. I had not noticed their approach, partly due to my condition, partly their stealth. 


Indeed one might have believed they manifested from spirit alone, and later, when they regaled me with accounts of McGregor and the Great Still of The Lion Inn; of the explosion of the Bell Inn; and of the late Horace Bletherworp’s habitual knocking-out of his fabled pipe, I began to wonder whether these kind characters came of salt and earth, or of some alternative, spiritual form. But here they remain, so I conclude if they be of spirit alone, in Ffynche these wisps have found a willow beneath which to settle, at least for now; a happy conclusion.

Of the small group that evening, one in particular took the lead. Slim, of kindly manner, tall and with head shaven beneath a grey trilby. Moondog - for it was he - muttered something; tone soft, calming and of northern lilt. In my fogged state I could not quite decipher what he spoke of, something about ‘it’ being ‘overrated’. To this day I do not know to what he was referring. Perhaps to the beer at another pub (for I now know they must not be mentioned by name) or perhaps to the perils of competitive subjunctivism?


He and his jolly band led me to The Lion Inn, sat me down, gave me beer and explained that very evening was to be a musical celebration: an offering to The Great Lord Bob. The gathering was well attended with an eclectic mix of musical culture on show, performed by artists with confusing names such as Birdman, Wheelnut, Throbbers, Twitey, Stumpy, Canute, Bubbles and Stanley Franc. 


I had a very nice time - and still do.

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