It’s a modern word, Takeaway, isn’t it? For some it might summon up images of kebab boxes dumped on the street or frankfurters smothered in onions and tomato sauce. Sound as intentions might be for healthy eating options, sometimes the craving for a takeaway is just overwhelming…
It was Cheshire Mum who remarked that the Barnaby Festival was opening in Macclesfield while the Cleddau crew were nearby and that perhaps the Carnival Parade on the first Saturday (18th June) might be of interest. Stars symbolising the Festival’s Space theme decorated the town’s roundabouts and were attached to signposts and railings. On the way into town music wafted from the churchyard of Christchurch, one of the main festival venues, though to have investigated might have meant missing the Carnival action.
Bunting was stretched across Mill Street (the main pedestrian-only shopping street). In the market place the crowds were assembling and the excitement was palpable. Police patrolled by; stewards took up their positions. Then against the sound of drums the first parade figures appeared, giant puppet figures held aloft above the crowds. There were models of the galaxy and little green men; Princess Leia and Star Wars companions; there was a whole tribe of colander heads; a Tardis and a space shuttle; space drummers, a flying saucer, dancers, Parkroyal Community School, an Am Drams group and so much more. It was fun, it was lively, it was a glorious eclectic gathering of the town’s communities.
This was a temptation not to be resisted. The queues were long as five poets beavered away creating poems to order…
“What do you want your poem to be about?” asked the poet, Laurie Bolger. There were a few precise questions from her – and then about an hour’s wait while the poem “cooked”.
The contrast of canals and the towns
Paint palette paving – squat like a heron
Waiting to pounce, these stones ground us
For a little while, watch the parade
Leak down the street like water –
We are wildlife, engine troubles
And near sinkings, we are heads
As hectic as town centres but look
At all the stars here, hidden in
Flowerpots, remember them,
When we pick mint for Pimm’s
On board again, ever still, but ever moving –
In flat calm watching the heron’s
Messy takeoff, then it’s towpath
Those who know Cleddau and crew may recognise some references there… Back on board later there was chance to reflect on a personalised takeaway poem and some vivid memories of a festival in full swing…See here for some of the festival highlights.
In North America, in state and national parks, you’ll often see signs along the lines of Take only photographs, leave only footprints.. The Cal Three have flown in from dry Southern California to spend some of their long summer break in England. “Create visual memories to take back with them,” advised Cal Son. “Castles would be good,” he said. So there was the Castle Mound in Bedford followed a few days later by Peveril Castle
in the Peak District. There were the Three Locks at Soulbury on the Grand Union
– and some hands-on boating experience on the Macc and on the Peak Forest Canals for Cal Guy Snr. There was the windmill (first built in 1770 so older than the USA) at Stevington in Bedfordshire, the Emperor Fountain at Chatsworth, the Dragon’s Eye, stalactites and stalagmites in Buxton’s Poole’s Cavern and a fair number of parks, swings and sandpits…
Too much takeaway food is not good for the body but takeaway memories, they’re different, they’re brain food, they’re nuggets of knowledge and long-term nourishment for the imagination…