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…

Not everyone gets the chance to attend a festival – but you can probably guess that a festival will likely provide new and unfamiliar sounds, sights  16U-18  – and probably tastes too…

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   16U-02 and railings. 16U-05  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  16U-01  (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.  16U-06  There were models of the galaxy and little green men;  16U-12   Princess Leia and Star Wars companions;  16U-11   there was a whole tribe of colander heads;  16U-14   a Tardis  16U-08  and a space shuttle; 16U-09 space drummers,  16U-10   a flying saucer,   16U-17  dancers, Parkroyal Community School, 16U-07   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.

You get hungry at festivals: a wood-fired pizza saw to the physical hunger pangs but it was a one-time burger van that whetted the appetite for a Takeaway Poem.  16U-03 16U-04

This was a temptation not to be resisted. The queues were long as five poets beavered away creating poems to order…

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“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

Tablecloth landing.

Laurie Bolger  16U-20

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  16U-23   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

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in the Peak District. There were the Three Locks at Soulbury on the Grand Union

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– and some hands-on boating experience on the Macc and on the Peak Forest Canals for Cal Guy Snr.  16U-34  There was the windmill (first built in 1770 so older than the USA) at Stevington in Bedfordshire,  16U-26  the Emperor Fountain at Chatsworth,  16U-28  the Dragon’s Eye, 16U-32  stalactites and stalagmites  16U-33  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…

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