When sunrise yoga doesn’t have to be at sunrise.
PUBLISHED: 15:10 31 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:27 31 August 2018
Norfolk - where the bizarre is normal
How do you explain Norfolk to your children?
Not the big skies, beaches, almost hills, long views and the masses of narrow roads and countryside there used to be between our towns before new-home building changed that.
But trying to explain Norfolk quirkiness to Keola, 10, and Thalia, seven, isn’t easy when they take pretty much everything in their stride.
They’d wondered what I meant as I’d said ‘only in Norfolk’ as we stood watching outdoors Sunrise Yoga - at 11am - with live sitar (I think) music drowned out by the beep-beep reversing of machinery moving straw bales a few feet away.
The girls thought nothing of it and the yoga class continued, but I guess as we were surrounded by men in dresses and the girls had barely pointed them out – turns out it was ladies day - it must have seemed pretty normal to them.
Perhaps it was nothing unusual when they’d spent a lot of the previous day ‘slug racing’ in sleeping bags, having conversations with a vet about why tortoises have egg sacks and, in Thalia’s case, trying to convince the hook-a-duck stand holder for a very long time that her £1.96 was nearly £2.50 and she could have another attempt at winning a sword.
Our weekend had started with applauding belly dancers wearing gypsy skirts performing to house music; the mixture of stonking big night out tunes with Middle Eastern shimmies pretty much set an ‘expect the unexpected’ theme to the weekend.
It was our first time at Trunchonbury, a family festival celebrating Norfolk-ness without seeming to try. It doesn’t bill itself as local, or unique, or different, but it certainly is.
Where else would lots of other campers run over in the driving rain to help with your flapping tent in a stubble field?
Where else would bands who’ve been billed with the likes of The Prodigy and Years & Years be in the same field as a Hare Krishna tent, the Mundesley Players mustering audience members to swell the dance crew and a disco shed, dance tent and House of Dread? Where else would a House of Dread be full of smiley souls organising everything from tequila slammers, disco days tunes, alphabet yoga, air guitar competitions and Abba favourites to that sleeping bag slug racing?
Where else would there be a water fight in the rain, would you make chandeliers from paper straws in the near dark of a big top, would roads be shut to traffic between camping stubble and festival field, would you meet birds of prey, snakes, centipedes, gospel singers, cake makers, vets, the BBC Introducing crew, comedians and the team from the local leisure centre all in the same field?
It sounds as if it shouldn’t work, but it’s Norfolk – so it does!