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July 29, 2008

90 minutes of aerobic exercise a day

The BBC has announced breathlessly that the secret of weight loss has been discovered: eat like a mouse and do at least 55 minutes of aerobic exercise a day. That will probably allow you to lose 10% of your body weight and keep it off for a year. My joy is unconfined.

Of course, this weekend I had no trouble hitting the target at the glorious Warwick Folk Festival. We went to this festival two years ago; it's on a tricky weekend that normally clashes with either Trowbridge or Cambridge. It's a perfectly-formed delight; big enough to book big bands and have plenty going on, but small enough to be easy to get around and see everything you really want to.

My aerobic exercise came from Oysterband on Friday and Bellowhead on Saturday, in addition to a certain amount of ceilidh, swimming twice, and plenty of tent-pitching and general walking around. Memo to other festivals; here is how you set up for a band that people are going to want to dance to at a festival where the main marquee is seated. You set the stage high off the ground (nearly as high as me), you leave a big space at the front, and then you put the seats behind that. Result; everyone gets to see, those who want to stand can do so, and those who want to sit have an unimpeded view. Warwick was just about perfect in this regard.

An additional feature was a big screen, complete with local ads, screen lag, and cute camera angles. I am not sure the main stage at Warwick is big enough to warrant it, but some people clearly appreciated it.

Discovery of the festival for us was the loud and rather silly metalcore ceilidh band Glorystrokes, playing the Saturday night ceilidh. Great fun to listen to and pretty good to dance to. We also particularly enjoyed hearing Bella Hardy, fresh from the Proms, veteran folkie Tony Benn, appearing here with elder statesman Roy Bailey; and the suddenly Mercury-nominated Unthanks, with all new backing musicians.

We also found time for traditional crafts, including more corn dollies (I made a Welsh fan! And I had a picture, except that AirMe appears to have neither saved nor uploaded it). Marianne bought a knitting board, which is essentially French knitting on steroids. She's currently generating large amounts of square knitting; I have a plan to acquire stripy cotton yarn and channel her creativity into homemade dishcloths.

Posted by Alison Scott at July 29, 2008 10:31 PM


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