Saturday, 28 August 2010

Post Boom Retrospective

Barragem da Marateca 002 Friends who read my previous post took from it that I found this year´s Boom Festival to be overall a negative experience.  It was far from my intention to convey this kind of message.  Positive experiences taken away from Boom, outweigh the negative irritations by about 3 to 1.  Even given the gruelling physical challenge that led to the state of my poorly feet, could not dampen the magical, loving vibrations that I have taken from Boom to keep me warm in the longer nights ahead. 

This has been my fourth consecutive Boom – both the most challenging and with the most personal gains.  The love received from fellow attendees was indescribable.  I was personally very well prepared for this one; physically, mentally and spiritually.  This preparation is key to getting the most out of the experience.  It is a very fine example of the old adage “You get back what you put into something”. 

At this point, it seems far from certain that there will be a Boom 2012 – as with other areas of life, a dark undercurrent would surely like to sweep away the party, preventing the new wave of flower children from doing their thing in peace.  Hence, elements are allowed to creep in that undermine it and create a negative image.  We must be strong against this undercurrent.  From my perspective, as a 50 something old hippy, it is vital that I continue to add my energy to such movements, speaking out when the organisers are misguided or negligent.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Post-Boom; initial thoughts



Access to the lake and cleanliness of the water - 5* Europe´s “Burning Man”; Physically VERY tough (for many).  A one-way hike of 5km from the campervan field, and that just to take you into the party.  So a potential of 10-15km walked everyday, even if you only made the journey once.  Getting to the party each day was like planning an expedition; either you had to take everything with you you could possibly need (meaning carrying baggage in the heat of the sun and risking losing something), or leaving it behind (risking getting cold later etc. or make a second journey!!).  How many of the Boom organisation would be prepared to do that themselves I wonder.
General cleanliness around site was much improved on previous years. As a result of the physical challenges, energy dispersed around the site, rather than focussed at the dance temple
Magical energy; from the Earth, from the Lake and from the Boomers was very strong.  Much synchronicity was experienced by many and there must be thousands of fantastic stories waiting to be told. Either through ignorance, or deliberate intention, the campers were so far off site that many felt excluded – and no showers in that field!!!!  Come on guys, be fair.  Many of the live-in vehicle belong to trancers that were into the scene before most Boomers were even born.  Without them, none of this would be possible.  Where was the respect?
The relaxed attitude to experimentation with entheogens and plant spirit medicine. No provision made for those that had travelled from far, far places to be there for the last couple of nights but were forced either to buy a ticket for the whole week or clear off.  And because “Boom-off” had been dispersed (I refuse to use the “A” word), they were stranded with nowhere to go.  Boom should be made to justify this policy.
The lectures – as always at Boom, top quality and cutting edge. Sacred Fire location was not a patch on the previous years.
The decoration was very good – however, I would rather have much less decoration and the money saved spent running a little boat taxi, if only for the poor sods that had to make several journeys carrying their tents and stuff from the entrance to the tents area. The compost loos, while otherwise well designed, were like climbing a hill to use, for tired legs.  Please put another couple of steps in – not all Boomers are under 30 and super fit!
The creative inspiration.  I´m sure even the Portuguese / Spanish cocaine dealers who pirated Boom in large numbers right at the end of the festival, could not fail to take away something positive from the experience. Dharma Dragon was not printed this time in Portuguese as well as English.  I don´t think it is acceptable to be told at the Info Stand, that it is because “We love you, Brits”!  Whilst I´m sure this was a cost saving measure, I think it is a misjudgement, as local Portuguese, who may well have been interested to read about many of the very positive benefits of the Boom, (such as the Star water treatment centre) are now excluded from doing so. 

For the next few days, I expect the Portuguese media will be full of news of the many drug busts that will no doubt happen post-Boom.  What a missed opportunity to present a more positive image!
A noticeably quieter campervan area, allowing sleep most nights to those who wanted it.  Also, people running their own generators (not eco-sustainable, I must concede), were generally very cool about turning down their noise if treated with respect and asked pleasantly. This one is purely personal; I could not find the right music for me to dance to (to really let go to), with the exception of one sunset at sacred fire.  The psy-trance at the Dance Temple was just not happening for me.  Many people disagreed with me on this one and thought the music was spot on – just that there was never enough people dancing at the same time.
The dogs, although officially banned, were tolerated in a way that seemed to influence their behaviour positively.  I saw very little dog crap (or human, thankfully) and the dogs seemed content to do their own happy, doggy thing, despite the searing afternoon temperatures. Increase in negative vibes coming from both security and local people.  In the first case, if security become more heavy, they will end up squeezing the life out of the festival, as happened in Glastonbury.  As to local people, why on earth not spend less on decor and more on obtaining full support of all those living in the immediate vicinity by addressing their needs FULLY.
If you want to go to India but can´t afford the flight, come to Boom – the experience will be the closest you will ever get. One of the very positive initiatives from Boom 2008, had been dropped ie. having vegetables growing in the gardens for Boomers who had no money for food.  While food at Boom was generally good quality and reasonably priced, this is still not accessible to people who spent their last money on a ticket and travelling to Boom.  I saw a very thin young couple begging for other customers´ leftovers in the Cantina.  Not cool.  Patches of Basil and Lavender are positive in their own right, but won´t fill empty bellies.
The LOVE vibrations were very strong indeed.  With all the cosmic events unfolding around us, this energy bubbled up like a fountain everywhere you looked. A definite increase in people who had come to Boom to totally “large it”.  This aspect of youth culture is, to me, a sign that they are feeling lost and disconnected with spirit.  I think it is vital that more experienced Boomers continue to attend, despite the difficulties in doing so, to provide a good example and gentle guidance about the softer, yet stronger approach that works best at Boom.  After all, this is not some 3-day binge like Glastonbury or the Big Chill – this should be a total immersion experience that gently unfolds over the course of the week.
Access in and out to the main entrance was improved and traffic flowed much faster. Road signs to Boom need to be less confusing.  While I refuse to be drawn into conspiracy theories that this was a deliberate attempt to dispirit attendees and drive the festival into the ground, it must be remembered that the majority of Boomers are not local and do not know the layout of the land around the lake.
  Not the best vibe for a chillout by locating Ambient Paradise in the middle of a thoroughfare.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

First clips from the Boom Festival

Taking a break from the endurence test that is the Boom Festival, just for one day, and back there tonight. Have just quickly put up the clips I have taken so far on my Youtube Channel. If you check them out, do please leave some feedback :-).

Tuesday, 17 August 2010


…for my lift to Boom, ho hum!

A young Boomer / Couchsurfer is arriving here tomorrow to use our kitchen (fridgesurfing she called it!) to make vodka jellies (licks lips) to sell at the Boom.  If my French friends haven´t arrived before she is ready to leave, looks like I´ll be heading down with her. 

Boom is about 10km from us and this will be the first time I have gone without S.  Mixed feelings about that but am content to go with the flow.

It may be difficult to update my blog while I´m away, but I am hoping to post some pictures here at least once for the week.

Sunday, 15 August 2010


Yesterday, I wrote but decided not to post, a pretty downbeat blog about how nothing was going right.  Today, I pulled my socks up, got out my sewing machine and the cotton shawls I brought back from India and made two kaftan tops and a wrap skirt.  Also repaired a pair of trousers and sewed a clasp onto my favourite blanket to turn it into a poncho for chilly evenings.  Now I´m all set up for the Boom Festival.  Although I´m about twice the age of the average attendee, I should now look more like a respectable older hippie, than a frumpy old mum!

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Hare´s Tail…

It was a beautiful new moon last night and, with the sound of the first night of our village festa playing in the distance, I decided to walk the labyrinth at about midnight.  I have very poor night vision, so to walk the uneven ground without a torch is a great test for me.  It makes me concentrate, really focus on the earth beneath my feet. 

A strange phenomenon of our labyrinth is that it always seems to take about twice as long to walk in to the centre, then to walk out.  I wanted to give up as I was walking the longest, outer circuit, which is also the darkest, narrowest and most uneven part of the labyrinth.  As the labyrinth is an accurate symbol for life, in the end one has no choice but to keep going, following the path.  It´s a great analogy for my life and many others´ right now.

In the centre, at an impulse, I decided to remove the citrine crystal that has been hanging there, gathering solar and lunar energies, since the solstice.  I put it on, reasoning that it would help me focus on my power and reserves of energy that I will be needing at the Boom Festival next week.  I also decided to collect the hare´s tail and I thought I would carry it in my power bag.  Stroking the soft fur is extremely soothing and meditative and I thought it would be a potent protective symbol as well as a comforter. 

I sat a while in the centre, facing north and thinking of my ancestors and their gifts to me.  I sensed the white hare, Geàrr, behind me in the south and thought of this snatch of poetry:

In the black furror of a field
I saw an old witch-hare this night;
And she cocked a lissome ear,
And she eyed the moon so bright,
And she nibbled of the green;
And I whispered "Whsst! witch-hare,"
Away like a ghostie o’er the field
She fled, and left the moonlight there.

(19th century children's poem by Walter de la Mare)

After I walked out, I decided to pop the hare´s tail in the jar of Hare Smoke incense (it pongs a bit!) that I prepared on the day Billy caught the hare.  I thought I would share the recipe, which comes from an excellent witchcraft resource: Traditional Witchcraft A Cornish Book of Ways by Gemma Gary

Angelica Root ½ tsp
Bay Leaves 1 tsp
Cinnamon EO* 1 drop
Copal 1 tsp
Frankincense 3 tsps
Juniper (I used berries) 2 tsps
Lavender EO 15 drops
Lemon Balm 1 tsp
Oak bark 1 tsp
Rosemary 2 tsps
Rose petals 1 tsp
Sage 2 tsps
Vervain 1 tsp
Alum 1½ tsps

*I didn´t have cinnamon EO, so added 1 tsp cinnamon powder.

I have added 3 pinches of Lucifer´s Magick Tea to the blend.  Lucifer´s tea is another whole, long story that I may share with you sometime ;-D.

Hare Smoke, if you decide to make it, is used for “bodily healing, acts of cleansing, purification, the removal of negative energy and encouragement of positive energy and strength”.  Just what I need right now!  It also, by the way, smells gorgeous!!

Wednesday, 11 August 2010


…small birds enjoying a feast after we had our grass cut this morning.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Bear with me…

…I´m just experimenting with Windows Live Writer for updating this blog, so bear with me please!

Monday, 2 August 2010

How do cats do this?...

...GM´s little foot peaking out behind him at an impossible angle!
Posted by Picasa

Staff Benda Belili...

at FMM Sines World Music Festival this weekend.

Just a clip, but hopefully enough to encourage a few people to look them up. They were awesome, and well worth a night sleeping in a tiny Fiat Panda (our motor caravan still being indefinitely off the road)!

This following information from the FMM Sines website:

With a core formation of street musicians victim of polio, Staff Benda Bilili is the most awarded world music band in 2010 and one of the greatest discoveries of African music in the last decade.
A group of paraplegic street musicians who live in and around the grounds of the zoo in Kinshasa, Congo, Staff Benda Bilili make music of astonishing power and beauty. The band’s mesmerising rumba-rooted grooves, overlaid with vibrant vocals, remind you at times of Cuban nonchalance, at other times of the Godfather of Soul himself. You can hear echoes of old-school rhythm and blues, then reggae, then no-holds barred funk.

Four senior singer/guitarists sitting on customized tricycles, occasionally dancing on the floor of the stage, arms raised in joyful supplication, are the core of the band, backed by a younger, all-acoustic, rhythm section pounding out tight beats. The lyrics of the Staff Benda Bilili are wise, ironical advice to the people who live in the streets. In Lingala, “Benda Billi” means “look beyond appearances”.

Entitled “Très Très Fort”, their astonishing first album was produced by Vincent Kenis (already responsible for the Congotronics series). Among many other awards, Staff Benda Bilili won the category “Best Group” in Songlines World Music Awards 2010.

Léon Ricky Likabu Makodu: vocals
Roger Landu Satonge: vocals
Djunana Tanga Suele: vocals
Coco Ngambali Yakala: vocals, guitar
Kabose Kabamba Kasongo: vocals
Théophile Nsituvuidi Nzonza: vocals, guitar
Montana Kinunu Ntunu: drums
Cavalier Kiara Mayingi: bass
Posted by Picasa