What a Wonderfully Uplifting Way to End the 2016 Season...
Camp 'Hackpen White Horse' 2016
…we really couldn’t have asked for more.
2016 was a very challenging season in some ways and in my case was mostly due to weather as I literally battled with the elements living in my van for weeks. But that is not important now. CC numbers were a bit down but the overall quality of CCs remained good. Right at the end of the season, as so often is the case we had a true gem, the Ansty, PYO CC (see local Blackmore Vale Magazine article) which for me, brought the whole thing together and seemed like a confirmation of all that we at CGI have worked on for over 6 years now. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not so egotistic and deluded as to to infer our work had anything to do with the Ansty PYO CC actually arriving but to have a farmer suddenly respond to the occasion in the way that he did and donating all proceeds to charity was like a sunrise and bodes so well for the future of CCs...it really does feel like the charity message is getting across somehow. When I spoke to a farmer recently he told me that some farmers are now warming to the idea…”Just as long as we don’t get too many, please” he said. No control over that I said.
To the right are two whole acres of mind boggling asymmetric? precision! The outer symbols could be a translation key for a future message.
Oh my goodness!...perhaps the Mothership is finally on its way!! All good 'croppies' off to the planet Zorg! Aaggh! Could easily happen! Tea leaf heaven.
Thanks RC for symblation.
From a 'Joe Public' community point of view and based at Hackpen Hill again it was like a new and novel leisure pastime had been invented with so many mostly first time local people of all ages coming along to see what was going on. Pretty much all of these people were open and up for the idea of CCs being of a mysterious nature and all pretty much going away with smiles on their faces. Do you see where I’m coming from here? Hitherto there was an unknown regards how the public at large would receive CCs…they had never been ‘allowed’ to experience them invited until recent years, en masse like this before. The old time regulars, who previously had been the majority visitors to CCs had had such negative experiences quite often when rubbing shoulders with locals; sour looks and comments but mostly completely ignoring the events with contempt, social unease and perhaps some fear. But now I realise what has made all the difference here...it's
When CGI members are present at the gate we have always made a point of patiently explaining the facts (as opposed to just giving a subjective opinion) about the phenomenon giving examples with sound reasoning and firm evidence to the visitors, whether just one in number or say 30. Some may have initially been a bit sceptical but have later left having received huge added value introduced into their lives, their questions sensibly answered and smiling back to their car, and probably all the way home too! Most often when one goes to an organised 'talks' event the speaker is commonly waffling on about some fringe topic no one understands or is theorising about whatever or relating a subjective experience (that I call entertainment) which has little value in terms of helping others and is not research. Rarely do we get to listen to a down-to-earth cereal-field worker who is well versed in the basics of quality nitty-gritty, up-to-the-minute, up-to-speed CC information and who is not trying to sell you something. It is what is happening RIGHT NOW that is important, and you can't sensibly know that if you're not actually there! This subject moves on. I personally try not to speculate when giving talks and I would never intentionally mislead…the Circlemakers are our witness after all!!
In my years moving around the CC community I have witnessed all levels of deception, lies and disinformation by individuals commonly local to the Wiltshire scene (and on the internet too). These shameless, low frequency people have fed complete fabricated rubbish to uninformed and sometimes naive and gullible people for reasons of control, self-promotion and financial gains; one chap conned people for years under the premise of running a 'cafe'! Funny how he seems to have now vanished, 'done a runner' on us! No wonder people are ignorant and clueless. To betray one’s fellow man regards such an important topic as this, is, in my view a truly wicked thing and such people are now being exposed. People deserve to know the truth about their world and it seems they can handle it after all.
Gratitude levels were significant. Not just polite ‘thank you’s’ but long and sincere, almost a relief at hearing confirmation of something felt in their heart already. All was out in the open now and in the wider public domain, on show rather than subdued at fear of ridicule. People are starting to understand at different levels… now people will begin to enjoy a social permission, mores allowing an increasing social acceptance of the subject. This is a true milestone. From here on we can expect to see cultural changes whereon it will almost become fashionable and ‘cool’ to ‘check out a CC’. This was already noted in the teenage group who largely were not phased at all by the idea of a totally mysterious event and it’s implications. The much older and typically less flexible group did much better than I expected too. In contrast, a curious irony observed, is that many of the 'old school' regular G1 visitors still appeared somewhat challenged, disoriented and sometimes miserable with the positive changes occurring. Their mould and routine was possibly now broken. I believe some were a bit non-plussed and perhaps perplexed that something so dramatically different and removed from what they had been used to for so many years, was actually happening. Indeed, two previously well known photographers, a LP and a SA (of the now folded S/Lecs renown) seem to have given up completely at the end, or are being very slow off the mark, so despondent as to not even bother to cover the main feature of the year in a timely manner (Ansty)...that's like ignoring the Olympics! CC reformation and CGI principles may well be the nemisis of many G1 contenders. But, no matter, we only speak of a few here.
One field getting ready for next year.
So there we have it. I believe we are on the threshold of an evolution which will now be hard to stop. If we educate our children and grand children well they will be far better equipped to deal with their future world, a future world of CC evolution, long after we are all long gone. There is every reason to be optimistic. Each year that a farmer opens his fields and generates large sums for his chosen charity, with or without the help of CGI, increasing numbers of curious people will ‘spread the word’ and all bringing, it should be said, much needed revenue to the local tourist industry. Visitors are increasingly global as the UK is famous for its CCs.
The ‘feel good’ factor within cooperative working will help to positively address local tensions which were largely, up until recently at an unacceptable level. The events of Hackpen Hill for the last two years in a row were a dream come true! PR magic! We thank both farmers concerned most sincerely.
GOOD MANAGEMENT, EDUCATION AND CHARITY are the key words I believe!