The following morning, although very sore I was able to move around at normal speed. It was incredible to me.
“Oh my god!” I thought. “I am so grateful for my youth. Sleep is a wonderful amazing thing. Body, you are an amazing wonderful thing. Thank you so much, I am so sorry for yesterday.”
The campsite owners took pity on my state from the previous day and gave me a lift into Glastonbury. They’d run the campsite together for more than four decades and lived there for longer.
“Has it changed much?” I asked.
“Glastonbury has. It used to be a market town…But now…It’s full of shops…that you’ll probably like.”
Back through Street we passed the out of town large corporate warehouse stores and an outlet village that must support Glastonbury’s shoppers.
Glastonbury was buzzing as the couple dropped me off by the ruined Abbey. Old two story buildings and coaches of tourists. Red brick and light stone buildings certainly looked like many pretty market towns. As I started to walk further into the town center things immediately looked different.
Dishevelled people in colourful rag-edged natural cloths were wandering around. People with backpacks, dyed hair, dreadlocks, decorated wellies, others with cloaks. “It’s not even the Glastonbury Festival.” I thought. “Is it always like this?”
Shops with the word Avalon in, with fairies in the windows. In all I counted around two dozen shops selling crystals, statues of fairies, colourful clothing, pagan and magic books. Elsewhere were alternative medicines, African and Indian imported goods, and meditation and yoga. Often the shops were next door to each other, and all were apparently thriving.
I understood now what they meant. It must seem bewildering to someone who’d know local trade at the market. How must this all seem to the old farmers? Although I have a number of Pagan beliefs and think crystals are wonderous, I didn’t feel inclined to buy anything. Some things felt so raw in their commercial nature. Where did those crystals come from, how were they mined? Is that statue plastic and made in China?
Seeking sanctuary I followed signs to the library but it was closed. Wandering round I saw signs to another library. Opening the big oak door it turned out to be a library of mystical seeming books. The Library of Avalon describes it’s collection as esoteric. The books include religion, magic, legend, environment and psychology. The volunteer librarians were very kind and when I asked where to start hunting for environmentalists they directed me to Free Cannabis. I wondered what I looked like.
Free Cannabis turned out to be a man, who legally changed his name. The Hemp in Avalon shop is his business and his passion.
“It’s a wonder plant.” He said with love. “Food from the seeds, leaves and flowers. The seeds are a superfood. Essential fatty acids, omega 3, omega 6 and rare omega 9. All eight essential amino acids as well as being mineral rich. It’s a medicine too. You can make almost anything from the fibre of the stem or burn it as a fuel. It grows faster than wood. Chipboard, rope, clothes, paper, biodegradable plastics, hempcrete building blocks. Even back in the ‘30s Henry Ford made a hemp plastic car that ran on hemp ethanol. But the cotton and timber industries in the 30’s were hugely successful at lobbying, them and the inventor of Nylon. A lot of politicians were in those industries too. So they got hemp made illegal.”