Well, Mr F and I have just about dried off after yet another wet Bank Holiday Monday. Is this rain following us around?

The mud on our boots this time is from Shrewsbury Folk Festival, where we spent four days seeing headline bands like Bellowhead and The Full English, the latter nothing to do with bacon and eggs.

Actually, the food there was mainly veggie, which was fine by me, as I gave up meat decades ago; but Mr F was not at all impressed when I presented him with a pallid, vegan hot dog.

The well-known artists didn’t have it all their own way: Duo Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar were exceptionally good and (hurrah) are coming to Uxbridge Folk Club next May.

A Welsh contingent of dancers started their act by welcoming us to ‘their country’ even though it is now in England; a stroppy reference to the land from Halesowen to Aberystwyth which used to be part of Wales.

Later, Scottish singer Karine Polwart’s promotion of Scottish Independence was met with (mostly) stony silence in the main tent.

Alistair Darling of the Better Together anti-independence campaign Picture by Richard Frew

This is divisory stuff, and is not helped by the lack of fire in the Better Together camp, which should be emphasising our shared kinship rather than what divides us.

Once, travelling on a packed train from Holyhead to Llandudno, I got chatting to two men and discovered we were from three different countries. “Oh,” said one, “An Irishman, a Welshman and an Englishwoman? There’s got to be a joke there somewhere.”

While respecting the various cultural identities that make up the UK, we really do need to keep our sense of humour.

Alex Salmond of the Scottish National Party and advocate of independence for Scotland
 

More importantly, at such a precarious time in history we need to continue to nurture and protect our small island – together.

BEFORE heading to Shrewsbury I went to see a performance of Grease, this year’s Beck Theatre Summer Youth Project. It was a fabulous show: energetic, polished and professional. Well done to all involved, especially Hannah Marram as Sandy and Jonathan Carlton as Danny. Next year it’s Fame the Musical – information soon on becktheatre.org.uk

TALKING of Grease, there’s a reunion for anyone who worked for West Drayton company Power Plant Gears which opened in 1903 and closed in 1984. Former employees, their families and anyone who played sport there, are welcome on September 27 at the Conservative Club in Harefield Road, Uxbridge. Contact Desmond Webb on desmondwebb@blueyonder.co.uk.

Email me! bmailbarbara@gmail.com and catch up at www.getwestlondon.co.uk/authors/barbara-fisher /