Ann of the Apples - Glastonbury 22
Updated: Jun 23
[This post follows the previous one which ended with…] I am continuing to write this, sitting on the Abbey grounds. I am sitting right in front of it. One for sorrow is looking at me and chanting away. I am having a coffee and I feel I do not have a care in the world. I am here doing what I always wanted to do. Researching, feeling, exploring. And I feel incredibly blessed that not only there is a place like this which for a tenner allows me to stay the whole day, sitting under a tree, sipping a £3 Lavazza coffee… but look at this! Look at it.
The first time I came here I was with him, my now ex-husband. I think we came once, twice… once by car and once by motorbike. I went back home with the car and motorbike full of books and my heart full of promises. Then I came here in 2012, I think… or was it 2014? 2014! On my way back from Ilfracombe. The signage was pointing at Glastonbury and I came, I parked and the phone battery was completely flat so I did not take a single picture. But I had my cards read, I bought a candle and some incense, as you would when you are here.
But when I first came here - was it 1995?! - I had this intense physical reaction to the Abbey. I remember sitting down and … oh, god… it was with my parents-in-law, for the Eagles concert! July 2001 in Birmingham, with them, in a campervan… so we came again! Anyway, I had this very strong physical and psychic reaction while walking in the Abbey, in the Lady Chaple, of actually having been on trial and then killed and then had my funeral in here… no, someone else was on trial, someone else was sent to death but I was killed in her place. They needed a body. And my body now rests in a cathedral, down south, but my name is not the name of the coffin. My name is Ann. Well, my name was Ann at the time. I was Ann of the apples. And then they needed a body and they grabbed me in the chapel and they killed me. And now I am buried somewhere else but people don’t know I am there so I have been feeling lonely all these years.
[This is really giving me shivers and it feels weird and good-weird at the same time…]
Anyway, I am fascinated by all of this but also a tad scared. I am going now to walk around because the wind is strong and bothering me.
Just a short walk and I found this amazing bench under an apple tree and the smell of apples is unbelievable! The sensuality of it, how it lingers in the nostrils before plunging down your throat, rolling first on your tongue and you can imagine cloves and honey and raisins and cinnamon sticks and sweet sweet apples cooked on the stove and hoping for stories around a fire and if you are bit older, some whiskey wouldn’t go amiss! or warm rum as my dad used to give me when I was feeling poorly and very sorry for myself. And way too young for rum!
I’m thinking about the sacredness of the apple and its symbolisms, of her star-shaped seeds setting - why did I collect apple seeds when I was a kid?! - I’m thinking about the sound of crunchiness and the smoothness of its skin, waxy… oh, time to put some beeswax on my hands, then… I’m sitting on this wooden warm bench (remember that transformative list of things that I know make me happy? The first was the discovery of the warm wooden bench in the sun!), under an apple tree, and surrounded by nettle, which is by far one of my favourite weeds! I feel that my senses are heightened and I am part of all this. I am reminded of the tactile experience of the wooden labyrinth and how I traced it with my finger and my eyes closed and I got literally lost in it and did not know what was where and I was ok with that! But also how I rushed it in the end… another experience to do again. Now I am here, and from where I am sitting, I am giving my back to the Abbey and I can feel I am “scared” of going in… I have asked Hekatē to assist me in this journey of discovery, I have asked for help in deciding for my future but also in allowing Her to guide me: where do you want me to be?
This place is magical but I need to get moving. I can come back tomorrow, I know! But I want to make the most of today since it is not raining. I still have a headache. The energy is very strong here: am I ready? Also, I definitely need to buy myself an anti-glare screen or something similar because writing out here is not one of the happiest activities. I am getting hungry now and I really want to go and see the shops… I am also aware that I might have stolen the seat from two women who were walking briskly just round the corner from the tree to find me sitting on “their bench ”, having a quick “oh pffft” kind of moment, and then turning and looking for another bench. I know, I know, I got the best bench. I got my bench. I am wondering what other magic things I will find today. I really need to visit the rest of the Abbey but first something for my headache!
What an experience walking 3 times around the Holy Thorn, barefoot. It flowers in the spring and at Christmas… while just behind the wall that separates the church from the village, there were people playing the drums, like a jousting fanfare of medieval times… while I was here walking and taking it all in.
My act of experimenting in the Lady Chapel was different but also the same. There is still a feeling of having been here, been called Ann. Ann and her apples and then it was Ann no more. My body in exchange for someone’s freedom and hiding. I am wondering what my dad felt when they took me away. I know I wasn't the sharpest girl there, always with my nose in the sky, looking at clouds, smelling apples, collecting nettles and little stones and talking to the air. Breath on breath. Did he think I would have been better off dead because he couldn't look after me?
I have left the book on the bench and I am wondering if anyone picked it up or not... shall I go and check before I leave?! or I just go with the unknown?
UNKNOW is what is shouting within me. So, I let it be. I am going to put some shoes on, and then I can go and look for some food: a nice soup could do the trick. And then, of course, some tarot reading, shops, books...
In the meantime, I can still hear the drums but is it real, or is it just memory? Is my skin resounding? Am I resonating?
I’m back at the B&B at 6.21 typing this while sitting outside in the garden. It’s a bit chilly, but I have wine, a jacket, some bread, and a pork pie in the room. Happy holidays!
This has been quite the day: after the Abbey, I went for lunch, shopping, and more shopping. But I was glad that the stuff I bought felt real and not just made for tourists.
It is raining, so the laptop asks to be moved inside. More tomorrow, day two.
And as per usual: onwards + upwards,