Warm, toasted, cinnamon tea cakes from the artisan bakery at the Hundred Monkeys Café and sweet, organic, sun-ripened apricots in Earthfare are not the only things on offer in this early morning, sleepy Somerset market town. For this is Glastonbury; the world renowned focus for religious pilgrimage and where imagination, transformation, enlightenment and incense are as readily available as sourdough bread. Notable for its famous festival which now attracts over 200,000 visitors, for its myths and legends of Joseph of Arimathea, the Holy Grail and King Arthur and Guinevere, Glastonbury is a melting pot for all those seeking spiritual development and a closer connection with the sacred.
I have travelled here, not for the Hippie Message, but to visit my own personal Mecca; a shop called Dilliway and Dilliway which is an Aladdin’s cave of fabulously glamorous Indian goods both vintage and new. Inside and out the whole place vibrates with colour. Each item for sale has been personally sourced by the Dilliway team and although this shop differs from the rest in that it is not pedalling the overtly spiritual, each item holds a strong soul connection. Each hand-stitched throw resonates with hundreds of years of artistry and humble integrity and when you buy an item, however small, it carries with it the Dilliway ethos of a deep love and respect for the Indian people, their creativity and craftsmanship and their culture. Lost in my thoughts as I photograph, a procession suddenly passes the shop. The sound of pretty music rises above the sound of the traffic and I see a long crocodile of happy smiling Hare Krishna followers carrying coloured parasols to shade them selves from the sun. In the midst of this all is a diminutive figure in white robes. Terry Dilliway tells me that this man is called Baba.
As I leave the store, the procession has settled on the wide pavement and within minutes the whole area is transformed; street food has appeared out of nowhere and huge Indian carpets thrown down to sit on. Everyone is drawn to Baba and I can sense a deep connection between him and the folk around him. Suddenly I feel on the outside of something really special. And I get a real sense and understanding of what Glastonbury can do for people in this mad, chaotic world where so many have lost their spiritual connections. Suddenly, I begin to understand the Hippie Message.
Why not wander round the store with me?
Baba and his followers sharing street food and conversation