What’s great about Swindon #1

by Juliet Platt on May 3, 2010

in Uncategorized

The lady who interviewed me on the university milk round 18 years ago said – “but you’d have to move to Swindon. Would that be OK?”

I really didn’t have a clue whether or not it would be OK, as I had no idea where Swindon was, but I was keen to get a job so I figured I’d make it OK.

“Yes of course, ” I replied.

It’s been 17 years and 9 months since I moved to Swindon for that graduate job.

And I have to say that this place is way better than just OK.  Over the years I’ve grown to love it here.

At 4am this morning my family and I sprang out of bed, put on our warmest clothes, and headed into Old Town, where the Dawn Chorus was being set up, ready to usher in the new day, and the new Swindon Festival of Literature.

The Dawn Chorus is one of the best things about Swindon. It takes place in Lawn Woods, which commands a stunning view to the east – perfect for watching the rising sun, cloud cover permitting. There is a lone piper at 5.30am playing in the dawn, followed by fire jugglers, acrobatics, music, song, story and poetry. For an hour and three quarters we braved the early morning chill to be entertained by words, music and physical feats, accompanied by hot tea and coffee and bacon butties.

There isn’t really anything to beat wishing good morrow to familiar friends and friends-to-be, and having a good sing with the Scratch Choir, or dancing round the Maypole under the boughs of the great trees.

And as I think about it I realise that the Literature Festival and all that goes with it is just about as old as my own time in this town.

Very kind of Swindon to put on this sort of show to keep me here. Thanks.

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