Sanctuary

folkI have fallen in love with a place. I have only been there twice, but both times I visited, I felt like I was going home. It was and is love at first sight. It is a sanctuary, and it’s name is Folk House. You can’t actually see it from the main drag, unless you look hard. It is like the best of British hidden places, be they within wardrobes, a concealed railway platform or a fancy dress shop with an enigmatic proprietor. You feel drawn to them, and that you are destined to make their aquaintance. I felt that.

I was introduced to Folk House on a Saturday evening, and had the unexpected pleasure of arriving early. My fellow gig-attendee had not arrived, and so I had the pleasure of waiting at the mouth of a subtly concealed corridor, with a rack full of flyers for wonderful events. It was pleasurable because in every face that passed through there was the glamour and mischief of the folk enthusiast. We were going to experience something special, that only a few people knew about. Sometimes its a glint in the eye, or a shared smile. It could be anything, but its there, and it is palpable. Some people knew the place, and leapt straight down the rabbit hole with glee. Others stared in bewilderment at their iphones, only to grin when I pointed to the blue and white sign above my head. However they appeared, I was passed by young and old, the smart and the desheveled, clean-shaven or bearded, cropped and lion-maned.

When my pal arrived, we ventured down the aisle, and found ourselves in an open courtyard. A downward flight of steps, then we were in! We could hear the buzz. Folk house has no tickets, you have to give your name. Then you are welcomed in to the cafe, which is a haven of creativity. All manner of paintings and drawings festoon the walls, embracing a piano perched above more stairs, swooping down to ‘The Hall’. It was a special evening, and a very special performance. Neither of us wanted it to end. I’m going again. This time it will be a Sunday evening, and I’m going to relish backhanding Monday morning, and relishing every moment.

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