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Friday, October 19, 2007

Loitering Within TentI went to the Jobcentre yesterday (that's not it on the left) and had a nice chat with an employment adviser about doing some part-time work. She told me it's not really worth it financially and advised me not to bother unless I want something to put on my CV. And that was before she even knew what it was. Fortunately, having spoken to her for ten minutes, I think I managed to talk the woman round and convince her of the benefits of work (rather than the work of benefits), and by the time I left, she was remotivated, inspired and keen to find a job... for someone else.

So having single-handedly restored the DWP's work ethic, I went on to the Dome box office to pick up two tickets for tonight's 'Best of the Fest', an evening of stand-up comedy in which all the top performers from the last seven days of the festival get the chance to regurgitate their best material for people like me who haven't bothered to go and see them.

Unfortunately, as the photo above demonstrates, it was hard to get to the box office in New Road without walking into a wigwam. I thought at first it was an illegal travellers' site, but it turned out to be the focal point of the Brighton Festival of World Sacred Music. You can't move for festivals in Brighton at the moment, and this one's a corker. I particularly like the way they've attached sticks to the metal crash barriers to make them look sacred.

Raymond RedfeatherIf you're wondering who's in the tent, well it's none other than Raymond Redfeather. Yes, Raymond Redfeather. Redfeather's a traditional Native American name. I'm not sure about Raymond. But either way, he sounds like a children's cartoon character. That's him on the right, sucking on a curtain rod.

I discovered from the sacred sandwich board outside that Ray was conducting a one-day 'Native American Flute-Making Workshop' in the "stunning Festival Tipi". Stunning if it fell on your head, yes, but otherwise I felt a little underwhelmed. Possibly because I'm not in tune with the earth.

One thing which was stunning though, was the price. When I got home, I described the event to Lisa and asked how much she thought a one-day Native American flute-making workshop in a city-centre tipi would cost. Her reply was:

"You mean you have to pay???".

Well of course you have to pay. Ray's come all the way from Colorado. Although, as the programme says, "Please note that Raymond has great respect for nature and no trees are felled to source the wood for these flutes", so you can't help wondering how he squares that with the carbon emissions from a transatlantic flight. But anyhoo, the man's got bills to pay, not least the renewal fees for his website, which seems to have lapsed while he's been out of the country.

So if you want to loiter within tent and do a bit of whittling at the feet of a flautist, you will indeed have to part with... £130. But if you're unemployed it's only £120. Or two weeks' worth of Jobseeker's Allowance. Now that's a part-time job worth having.