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Thu, 12 May



Simon Fairlie, Lost In Conversation

Going to Seed is the unforgettable firsthand account of how the hippie movement flowered in the late 1960s, appeared spent by the Thatcher-consumed 1980s, yet became the seedbed for progressive reform.

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Simon Fairlie, Lost In Conversation
Simon Fairlie, Lost In Conversation

Time & Location

12 May 2022, 19:00 – 13 May 2022, 21:00

Chettiscombe, The Lost Kitchen, The Long Barn, Chettiscombe, Tiverton EX16 7PT, UK

About The Event

Going to Seed, A Counterculture Memoir

At a young age, Simon Fairlie rejected the rat race and embarked on a new trip to find his own path. He dropped out of Cambridge University to hitchhike to Istanbul and bicycle through India. Simon established a commune in France, was arrested multiple times for squatting and civil disobedience, and became a leading figure in protests against the British government’s road building programmes of the 1980s and – later – in legislative battles to help people secure access to land for low impact, sustainable living. Over the course of fifty years, we witness a man’s drive for self-sufficiency, freedom, authenticity and a deep connection to the land.

Simon Fairlie grew up in a middle-class household in leafy middle England. His path had been laid out for him by his father: boarding school, Oxbridge and a career in journalism. But everything changed when Simon’s life ran headfirst into London’s counterculture in the 1960s. He finds Beat poetry, blues music, cannabis and anti–Vietnam War protests – and a powerful lust to be free. Instead of becoming a celebrated Fleet Street journalist like his father, Simon becomes a labourer, a stonemason, a farmer, a scythesman, a magazine editor and a writer of a very different sort. He shares the highs of his experience, alongside the painful costs of his ongoing search for freedom – estrangement from his family, financial insecurity and the loss of friends and lovers to the excesses of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s.

Going to Seed questions the current trajectory of Western ‘progress’ – explosive consumerism, growing inequality and environmental devastation; it’s for anyone who wonders how we got to such a place. Simon’s story is for anyone who wonders what the world might look like if we began to chart a radically different course.

‘Pull up a chair by a rustic fireside, with a glass of local cider in hand, and allow master raconteur Simon Fairlie to regale you with tales from his extraordinary life. It is so important that the great modern activists capture their stories and the rarely-written histories of progressive social change. These are the shoulders on which we all stand, and there is much wisdom to be discovered here.’—Rob Hopkins, author of From What Is to What If; founder, Transition movement

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